• Ordinations and Inductions of Elders during the Covid-19 restrictions

    Read the United Reformed Church's (URC) advice on the ordination and induction of Elders during Covid-19 restrictions.

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  • Guidance from the Synod Moderators on closing church buildings for public worship

    Since our last guidance was issued (October 2020) it is clear that the new variant of the virus has caused a rapid and alarming increase in Coronavirus infections. In light of this, Synod Moderators strongly recommend that churches should cease to meet for in-person worship and move exclusively to online or paper-based worship material.

    You are reminded that the United Reformed Church (URC), through the Daily Devotions team, continue to produce Sunday services which can be listened to online and followed on paper, in addition to any local worship provision. While it is vital (literally, life-giving) to maintain our habits of worship, this cannot depend on meeting in a church building.

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  • Taking great photos in church

    A free guide from the United Reformed Church to help you take great photos in church.

    Visual storytelling is incredibly important on social media, as people process images 60,000 times faster than words. Therefore it’s crucial that you take the best photos you can and make the most out of what you have.

    This guide outlines a few things to think about when taking photos in a church or a building of worship. 

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  • Updated guidance for the United Reformed Church regarding singing in worship

    Read the latest guidance from the United Reformed Church (URC) Moderators on singing in worship for England, Scotland and Wales.

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  • Updated guidance for reopening URC children's and youth work

    12 November 2020

    Here is a summary of the current guidelines in England, Scotland and Wales as to what is permissible (current on 12 November 2020).  Please remember the purpose of all restrictions is to reduce the spread of Covid-19 through reducing contact between people.

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  • Safeguarding people in the midst of coronavirus - update

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    The Coronavirus (Covid-19) threat continues to emerge in the UK and throughout the rest of the world. At these difficult times, we would like to help churches not only promote everyone’ wellbeing but also consider actions for those who are more vulnerable in the next weeks and months.

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  • Writing for the web and Search Engine Optimisation

    Writing for the web and SEO cover RGBv2A free guide to help you write for the web and maximise the reach of your online content by improving your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). 

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  • NHS Test & Trace App (England and Wales)

    The NHS Test & Trace app was launched on 24 September for England and Wales. In Scotland, the Protect Scotland contact tracing app is part of the NHS Scotland Test & Protect system, and it detects other people with the app installed on their smart phone being in close proximity.

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  • Crisis Communications Plan for Local Churches

    A free guide to crisis communications for churches.

    Crisis communication is an essential element of disaster ministry. A little bit of preparation now can go a long way in ensuring everything goes more smoothly at your church when disaster strikes.

    This plan aims to support Ministers, Elders and staff to provide best practice tips for dealing with local media, identify key appropriate contacts, and a strategy for agreeing media statements.

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  • Revised policy from the United Reformed Church on wearing face coverings during worship

    While the government in Wales does not require those in places of worship to wear face coverings, it is the policy of the United Reformed Church (URC) that everyone attending worship in our churches should do so, unless they are medically exempt or under the age of 11, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the church is set.

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  • URC guidance for children’s and youth work coming out of lockdown

    This is a free guide for all churches, groups and settings of the URC that deliver direct work with children and young people.

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  • The URC Visual Identity Guide

    Visual Identity GuideA free guide to help churches and church organisations follow the URC's visual identity.

    What is a visual identity guide? 

    Why are style guides important? They ensure brand consistency throughout any materials you produce – no matter who created it.

    How much time does it take to explain to a designer how much space you need around your logo at all times? And how they’re not supposed to change any of the colours? What about finding every font you use and having to relay that to them as well? Not to mention explaining the type of imagery that is acceptable. This guide helps answer some of those questions.

    This visual identity guide contains the necessary information to create whatever your church needs. Whether it be a poster, church newsletter, website, or other materials.

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  • Livestreaming your church service: some options

    Livestreaming your church servicesA free guide to help you livestream your church service. 

    What is livestreaming?

    Live streaming is the broadcasting of real-time video and audio to an audience over the internet, this can be done on a variety of platforms from a number of devices.

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  • Doing Online Differently - a roadmap for digital discipleship

    Doing online differentlyA free guide to help you navigate your church's digital journey.

    The importance of digital

    We’ve talked for years about the need to “do church differently”, and the coronavirus pandemic has forced us to do just that! Lockdown has shown us that our online life as churches is neither second-best nor an afterthought: it is a vital part of how we live, worship and engage in mission.

    We need to think about an online presence in terms of community-building – interactive, mutually beneficial and adding value to visitors’ lives.

    A digital space, in other words, for a shared journey of discipleship. The fellowship, inclusion and connection that are made possible by the technology are also demanded by the call to follow Jesus faithfully in today’s world.

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  • Join the family - Membership in the United Reformed Church

    Find out how you can become a member of the United Reformed Church.

    Join our family - membership of the United Reformed ChurchWhat does it mean to be a member of the URC?

    Becoming a church member means becoming a recognised part of the world-wide family of Christians. This is a community of people who believe in God. Being part of this family encourages us in our faith as we work together to show God’s love and mercy to the world.

    The United Reformed Church (URC) welcomes all to attend its worship and other activities, and all who attend are part of the community and life of the church. Becoming a member of the URC enables you to take part in the life of the whole Church, including its decision-making bodies.

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  • Quick Guide: Covid-19 and Safeguarding

    Quick guide to Covid-19 and Safeguarding A free guide to Covid-19 and safeguarding for churches and church organisations.

    During the pandemic, the pressures placed upon local churches have risen significantly and this has led to an increase in the need to protect people from different forms of harm and abuse.

    Here is a quick guide to what you can do to offer support whilst continuing to serve the needs of your communities.

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  • Online and contactless giving at local churches

    Online and contacless givingA free guide for churches that are considering using contactless giving to avoid passing an offertory plate and handling cash due to increased risks from Coronavirus. 

    As well as the now well established method of setting up a bank standing order for giving to the local church, some more technological solutions are being used by a number of churches.

    None of methods outlined here are offered as recommendations – this is just a survey of some of the means already in use. Prices, fees, commission on transactions and other terms may be changed, and churches are strongly advised to check the details are current and correct before committing to any particular path.

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  • A guide to Zoom etiquette

    Guide Zoom etiquette cover rgbA free guide to help you run Zoom meetings more effectively.

    The information covers things to consider and check before setting up or joining a meeting, using Zoom's features to contribute to a meeting, as well as other useful hints and tips. 

    Please note that this is a work in progress – if we have learning points to add, this content will be updated.

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  • New reality, same Mission: a stimulus to renewed community engagement as we emerge from the pandemic

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    A free booklet to enable individuals and local churches to explore questions of community presence and engagement and social justice in the new reality which we all face.

    The URC’s Church Related Community Work, Mission and Discipleship teams, along with Church Action on Poverty, have produced a new booklet to enable individuals and local churches to explore questions of community presence and engagement and social justice in the new reality which we all face.

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  • Zoom Breakout Rooms – a guide for churches

    Zoom Breakout Rooms

    A free guide to help you set up Zoom Breakout Rooms for your church or church organisation.  

    What are Zoom Breakout Rooms? 

    The Breakout Rooms feature is unique to Zoom, and what makes Zoom the ideal platform for moving church online. It is what transforms an online meeting into genuine fellowship, and means you can have real, in-depth conversations as well as mingling with a host of other people. If you’re active with church online during the lockdown and haven’t discovered them the feature, you don’t know what you’re missing!

    The Breakout Rooms feature allows you as the host to allocate a large group of participants into breakout rooms in whatever size groups they want, either by drawing up the room lists yourself, or allowing the software to allocate groups automatically.

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