A year of celebration

2017, a year for the whole United Reformed Church to celebrate all that we have been, are now and are called to be as we continue walking the way of Jesus Christ today.

It’s 500 years since the Lutheran Reformation, 100 years since the ordination of Constance Coltman, the first woman to enter congregational ministry, 45 years since the URC came into being, more than 80 years since Pilots started and 25 years since Commitment for Life began. So, let’s celebrate! And, in doing so, let’s think about who we are, what we’re about and how we can support one another as we all, in our own ways and contexts, seek to be better disciples of Jesus.

27-29 Jan

URC Youth Assembly
Whitemoor Lakes, Staffordshire
A weekend for Year 10s/S3s to 25 year olds focussing on the theme of Feasts and Festivals: We’re all invited, giving an opportunity for young people to focus on Jesus, to share in community with others and to explore what it means to be Church together.
020 7916 8683

18 Feb

A day of preparation for Lent
Details here

20 May

URC Big Day Out
Warwick Castle, Warwickshire
A day of fellowship for the whole United Reformed Church, celebrating all that our diverse and colourful denomination has to offer as we walk the way of Jesus Christ together. Organised for the whole URC by Pilots.
020 7916 8637 pilots@urc.org.uk

24-28 May

Berlin and Wittenberg
This massive, biennial festival of fellowship, worship, discussion and encounter will be bigger and better than ever as 500 years since the Lutheran Reformation are celebrated by more than 1,000,000 participants from around the globe. The event will culminate in a huge worship gathering in Wittenberg, the place where it all began! This is an event not to be missed!

26-29 May

Crossfire Camp
Strathern Lodge, Leicestershire
An exciting weekend focussing on ‘Feasts and Festivals’ with talks, small group sessions, sung worship and great food, for young people aged 12 and over.

10 June

Synod Family Day Out
Suffolk Showground, Trinity Park
A day of fun and celebration for all the family.
Eastern 01223 830 770 admin@urceastern.org.uk

11 June

Celebrating Freedom
Across East Midlands Synod
A synod-wide festival encouraging all local churches to spend some time, on the same day as others, to focus on the theme ‘Celebrating Freedom’.
East Midlands 0115 960 9241 office@urc5.org.uk

1 July

Big Day Out
Burgate School, Fordingbridge
A day of fun and celebration for all the family.
Wessex & South Western 023 8067 8570 or 01823 275 470 

8 July

Big Day Out
Southport Convention Centre
Barrel loads of fun and inspiration for young and old with speakers including Steve Chalke, workshops from puppetry to piety and a plethora of stalls, worship and singing.
Mersey & North Western 0151 722 6590 or 0161 789 5583
synodoffice@urcmerseysynod.org.uk or admin@nwsynod.org.uk

15 July

Synod Study Day
Sherwood URC, Nottingham
Study Day led by the Revd Dr David Cornick on the theme of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
East Midlands 0115 960 9241 office@urc5.org.uk

25-28 Aug

Boughton House, near Kettering
Celebrating the arts, faith and justice – re-imagining the Christian narrative for today. The URC is an official associate of the festival.
020 7916 2020 www.greenbelt.org.uk

During the year

Intercultural Celebrations
Southend, St Davids, Sheffield and New Malden/Kingston
A series of gatherings, taking place across the URC, to celebrate our status as a multicultural church with an intercultural focus.
URC’s Global and Intercultural Office 020 7916 8654

A series of area meetings to be hosted by the synod’s pastoral consultants looking at the theme of ‘vocations’.
East Midlands 0115 960 9241 office@urc5.org.uk


Warwick Castle

This section contains within it materials which for the most part were produced a few years ago to help churches in their preparation for major festivals. You will find worship materials, practical ideas and ways to engage with the Bible in fresh ways. 

FF illustration smallWe hope you will find ways for your church to reach further out to involve more people through the celebration and how it can take people deeper in, to find personal meanings and spiritual values at the heart of the celebration. 

Thinking ahead about...

To help churches do something new and creative with an existing church festival:

  • Hold it well in advance of the festival (e.g. in early January for Easter)
  • Start things off with a ‘what we do in our church...’ session
  • Throw in a mix of practical ideas and Bible engagement