Around the URC in seven days: 19-26 September

A round up of news from around the United Reformed Church (URC) over the past seven days.

Yorkshire Synod

Maisie the Labradoodle was an enthusiastic supporter at the ordination of Nicola Robinson earlier this month.

Nicola, Maisie’s owner and friend, was ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament and inducted to serve the Leeds URC Partnership at Christ Church Halton in Leeds.

Maisie has been Nicola’s companion throughout her ministerial training and has often been seen on the train as they travelled together between their Edinburgh home and Northern College in Manchester.

As Nicola was ordained, Masie was to be heard barking her confident affirmation.

West Midlands Synod

Shrewsbury URC was the venue for a multi-cultural, interfaith, fun day, on 3 September.

Around 350 people attended the annual event, organised by the town’s Inter Faith Forum, which had been postponed for two years because of Covid-19.

The aim of the event was to bring together people of all faiths and ethnic communities in the sharing of entertainment and food, and with the opportunity to learn about the different faiths active in the town.

Ukranian dance. Credit Shropshire Star.

The Revd Ken Chippindale, said: “The performance of Ukrainian songs and dances, with newly arrived refugees taking part, was a particularly moving occasion.”

Activities included face painting, henna tattoos, crafts, along with Ukrainian, Polish, and Indian food.

The Shrewsbury Interfaith Forum was founded in 2009 after the London tube and bus bombings, by members of the URC and the Muslim Friday prayer group who were meeting in the church hall.

It now includes representatives of the Baha’i, Jewish, Moslem, Buddhist, Humanist, Mormon and Christian faiths, who have built bridges of friendship and understanding over the years.

South Western Synod

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the URC, Taunton URC went on a mission to make their church more visible to its community.

The congregation held an open day with music provided by a Cuban jazz band, commissioned colourful banners to front and side railings of the church, and advertised services on the rolling screen of the tourist office and distributed flyers to homes within walking distance of the church.

On loan from Westhill Endowment Trust and created by the Revd Peter Privett, an Anglican vicar, during the pandemic, four life-size textile garments were displayed at the open day.

Each textile had its own meaning. Red was for the pain that is in the world, like hunger, climate change, exploitation and abuse; purple reflected suffering; green was for hope and was made of recycled clothes, curtains, string and hand printed leaf prints; and the white garment, made from linen with a scarf of nails, reflected resurrection and renewal.