• Guernsey churches return to “normal”

    URC pic formattedGuernsey United Reformed Church (URC) and the island's inhabitants have welcomed the lifting of all coronavirus restrictions.

    Phase four of the island’s exit strategy was brought forward by six weeks which allowed churches, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers and beauticians to reopen, and cinemas, gyms and sports venues with social distancing measures in place.

    However, the island is now in phase five of the strategy, which has been nicknamed the “Bailiwick bubble” by locals and is a return to near normality after having no Covid-19 cases had been reported since 26 May.

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  • Good news around the URC

    Amanda Bellamey news bannerAlthough the Covid-19 lockdown stopped worship services from physically happening, the Church showed itself to be alive, well and strong. Here’s a selection of good news in and around the United Reformed Church (URC).

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  • Emerging into the "new normal"

    Emerging into the new normalThe latest free resource from the United Reformed Church, Emerging into the "new normal",  provides the basis for further local discussion and some clear church policy for post-lockdown activity. 

    This document updates and replaces “Ready for the New Normal.” It has been prepared by the Synod Moderators to reflect the changes about to take place as coronavirus lockdown restrictions are eased and it becomes possible for places of worship to reopen. 

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  • Coronavirus: array of lockdown restrictions eased

    Social distancing credit Tham KC AdobeStock 340254103The Revd John Proctor, General Secretary of the United Reformed Church (URC), makes the following statement after Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, announced the easing of an array of lockdown restrictions.

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  • Care homes supported by international church partnership

    PCT BTO press 6 news banner 2The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT), a partner of the United Reformed Church (URC), has provided financial support and resources to care homes in the UK that have been affected by Covid-19.

    The support was arranged by the URC’s mission team in May, backed by the Church’s general secretariat.

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  • Opening for Private Prayer?

    Read the latest guidance from the General Secretary and the Synod Moderators about the opening of church buildings for private prayer.

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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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  • Coronavirus resources

    A4Showcard Poster yellow Covid19 1From social distancing posters and stickers to cards for pews or chairs, the URC has produced free printable resources on Coronavirus for churches. You can download and print off them here for when your church buildings reopen. For more guidance about this, please visit www.urc.org.uk/coronavirus

    Your local printer will be able to print larger versions if you’re unable to. There are also items to remind people to keep socially distanced and to wash their hands, and these can be found on the URC Bookshop, www.urcshop.co.uk/coronavirus 

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  • Covid-19 pandemic: asylum support rates

    resized image Promo 18The United Reformed Church (URC) has joined more than 200 organisations in signing an open letter to Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, about the meagre increase in asylum support rates.

    On 8 June, the Home Office announced an increase of just £1.85 in the weekly rate of asylum support.

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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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  • Same Mission

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    New reality, same Mission

    To complement the discussion booklet produced by the moderators (Ready for the new ‘normal’), this booklet is offered by members of the URC’s Church Related Community Work, Mission and Discipleship teams, along with Church Action on Poverty, to enable individuals and local churches to explore, in more detail, 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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  • Using Zoom securely - guidance for churches

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    A free guide to using Zoom securely for churches and church organisations. 

    What is Zoom?

    Zoom has become the go-to platform of choice for people to connect with one another during the Coronavirus lockdown. It is being used by individuals, families, businesses, universities, schools and the British Cabinet to host meetings and keep in touch.

    Zoom reports that the number of accounts has jumped from 10 million in December 2019 to 200 million in March this year.

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  • Recognising and celebrating the birth of your baby

    celebrating birth of babyA free guide to help you plan the celebration of the birth of your child with the United Reformed Church.

    Congratulations!

    All life is a gift from God and it is natural to want to give thanks for this gift of your baby. Even if your little one is keeping you up through the night!

    This content will help you to plan your celebration, knowing that you’re dealing with feeding, changing nappies, sleeping, changing more nappies, washing, bathing and even more feeding and nappies, either as a parent for the first time or as one who’s done this before.

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  • Virtual funerals - liturgies and words for our digital world

    Virtual Funerals Guide

    A free guide to help churches and church organisations understand virtual funerals.

    How this guide can help 

    This is not intended to be a definitive collection of resources, but will hopefully give you a starting place with words and ideas that could be useful for you, or to pass on to family members. Please tailor to the needs of your situation.

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  • Getting to grips with copyright

    Getting to grips copyright image

    A free guide to help churches and church organisations understand copyright. 

    Why is copyright important? 

    Copyright is complicated and not following it can result in you breaking the law! We hope this free guide, which, whilst not claiming to be a definitive guide, will help you navigate your way through the potential minefield of copyright law and how it affects churches.

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  • How to use Facebook, Youtube and Zoom to record and broadcast church acts of worship

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    A free guide to using Facebook, Youtube and Zoom to record and broadcast acts of worship from your church or church organisation. 

    Why record acts of worship? 

    There are times such as now during the Coronavirus outbreak when people will be unable to attend church services and all church events are cancelled.

    It's during these periods that recording and broadcasting acts of worship is one of the many things a church can do to stay in contact with its congregation and local community.  

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  • How to set up public wi-fi for your church

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    A free guide to setting up public wi-fi for your church or church organisation. 

    Why offer public wi-fi? 

    Offering free wi-fi inside your church can be a really good way of opening up your building for more uses and could potentially bring more people inside. There are lots of considerations to make when deciding to offer wi-fi. Below are a couple of different options to think about.

    The overall cost will vary hugely depending on how advanced the system is, how strong it is, how much space you’re looking to cover, how you plan on using it and what internet speeds you are looking to offer. It’s important to do your own research and speak to experts to find the best option for you.

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