Around the URC in seven days: 9-15 November 2023

A round-up of news from around the United Reformed Church over the past seven days: 9-15 November.

Mersey Synod

Christ Church United Reformed Church in Port Sunlight, with the assistance of the Green Watch from Bromborough Community Fire Station, has installed a River of Poppies on the tower of its building.

The River of Poppies was the idea of Debbie Stott, and over the past 12 months a group of more than 80 knitters from the church family and local community, as well as knitters from the Thornton Hough Woman’s Institute, Highfield URC, Port Sunlight Stitchers, and family members of the Fire Brigade and others from across the Wirral, knitted together the poppies.

Knitted poppies have also arrived from as far afield as Mold, Northampton and Australia, and some knitters have made more than 150 poppies each.

The Revd Liz Byrne, Minister of the church said: “Thanks go to everyone who has helped in any way. More than 3,500 poppies have been added to create the River of Poppies, and this is an amazing symbol of the commitment of Christ Church and the village of Port Sunlight to remember those have served their country, and, in particular, those who lost their lives in the many wars and conflicts that have taken place around the world.”

Christ Church URC will be joining with the village for Remembrance weekend commemorations.

Church House

The Revd Pek Muan Cuang, General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar (PCM), recently visited Church House to meet with members of the Mission Team and former General Secretary Revd John Proctor.

John shared about the URC’s historical relationship with the PCM as the Mission Team continues to find ways to partner with the church.

Nearly three years since the military coup, and six months since the devastating cyclone Mocha, the PCM is continuing to support local villages and communities in a number of ways, including establishing informal schools and healthcare centres.

Pek went on to spend the weekend at Westminster College, Cambridge, and among other things had dinner with college staff, and with the Revd Lythan Nevard, Moderator of Eastern Synod, worshipped at a Solidarity Hub Forest Gathering and at Downing Place URC, and experienced a college Evensong.

National Synod of Wales

Pembroke Tabernacle URC is among nine community groups which have been successful in their bids for funding from the Force for Nature mini grants scheme.

Credit Business News Wales.

Run by the Pembrokeshire Coast Charitable Trust, the scheme was launched in 2021 and offers grants of up to £4,000 to local projects that either support biodiversity, create new green spaces, or deliver on conservation or climate change.

The Tabernacle will be investing in habitat restoration and rewilding projects in its local area. Learn more.

East Midlands Synod

Things at Central URC in Derby have been very busy lately. During the autumn the congregation was delighted to welcome four new members into the church family.

The congregation also raised money for Derbyshire Blood Bikes. Joined by the organisation’s representative Mark Vallis and his huge motorbike, the congregation presented the organisation with a cheque for £1431.28.

East Midlands Synod Moderator the Revd Geoffrey Clarke took the service at Central, where he had the joy of presenting long-service awards to the Revd Geoffrey Dunstan, celebrating 60 years, and the Revd Jim Gould, who celebrated 40 years, of their ordinations.

A presentation was also made and congratulations given to Sam Goodman following his completion of training to become an Assembly Accredited Lay Preacher (AALP).

Central URC has also brightened its once austere car park with a specially-commissioned mural designed by Lynne Hollingsworth, a well-known local artist.