• 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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  • Epiphany: God sees and loves us

    Wise men credit Ben White UnsplashDr Sam Richards, United Reformed Church Head of Children’s and Youth Work, uses Matthew 2:9-11 to reflect on the feast day of Epiphany and discuss how despite the pandemic we can still affirm one another.

    …. The star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:9-11 RVSA

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  • New Year's Day: God-Filled Moments

    Goodbye 2020Karen Campbell, Secretary for Global and Intercultural Ministries for the United Reformed Church (URC), reflects on the tumultuous 2020 and looks ahead to 2021 in this reflection for New Year’s Day:   

    What a year 2020 has been! I could say it was full of ups and downs – but, in truth, it’s mainly been downs: the Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed untold numbers of lives, still rumbles on; the ongoing fear and dis-ease suffered by so many; the separation of families, friends and support networks that we usually rely on without a thought; the businesses which have folded and the jobs which have disappeared.

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  • URC minister’s hospital chaplaincy team wins award

    Paul Holmes news bannerThe University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire’s (UHCW) Chaplaincy Team has won the ‘Chief Executive Award’ in the hospital’s Outstanding Service and Care Awards (OSCAs) 2020.

    The team includes the United Reformed Church (URC’s) Revd Paul Holmes, who serves as Chaplain and Bereavement Services Officer.

    Explaining why she made the nomination, Jackie Bell, Chaplaincy Administrator, said: “I was blown away by the care and compassion shown by the whole team.”

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  • Catch a glimpse of God's light this Christmas

    resized image Promo 13The Revd Dr John Bradbury, General Secretary of the United Reformed Church, compares the change in Mary and Joseph’s plan for their firstborn to the havoc wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic, and God’s presence through it all in this reflection for Christmas day.

    “What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it”. (John 3b-5)

    How are your Christmas plans faring, I wonder? How did the plans of Mary and Joseph for the birth of their firstborn fare, I wonder? Whilst our Prime Minister has locked us down, the Emperor Augustus sent everyone out on the road.

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  • Christmas Eve: What's the point?

    resized image Promo 14As the wait for Christmas reaches its end, Simon Peters, Project Manager for Walking the Way: Living the life of Jesus today – the United Reformed Church’s focus on lifelong, missional discipleship – considers what we have to look forward to during, what for many will be, a very strange Christmas.

    “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulde: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

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  • Hope and joy: Bookham and Leatherhead churches work together to make a difference

    present rFor over 10 years, Churches Together in Bookham has worked with the local traders to organise a Late Night Shopping evening, including stalls in the Baptist Church and a display of Christmas trees, decorated by many local organisations, in St Nicolas’ Parish Church. With this format coming to an end, and the onslaught of Covid-19 preventing other events from happening, new ways of sharing the love of Jesus at Christmas had to be found for this year. Having seen it done successfully in other places, the idea of ‘Christmas in a box’ seemed like a good alternative.

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  • Finding hope in the bleakest of times

    This month we hear from Church Related Community Work (CRCW) student Katy Ollerenshaw, who reflects on finding hope when hope feels like it's fading. Katy's reflection was written before the approval and introduction of a vaccine, which we all hope may be a game-changer with regards to our global pandemic. The last nine months have certainly seen many new developments and one suspects that this won't change any time soon. There hope is that change is coming.

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  • Sharing hope and joy in Yorkshire and the West Midlands

    3D advent calendarAs part of the Advent season, the United Reformed Church (URC) is gathering stories of hope and joy from around the denomination. Here’s a selection for you to enjoy.

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  • Hope and Joy: Let there be bread shared in URC’s Mersey Synod

    Roy with bread news bannerOne of Roy Barker’s hobbies is baking bread. Over the years, he has baked bread for neighbours, friends, and many from his church family at St James’ in Woolton Village, a local ecumenical partnership between the United Reformed and Methodist churches. 

    For both happy and sad reasons, or just as a little friendly floury hug, Roy says the reaction he has received from people on receiving a gift of bread has always been lovely and sometimes very moving.

    In his own words, he speaks about his love of baking and the holy habit of ‘sharing bread’:

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  • Rayleigh plans Latin-themed Christmas

    Farolitos news bannerChrist Church Rayleigh United Reformed Church, in Essex, plans to bring a Latin American tradition to its community this Christmas. “We have several things planned for Christmas that the coronavirus can’t spoil!” said their Minister, the Revd Naomi Young-Rodas, before explaining.

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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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  • Spire Church’s Advent-ure trail boosts community spirits

    Spire Church Farnham advent picture trailDetermined to not let the coronavirus pandemic dampen festive spirits, the team at the Spire Church in Farnham has come up with a creative idea for the Christmas season.

    From 1 December, the church – a local ecumenical partnership between the United Reformed and Methodist Churches – has organised ‘Follow the Star’: a community Advent trail.

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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

    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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  • Worship with us digitally

    Camera bible worship online credit aaron burden unsplashA list of United Reformed Churches that are live streaming acts of worship or offering Bible studies, sermons and services as podcasts, audio files or video recordings.

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  • Latest advice to churches about coronavirus

    Stay Home Save Lives Thank you NHS credit Edward Howell UnsplashGet the latest advice, updates and resources on the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic from the United Reformed Church.

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  • Lockdown musings

    AnnHoney April14v2

    In the first of our November reflections, we hear from Church Related Community Worker Ann Honey. Ann works at St. Columba's United Reformed Church in Billingham and reflects on eight months of Covid-19 restrictions and what it is like to "be a community worker when we’re all two metres apart and in groups of less than six!"

    Please note this reflection was written before the lockdown in England - so the role is even more challenging now! 

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