• URC vaccine campaign raises more than £18,000 for charity

    Christian Aid vaccine campaign 2Generous donors have helped the United Reformed Church (URC) beat its initial fundraising target of £5,000 to raise a whopping £18,796 for Christian Aid.

    First launched in February, the aim of the campaign is to provide people with the opportunity to show gratitude for their Covid-19 vaccines and help protect our global neighbours for whom the vaccine remains out of reach.

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  • Children cared for during lockdown in Thames North

    panshanger messy chruch rTwo churches in Thames North Synod have been working hard to keep their work with children alive and active during lockdown, as Panshanger Ecumenical Church and Grange Park URC have each found creative ways of keeping groups together safely.

    Panshanger Ecumenical Church has developed a group which have evolved from its Messy Church, both of which feel exciting and challenging, with a real sense of God guiding them as they step out. ‘Mini Ministers’ meets via Zoom, fortnightly. This is group of children who feel they have outgrown Messy Church, but still want to go deeper. Sessions start with a catch up, including what’s been good, what’s not been good, where is it easy to see God at work, and where is it has been harder to recognise God’s presence.

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  • Colchester church brings Easter joy to hundreds of households

    Chappel URC members homepageTo combat the lockdown blues, members of Chappel United Reformed Church (URC) in Colchester, spent a weekend bringing Easter joy to their community.

    The group delivered Easter cards and Palm crosses to 350 households in the villages surrounding the church on 27 March.

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  • One year on: feeling our way towards recovery and rebuilding     

     A blog from Tragedy and Congregations written by the Revd Dr Carla A. Grosch-Miller.

    A year ago today the Prime Minister announced the first lockdown. All but essential workers were sent home, places of worship and other public venues closed and we began our crusade against Covid-19. It’s been a bumpy ride. A summer of relaxed restrictions was followed by the alarm of rising rates in the autumn and the introduction of tiers which rapidly became new lockdowns. Next week we hope to begin our way out of lockdown number 3. Watching a third wave rise in Europe, we hold our breath – wanting our vaccination programme to spare us and enable more and more freedom over time.

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  • Food poverty hidden from sight

    Identifying food poverty isn’t as obvious as it seems. Sometimes those, who suddenly find themselves in financial difficulty, don’t know where to turn or how to access the right support. The impact of Covid19 on household income has had a catastrophic effect for some and has been (and continues to be) very troublesome for many. It has become a stark reality that we are now seeing families, who never dreamt they would be seeking help, turning to foodbanks much more regularly.

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  • Fundraising stall raises thousands for charity

    Jean Ding credit Jean DingThe coronavirus lockdown was no obstacle for a Fenstanton United Reformed Church member determined to raise money for charity.

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  • How we can all make a difference

    This month, we hear from Church Related Community Worker (CRCW) Ann Honey who says that it doesn’t matter how small the gesture, a little can go a long way to make a difference, especially if it becomes a collective effort. 

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  • Synod Moderators issue new guidance on reopening of church buildings

    stay alert save lives credit keven grieve unsplashAs lockdown restrictions and governments’ stay-at-home requirements begin to gradually ease across the UK, the United Reformed Church (URC) Synod Moderators provide updated advice to churches.

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  • Supporting those in need has been a lifeline during the pandemic.

    Church Related Community Work students Felicity (Fliss) Tunnard and Alice Gilbert reflect on the work they have been able to do within the community despite the many restrictions of lockdown life and remind us that showing love, kindness and compassion right now, is what we need.

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  • Prayers during the pandemic

    johannes plenio xuibQCRN2WU unsplash 840 460Weekly prayers from the United Reformed Church to help bring you comfort and spiritual support during the Coronavirus pandemic.

    Please use these devotions in your private prayers, prayer groups or sermons. 

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  • Tips for worshipping online together

    Coronavirus and lockdown has made lots of our churches take the plunge and start worshipping together online. This guide offers tips and ideas to help you engage with people and make your online worship more intergenerational.

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  • Give thanks for your vaccine through URC fundraiser

    Ibrahim is being supported by a Christian Aid project news bannerThe United Reformed Church (URC) is hoping to raise £10,000 for its ‘Give Thanks for Your Vaccine’ fundraising campaign, developed with Christian Aid.

    So far, £4,815 has been raised.

    In the UK, nearly 18million people have had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. But for the poorest and most vulnerable communities across the world, there is little hope of a vaccine rollout. These are people who already face lack of water, food, and basic healthcare.

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  • Buxton URC feeds 5,000 through community project

    WNWN Cath Sterndale news bannerA church-based community service set up to distribute surplus food during the pandemic has just served up its 5,000th parcel.

    Since the first lockdown began last March, Waste Not Want Not, based at Buxton United Reformed Church (URC), has given away thousands of pounds worth of food to the local community, some of which would have ended up in landfill.

    The project is led by church member Cath Sterndale and her son Dan who first came up with the idea four years ago.

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  • Coming out of lockdown – the impact on individuals

    Equality b nick young picimediaThe United Reformed Church (URC) Equalities Committee issues this statement in advance of when the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions begin to ease: 

    The Equalities Committee is mindful that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way the URC, its committees and churches work. It celebrates the way in which virtual meetings have facilitated participation by people who are unable to travel.

    However, the Committee recognises that new ways of working, while they provide new ways of participation for some, mean that others are excluded.

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  • Digital exclusion feeds inequality - we must give the same opportunities to all

    Person sat alone in a dark roomIn the first of this month’s reflections, Church Related Community Worker Jo Patterson reminds us that as we embrace technology to reach out to people during lockdown, we must be careful not to exclude those who don’t have access to the internet. 

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  • Chorley URC grows through lockdown

    chorley news bannerChorley United Reformed Church (URC) received three new church members via Zoom at their Covenant Service on 3 January.

    Apart from a brief respite in the autumn, the church has been offering an online act of worship on YouTube since last March.

    The reception of three new members was called a “great joy” to the church.

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  • The show must go on - Church Related Community Work during a pandemic

    On a bright, autumnal day in October, just before the second lockdown began, I had the pleasure of visiting one of our CRCW projects in Peckham, London. The informal meeting took place at Copleston Church and Centre and a small group of us sat and listened (at a suitable distance) to how the Church had responded to the needs of the community during the last eight months.

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  • 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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  • Safeguarding people in the midst of coronavirus - update

    Coronavirus image link

    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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