CRCW News and Events

United Reformed Church prepares for Greenbelt Festival 2017

Spring is on its way and it’s a perfect time of year to plan ahead for those special dates, such as August Bank Holiday weekend. Why is it special? Because the Greenbelt Festival will take place at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, from 25 to 28 August 2017 – and the United Reformed Church will be there again as an associate partner.

The festival of arts, faith and justice has been running since 1974 and this year’s focus is on The Common Good. The early booking ticket deadline is the end of April; if you buy your tickets before midnight on 30 April, you will save £35 on the onsite adult weekend price. Visit here to find out more.

The United Reformed Church enjoyed a very successful debut at last year’s event with the attention-grabbing theme of Scrap the Church? This time round, the URC will have ‘More than Welcome’ as its theme.

‘More than Welcome’ will explore issues around who is, or isn’t welcome in our churches and society – and what that means individually and corporately, locally, nationally and internationally. It also offers the opportunity to listen to those who are missing from ‘the banquet’ and from our conversations, communities and churches. Plans are in hand for a range of exciting activities, including:

  • A ‘More than Welcome’ banqueting table art installation (made by scrap church artist Nic Walters)
  • A knitted food treasure hunt and yarn bombing
  • Street theatre
  • The URC stand (now known as the ‘URC lounge’) which will host various events during the festival period
  • Hosting a series of ‘intentional conversations’ at picnic tables near the URC lounge

KnittedFoodCalling all knitters

Can you knit or crochet? Or do you know someone who does? Perhaps you have a Knit and Natter group at your church, or maybe you’d like to start one….

As part of this year’s theme of ‘More than Welcome’, an army of knitting and crochet fans are needed to help prepare a knitted food treasure ‘trail’. This will take festival-goers to hampers dotted around the site where they will answer questions on food/feast stories from the Bible and collect various knitted food items. They will then be asked to add the fruit to an empty banqueting area so that, over the course of the weekend, the area goes from being empty to abundant.

There is a lot to knit so the more people, groups and churches involved, the better! If you do start this project, please send a photo of the group/individual doing the knitting for a display in the URC lounge.

Knitting/crocheting patterns are available but do feel free to use any you may have already. The knitted items should not be too big (so they fit in the palm of your hand). This food production needs to start as soon as possible if there is going to be enough ‘food’ in time for the August Bank Holiday.

For further details about where to send completed items, email Linda Mead and she will let you know where to take or send them. Linda would also be grateful to know of any wool that may be going spare as a large amount will also be needed for the festival.

On the last day of Greenbelt, volunteers will head out to distribute the ‘food’. An attached postcard will explain that it is a gift from the URC and it will also include a ‘food for thought’ idea or challenge.

Steve Greenbelt Web edited 1Greenbelt 2016

We were delighted to be given the opportunity to give a presentation at this year's General Assembly about the URC's involvement with the Christian festival Greenbelt for 2016-2017.

Steve Summers (pictured) is the CRCW Development Worker for the URC and also the chair of the URC’s Greenbelt planning group. He told Assembly: "For myself and hundreds of thousands of others over the years, Greenbelt has been much more than an annual festival. It’s become a dynamic and enduring movement, a spiritual sanctuary, a creative environment to encounter new ways to worship and to view God’s creation and a seedbed for learning about ways to be disciples in our own neighbourhoods."

To find out more about the URC's involvement with Greenbelt for 2016-2017, follow us on our facebook page or email me at:

Steve was not the only member of the CRCW programme to be on stage at General Assembly.Karen Campbell edited 1 CRCW minister Karen Cambell was also captured on stage giving an illuminating bible study. Read more about karen and the work she is involved in at the BPBHCC project in Luton.

TLS Developing Community Experiences (DCE) 1 Year course

Beginning September 2016

Red Circle SquareCrop3Your Neighbourhood...
Your Church...
Your Mission...

Developing Community Experiences is a one year TLS course, which aims to build confidence and enhance skills in the fields of community engagement and mission, thereby helping to transform people's lives.

Download the TLS DCE flyer (PDF) for more information and contact the CRCW Programme Administrator if you have any questions.

For more information of TLS courses in general, please go to


CRCW Spring/Summer Road Show!

Community Photo Large Web cropWe are delighted to be able to share with you details of the first CRCW road show for 2016. Our road shows are designed to show the ways in which community initiatives are making an impact among particular congregations and communities. For us, this event is all about good conversation and storytelling.

Please join us at: Bishop Latimer United Church, Beeton Road, Winson Green, Birmingham, B18 4QD on Saturday 4th June, 2016 from 10.30am — 3.30pm.

For more information on the programme or to book your FREE place, please contact CRCW Programme Administrator: Samara Andrews by email or telephone: 020 7916 8653 

To view/download a PDF of the Roadshow flyer, please click here.

A good question: How can church be more creative?


Reform march2016 WEB

In this month's Reform magazine, four people contribute an answer to the question: How can church be more creative? One of the contributers is our very own CRCW minister Helen Stephenson from the Sunderland and Boldon CRCW project. To read her response, as well as the others: Paul Northup (Creative Director of Greenbelt festival), Elizabeth Gray-King (Education and Learning Programme Officer for the URC) and Linda Rayner (Fresh Expressions Coordinator for the URC), click here.

Tonge Moor Press Release: Hate Crime Awareness Week

Hate Crime Awareness Week recently took place on 8-14th February 2016. One of the Building Bridges Project's main aims is: 'To foster mutual respect, trust, support and kindness between generations, faith and cultures' and therefore, the project felt compleled to get involved:

"Building Bridges and others involved with the primary schools, churches, uniformed organisations and youth groups within Tonge Moor took part in a poster design competition."

To read more and more importantly, to see the winners and runners up of this competition, please take a look at the press release PDF.

United Reformed Church partners with Greenbelt

Greenbelt group photo Web smallOn 13 January Greenbelt and The United Reformed Church signed an agreement, making the denomination an Associate Partner of the Greenbelt festival for the first time.

We are incredibly excited about this partnership and if you would like to find out more, please visit our facebook page.

Read more: TLS Developing Community Experiences
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