Good News Stories

This page is for all the good news stories out there worth sharing. Please do send us stories and photos of the things that you are doing (big or small) in your local church or synod, and let’s celebrate together how God is at work within our children and young people throughout the United Reformed Church.

Group photoPalestine

 

An intergenerational group from the United Reformed Church went to the Holy Land to visit the Biblical sites there but also to learn more about the Israel/Palestine issue. Three young adults were in the group and one of these, Diana Paulding, has written a very powerful report about the impact the visit had upon her. Read her report here.

 

Children's and Youth Work periodically offer opportunities such as this for travel within the UK and overseas, whether specifically for young people or to participate in an intergenerational opportunity, usually at minimal cost. Finances should never be a problem when taking up these opportunites as your synod or our small grants fund are usually willing to help out. Keep an eye on our events and opportunities page.  

Lundie medal logo full colour 2

Do you know a child or young person who is playing their part in the Mission of God? 

We at Children’s and Youth Work are delighted to announce the launch of the Lundie Memorial Award.

A trust fund, established in 1895 in memory of the Revd Robert Henry Lundie, has recently been re-purposed to enable us to spotlight some of the amazing work done by children and young people across the synods.

This award is designed to spotlight and celebrate individuals using their God-given skills, time and talents to good effect within their church, their community, their synod or even nationally.

Each month for 100 months we will make an award to one such person—they will be presented with a certificate, a very special medal, and £100 to be spent on something of their choice that benefits children and young people in their church or synod. Nomination forms should be filled in and sent to your Children’s and Youth Development Officer (CYDO) or equivalent for your synod.

Suggested nominations: a young carer, young person running a holiday club, child volunteering at a dementia café, young person fund raising for a messy church outing, a young person providing live music for services, a child raising money for an overseas development project, a young person training older people in the use of technology, etc.

The awards will be made by region: Yorkshire, East Midlands, Eastern in January; Scotland, Northern and North Western in February; Wessex, Thames North and Southern in March; and Mersey, West Midlands, Wales and South Western in April in the first instance. Nominations will need to be submitted by the 6th of the preceding month (the end of November for January) 

So start nominating those amazing children and young people and let’s celebrate the things they are doing to put their faith into action.

Nomination form [word]

Mark Steele, chair of the Crossfire Youth Camp 2019 planning group, shared with us his reflections on the event. 

Group jump   Campfire

 

"Each year young people from across the church come together for an exciting weekend of camping, worship,
teaching, discussion and fun activities at Stathern Lodge, Leicestershire. It’s a fantastic opportunity to come
together and explore more about faith in Jesus Christ.

During the bank holiday weekend we looked at the fantastic theme of Lost and Found. We spent time studying
the account of Jesus healing the bleeding woman and Jesus’ parables of the lost coin, lost sheep and the
prodigal son. The theme allowed us think more about our identity in Christ and what it means to be found.
This year we had 47 young people booked for the weekend; a mix of groups from churches and individuals.
Each young person is assigned to a small group for the weekend within which they’re able to make friends,
discuss the matters that are important to them and complete a range of different activities.

We recently heard from Nic, a youth worker who brought a group of young people to Crossfire:
“I absolutely love Crossfire and think it is an incredible weekend. My young people love coming and I have
watched them grow in their faith because of the provision the weekend gives for them to meet God. And as a
youth leader I have always found it great to be there but not have responsibility and therefore have time to talk
to other leaders and have time with God for myself.”

Crossfire has been running for over 40 years and this year will see the return of Crossfire Plus (a fellowship
opportunity for those aged 16+ to explore more about living our faith out each day)."
To keep up to date with upcoming events and find out more about Crossfire:
● Visit www.CrossfireCamp.org.uk
● Follow us on Instagram @crossfire_camp
● Like us on Facebook @CrossfireCamp

You can see the grant report and more photographs from the camp on our Grants page. Scroll down to the section on how the money has been used in the past. 

‘Walking on Sunshine’

 

SCOTLAND 1   SCOTLAND 2    SCOTLAND 3     SCOTLAND 4

On the 6th of August eleven young people along with four leaders set off for the beautiful island of Tiree. The young people came together from Nairn URC, Greenock East URC, and Rutherglen URC and spent the next five days on a pilgrimage – a time of journeying, reflecting, worshipping and sharing together as they learnt about and encountered ancient signs of Christian faith and witness on the island as well as learning something of the pre-history of the island. The times spent in worship around the crosses at Kirkapol, Soroby (pictured) and at St Patrick’s Temple were special moments during a trip which also included opportunities to care for and appreciate the environment – with a nature walk and beach clean (pictured) under the leadership of Stephanie Cope, the island’s ranger. Other activities included evening reflections, surfing, swimming, arts and crafts, several visits to the Co-op and an evening around a camp fire which included that evening’s time of reflection (pictured).

A great time was had by all the participants with friendships being made and strengthened and many insights were gained  into the faith, courage and witness of those Christians who inhabited the island centuries ago. Thanks go to the Synod of Scotland along with a number of individuals for their financial support and thanks also go to all who helped and encouraged us in the planning and delivery of this wonderful and inspiring event.

Nail and string cross Craft round table Zacchaeus craft

 

The local press is not always on the ball in reporting what’s happening in local churches, but we became aware of an article in the Helensburgh Advertiser about the ecumenical Messy Church which is held in Helensburgh URC and run by a team including the church’s minister, Rev Mitchell Bunting (or Bungie, as he is more commonly known). Bungie was a Christian clown many years ago and now puts his experience into practice as chief story teller at the monthly Messy Church, aided by Elizabeth Lambert from the Church Of Scotland parish church and others from St Michael & All Angels Scottish Episcopal Church as well as volunteers from Helensburgh URC.

What makes this Messy Church enterprise even more special is that they have in the past based many of their monthly events in the local Naval chaplaincy centre. This stopped when the centre closed for restoration but they are looking to start up again for September, providing a valuable link and outreach to the local naval base.

You can see the photos from the Helensburgh Advertiser gallery here – and what fun Messy Church looks in Helensburgh! It is clearly a hit with the local children. One parent commented, “My two boys really enjoy Messy Church. It’s a great mix of child-friendly bible stories, easy Worship and crafts – loads of fun; the edible craft is always the favourite with the kids!”