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CRCW News and Events

In the second of April's reflections, we hear from CRCW Liz Kam, who is based at Levenshulme Inspire URC in Manchester. In this daniel norris 327939 unsplashreflection, Liz talks about what it means for her, to wait...

"My favourite part of every week is Wednesday morning, when some of my colleagues and I meet to pray. It’s a time to stop and sit still right there amongst the hustle and bustle of our busy centre. We always have lots to pray about and each week we find ourselves reminded that God is in control, right at the centre of our work, but this recognition often means that we find ourselves waiting for God, for God to act and answer our prayers."

But are Liz and her colleagues always waiting "...for God to act and answer our prayers" or is something else, something bigger going on?

Read Liz's full reflection here.

Read more: Waiting...

United Reformed Church prepares for Greenbelt Festival 2018

Not yet made plans for August Bank Holiday weekend? Now is the perfect time to get the weekend sorted.

Why? Because the Greenbelt Festival takes place at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, from 24 to 27 August 2018 – and the United Reformed Church will be there again as an associate partner.

The festival of arts, faith and justice has been running since 1974 and this year’s focus is on Acts of the Imagination. If you buy your tickets before midnight on 30 April, you will save £35 on the price of an adult weekend ticket. Visit here to find out about other savings.

The URC enjoyed a very successful partnership at last year’s event with the inviting theme of ‘More than Welcome’. This time round, the URC will have ‘Pilgrimagination as its theme.

Pilgrimagination complements the overall Greenbelt theme of ‘Acts of the Imagination’ and brings together the spirit of Walking the Way – the URC’s focus on lifelong Christian discipleship.  The URC’s theme also connects with the ten habits of the Holy Habits book, which applies Acts 2 for personal and community life today. It focuses on how hope depends on imagination, and how pilgrimage depends on hope.

Plans are in hand for a range of exciting activities, including: a ‘Pilgrimage’ themed tent area filled with a craft garden and space to create and add to a growing display of hand-made creative flowers, a series of intentional conversations exploring our 'Pilgrimagination' theme, and our popular treasure hunt around the festival site looking at different stages of life's journeys. 

Read more: Greenbelt 2018

What happens when a TV documentary portrays your town or city in a really bad light, supposedly showing a divided community with a hatred and fear of each other? You fight back and show all the positive things about your community!Image1WEB

In the second of our CRCW reflections for March, we hear from Church Related Community Worker (CRCW) Mal Breeze who has been working at the North & East Blackburn Group project for the past four years.

In this reflection, Mal looks at the effect of the Panorama programme :‘White Fright: Divided Britain’ aired on 22 January 2018 and shows us the true story of life in Blackburn. Mal talks about all the positive work the churches and local faith groups have been engaged in and reveals the success of many of  their collaborations: "Together we have held events which have seen people coming together to share food, explore each other’s cultures and discover ways in which we can work together."

"Blackburn is a great place to live and work and in my opinion and many others, the programme was a deliberate exercise in scaremongering, by people who have no idea of life in Blackburn."

Mal continues: "None of this work was reported in the programme, why? because it’s good news!"

To have a look at all the good work and positive relationships that has formed between individuals and groups within the community, read Mal's full reflection here.

If you would like to find out more about Church Related Community Work email the CRCW office or call our main URC switchboard: 020 7916 2020.

In the first of our reflections for April, we hear from Church Related Community Worker Marie Trubic, who works at our first Scottish CRCW Image1 WebCrop 002project in Scotland: Priesthill and Shawlands URCs.

As you can see from their newly erected banner, it is a welcoming place! Marie identifies that some members of the community were unaware that the church building was indeed a church and at a recent meeting, those present were asked:

“Are we a community centre where church happens on a Sunday or are we a Church where community happens?”

To read their answer and find out more about how Priesthill and Shawlands build on relationships within the community read Marie's full reflection here.

Marie says: "Many of the activities, particularly in one area, provide spaces for the creation of community rather than providing services to and for the community."Image3 webCrop

If you would like to find out more about CRCW ministry, whether it be about training to be a CRCW or perhaps your Church is considering having a CRCW project, please do get in touch by email or call the main URC switchboard and ask for the CRCW office.

This month, we hear from Church Related Community Worker (CRCW) Pat Oliver, who talks about an interesting proposition from a sewinghands WebCrop 002charity called Transition Southampton, asking the members of Freemantle URC, Southampton if they might be interested in setting up a Repair Cafe.

Transition Southampton is: "committed to working with local communities, organisations and local government to help develop positive solutions that meet the imminent challenges of fossil fuel scarcity (‘Peak Oil’) and Climate Change."

But what is a Repair cafe you may ask?

Pat explains: "[We] provide a place where bikes, laptops, jewellery, small electrical items and damaged clothes can be repaired where possible, rather than thrown away. Not only that….the clients can learn how to do some of those repairs for themselves …. and more, they can sit at tables chatting with others whilst having a drink and eating our amazing homemade cakes. How brilliant is that!"

To read more about this great idea, read the full reflection here.

To find out more about Church Related Community Work, get in touch: crcw.admin@urc.org.uk or call our switchboard on 020 7916 2020

Credit: photo by Kris Atomic on Unsplash

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