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.

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Anyone using the ladies’ toilet at Sutton Coldfield URC will find a letter there from the 8th Sutton Beavers Colony who meet at the church.

As part of the Scouts Million Hands project & also the last part of the Beaver Global Issues badge, the Beavers have been looking at clean water and sanitation. The Million Hands project is a project to encourage scouts of all ages to find out about social issues partnered by charities. The group did a variety of activities to look at how much water we use and how lucky we are to have clean water & toilets readily available.

Part of the project is “tell the world” and “take action” which they decided to do in two ways – at the Harvest Church Parade the Beavers took Madagascar as their country – they showed the Water Aid walk for water video and the Beavers all walked round Church with buckets on their heads. Then after the service they sold chocolate krispie cakes that they had made to the congregation raising over £100 for Water Aid. They also made posters to tell about how so many people in the world don’t have access to a toilet and about how many children die from diseases relating to poor sanitation.

The Beavers put these posters up in all the church toilets and encouraged people to donate a penny every time they used the toilet. This has enabled every toilet in the Church to be twinned with one in the developing world through toilettwinning.org (part of Tear Fund. Barbara and Nigel Bean, Guide and Scout leaders from Sutton Coldfield URC, commented, “We think one of the things that really made the Beavers realise how lucky they are was when we got the pictures of the toilets we had helped pay for – whilst these toilets were an enormous improvement for the people who were using them they weren’t really ones that the Beavers would want to use!”

What a wonderful way of the church working together with one of the uniformed organisations using their premises. 

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In December 2013, Beulah URC Cardiff started a 2 year project to maximise the opportunities to engage with the 11-13 age group as they grow into the teenagers and young adults of the future.This work now continues under the guidance of the children and young people's steering group with regular events planned thoughout the year. 

Here is the report written by one of the young people from Beulah Youth Group about their summer camp on Caldey Island. Particularly memorable was a walk through the woods to the monastery where the group were able to witness the monks observing Lauds, or the Dawn Prayer, at 3am. Read all about it here 

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Solihull United Reformed Church has only two children regularly in worship on Sunday mornings but they certainly have not let that mean that they are not engaging with children in the local community. Linda Faber tells us more about their innovative work with local schools: 

"The opportunity arose to reimagine our work as a church and change how we would use our buildings to better share the Good News of Jesus Christ. As part of this new thinking we looked at how we might engage with local schools. So far we have only managed to get the attention of one school, but as we are relatively few in number, one is proving to keep us busy enough as they are so enthusiastic. In the last 18 months during each term and additionally at Christmas and Easter we have had opportunities to engage with this school in a broader way than we ever hoped or imagined. We have had our offers of activities taken up by every year group and they keep coming back and asking for more. I want to tell you about what we did for Easter. 

Read more: Solihull URC are far from woolly in their approach to children's work

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Temple URC is home to a thriving Boys’ Brigade, 13th Bromley, where local boys of all ages come together to participate in a range of exciting activities, including the highly successful, award-winning Pacemakers Drum and Bugle Band. Recently the brigade held its enrolment and rededication service in the church with over 70 young people enrolling.

It was a particularly special service as it also included recognition of the retirement of the BB Captain, Richard Westbrook, who has dedicated 28 years to the leadership of Boys’ Brigade. During this time, Richard has seen many young people come to faith, earn their Gold D of E awards, attend camps, and even meet their future husband or wife. He has no intention of retiring completely from his involvement with BB and will continue to support the company as well as continuing his work in the church and in Southern Synod.

He has handed the baton on to another lifelong supporter and leader of Boys’ Brigade, Mr Stuart Barker, photographed above presenting a montage of photographs created especially for Richard, together with other gifts from the brigades. URC Children’s and Youth Work would like to add our appreciation and congratulations to Richard Westbrook for his stalwart service at Temple URC.

VIctoria

Victoria Turner took advantage of the Christian World Mission's regional programme for young people 'Beyond Myself in exploring Migration' and wrote a very inspiring report of her experiences. The colunteers gathered in the Yorkshire Dales to connect with a group called DARE from Darwin, who work with asylum seekers and refugees and come to the Dales through a charity called ‘People and the Dales’ who organise for refugees and asylum seekers to come to the countryside for a few days to get away from their hostile and difficult lives in the UK. 

"You can be flown to a completely new culture for a mission programme," said Victoria, "and find out things about yourself you didn’t know before. You can also talk to a stranger in your home town, who comes from elsewhere, and learn more about yourself than you knew before. Mission is not going out, mission is going beyond, there’s love that needs to be spread here, and I’m so glad I learnt that from this experience."   Read her report here.