United Reformed Church

Hand holding an oranage piece of paperAssembly committees

Assembly committees carry out the specialist work of the General Assembly for example, Children and Youth Work, Communications and Ministries.

Assembly committees also implement the policy of the Assembly and advise the Assembly on matters which may need its decision. Many committees relate to local churches and other Councils of the Church.

The remit of each committee is shown below.

The committee plans and budgets for meetings of the URC’s General Assembly and of its executive body, the Assembly Executive. It is responsible for practical arrangements and for the planning and ordering of business.

  • Convenor: The Revd Mark Robinson
  • Secretary: The Revd Dr John Bradbury

This committee supports, encourages and promotes work among children and families, young people and young adults. It gives oversight to URC Children and URC Youth, and provides a programme of opportunities, resources and events with the support of Synod Children's and Youth Development Officers (CYDO) and other lead staff. It works to facilitate the involvement of children and young people at every level throughout the church.

  • Convenor: The Revd Paul Robinson (until 2024)
  • Secretary: Dr Sam Richards

The communications committee oversees the internal and external communications of the denomination – including Reform, News Update and media releases. It also  handles reputation management issues, and looks after the content and maintenance of the URC website and database, produces quality design and print, publishes URC books and reports and is the initial contact point for copyright enquiries.

  • Convenor: The Revd Dr Peter Stevenson (until 2023)
  • Secretary: Andy Jackson

The committee encourages and enables relevant training and learning throughout the whole Church. To this end it seeks to influence the ways we think about learning and the ways we do it, the content of courses, and the deployment of resources. It supports and helps other Assembly committees and the synods in training and development matters and it also maintains oversight of the initial and continuing development of ministers of word and sacraments, CRCWs and lay preachers.

  • Convenor: Alan Yates (until 2023)
  • Secretary: The Revd Jenny Mills

The role and remit of the equalities committee is to remind the denomination that equality is enshrined in its theology, life and work – and to challenge the practice of the URC Church where appropriate. The committee does this by developing detailed equalities policies and monitoring their implementation and effectiveness, reporting regularly to General Assembly. It also has oversight of training programmes in inclusion and equalities.

  • Convenor: The Revd Anne Lewitt (until 2022)
  • Secretary: The Revd David Salsbury (2021)

This committee addresses issues of faith and order on behalf of the URC, advising the Church’s officers and committees and responding to concerns raised throughout the Church. It participates in ecumenical discussions, and publishes occasional materials related to faith and order questions.

  • Convenor: The Revd Dr Robert Pope (until 2024)
  • Secretary: The Revd Philip Brooks

This committee is responsible for general oversight of the URC’s central funds, ensuring that proper procedures are in place for the maintenance of accounting records, the safe custody of assets and the preparation of financial statements. It gives financial advice to other committees, Mission Council and Assembly, and manages the Church’s finances and budgets within the policies set by General Assembly.

  • Convenor: Ian Hardie (until 2023)
  • Deputy Convenor: The Revd John Piper (until 2021)
  • Chief Finance Officer & Staff Liaison: John Samson

The committee is responsible for the ministry of word and sacraments, church related community work, eldership and lay preaching. It oversees admissions, numbers and accreditation of new personnel, central care and conditions of service, chaplaincies in industry, colleges and universities and the armed forces, and the Special Category Ministry scheme. It has concern for the pastoral support of people who serve in all these spheres, and for their supervision, appraisal and accountability.

  • Acting Convenor: The Revd Paul Whittle
  • Secretary: The Revd Nicola Furley-Smith

This committee works with the whole Church to encourage growth in discipleship, evangelism and witness, and to focus our task of ‘being Christ’s people, transformed by the Gospel, making a difference to the world’ (General Assembly 2007). The committee therefore seeks to support local churches in their mission and evangelism, and to sustain and develop the Church’s external relationships. It brings together the work of ecumenical, international and interfaith relations, racial justice and intercultural ministries, and public affairs (church and society). It oversees Commitment for Life, through which the URC contributes to international development, attends to the sending and receiving of mission personnel, particularly through the Council for World Mission, and seeks to support our people in their interfaith contact and conversation.

  • Convenor: Sarah Lane Cawte (until 2024)
  • Secretary: Francis Brienen

This committee nominates to Assembly people to convene and to serve on all Assembly committees, suggests names of URC representatives on external and ecumenical bodies and proposes names for appointment groups for synod moderators and certain central staff.

  • Convenor: Helen Lidgett (until 2025)
  • Secretary: Margaret Marshall (until 2026)

Documents

This committee considers the cases of ministers who are referred to it, usually by synods, often at times of difficulty. It also deals with welfare and emergency matters including the use of welfare funds. Its work is necessarily confidential and is reported in general terms only, directly to the General Assembly.

  • Convenor: The Revd David Grosch-Miller (until 2023)
  • Secretary: The Revd Dr John Bradbury

United Reformed Church