Around the URC in seven days: 22-29 January 2024

A round-up of news from around the United Reformed Church over the past seven days: 22-29 January 2024.

People of every faith walked side-by-side from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square and back again in silence over the weekend in solidarity with people affected by the conflict in Israel and Palestine, Europe and elsewhere.

Lindsey Brown, Mission Support Officer, represented the URC at “Peace is Every Step: Walking Meditation for Peace”, organised by Rahena Harilail of Buddhist community Plum Village, and Quakers in Britain’s National Ecumenical Officer Judith Baker.

Around 2,000 people gathered in total to participate in the walking mediation, which Lindsey described as a “deeply moving event”, and carried white hand-made “flowers” or white roses symbolic for peace.

Watch the report on ITV London News from 01.42:

Christ Church Stocksbridge in Yorkshire Synod has gained recognition in the Children and Youth Friendly Church Scheme.

Megan Tillbrook, Yorkshire Synod’s Children’s and Young People’s Development Practitioner, supported the church through the scheme’s process.

Megan said: “It was evident during the service, due to the huge amounts of toys that were donated, that Stocksbridge is a church that seek to serve the local community and it involves the children and young people in that mission too.”

The church has also involved children in tree-planting and land reclamation, litter picks, planting and growing plants, and sourced funding for a paid worker for the toddler group.

Christ Church Stockbridge has also sourced and provided around 15 new and used laptops for children at the high school living in low-income households, and built a thriving junior church, raising attendance form a couple of attendees to a regular number of 10-12 children aged 0-13.

A thanksgiving service was held for the ministry of the Revd Dr Michael Hopkins at The Spire Church Farnham on Sunday.

Michael will be taking up a new role within Wessex Synod as its Moderator.

Michael’s congregation wished him all the best for the future and said he will be greatly missed.