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.

Youth Ambassadors

This was the first year that the URC Children's and Youth Work team have sent youth ambassadors to Greenbelt but we suspect it will not be the last. Eight young people aged 16 to 23 camped together under the URC Youth flag and fulfilled a challenging role, taking on shifts in the URC tent, carrying out a survey of visitors, encouraging involvement in the "Who am I?" treasure hunt,  participating in Cake and Debate (a debating activity for under 18s including cake!), gathering information and sharing their views and preparing for a year-long role promoting Greenbelt in their particular synods. 

Two tech-talented young people, Jacob Lowe and Isaac Harvey, were charged with the task of compiling a video review of the weekend and each produced a very different view of the event. Isaac's can be seen here, while Jacob's is available here. Written reviews were sent in by Amanda, Alison, Isaac, Bethany, Reuben and Joanna. 

 

EleanorHoliday ClubBulwell URC

Holiday Club 2    Weekend at Home 2

Eleanor Rice (children’s, youth and families leader at Bulwell URC, Nottinghamshire) shares what most encourages her in her work: “The children and young people keep coming and bringing other people – they want to be here and share their lives with us which is such a privilege. On Sunday morning we have half a dozen young people who come on their own and get involved in the service with readings, prayers, taking the offering, joining in the all age games and activities.” Alongside Sunday services the church offers clubs for different age groups and Messy Church. “But most important is the constant presence in the community – offering crafts in schools, the community garden, even the nearby gym when they run holiday sports clubs!” The great news is that Eleanor’s post is able to continue after the church secured new funding: “there is still so much more to do!” agrees the minister Revd Colin Bones.

Sedlescombe chapel

At General Assembly Marie Jackson felt a direct challenge “from the Lord to INVEST equally with young people in our community as we do others. I felt this challenge needs to be in time...resources...and finances. These things will be a test of faith... especially in finance as the church has limited funds.”

Sedlescombe Chapel is being revitalised by Marie and Peter Jackson, who were appointed as lay leaders by Southern Synod last August.  The Church Building had been neglected and a storm had put a tree through the church roof, whilst the Manse had been empty for 17 years. They had a Grant from synod to renovate both church and manse and they are creating a garden with a view to sharing this with others.

They currently have no children as regular members of the church, but a few visiting grandchildren, and are building links with the wider community.  

Watch this space to see how the seeds sown at General Assembly take root in the life of this little URC Chapel!

Messy sunday logoMessy Sunday aMessy Sunday bMessy Summer

Lewes URC/Methodist LEP have been running Messy Church on Fridays 6 times a year in school holidays for a while.  Early in 2017 they took the brave decision to replace one morning service each month with ‘Messy Sunday” – a shortened version consisting of breakfast, one craft activity and worship all in an hour from 9.30am. They now have a loyal congregation of 35 including 3 families they met through Messy Church. 

This summer, in place of a holiday club, they are running 3 extra Messy Church sessions on Fridays with support from Brighton and Hove City Mission. 

“We pray this will deepen our connection with whole families and encourage more to consider coming to Messy Sunday – changing things in church can be difficult and certainly make life messier, but we are starting to see the fruit,” said Lindsay Frost, admin secretary.  “We should credit our former minister, the Revd John Gordon, and Crowborough United Church (also a URC/Methodist LEP) with the idea of Messy Church on a Sunday morning, although the name Messy Sunday was ours, to avoid confusing our Friday Messy Church from our Sunday offering. The Messy Church people at the BRF have approved our Messy Sunday version of the Messy Church logo.”

Bekki Radcliffe, URC Youth and North Western Synod Rep, has just finished her year's internship in the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church through the OneIntern scheme and it sounds as though she has really set the standards high for the next applicants for the role. 

david palmer“I must pay tribute to Rebekah," said David Palmer, Chief Executive Officer, Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church. She has handled everything that we have thrown at her. From anti-money laundering compliance, to GDPR to business development. Most recently she has been working with our investment team. We have an 8:45AM morning meeting and I have been quietly proud to watch Rebekah as she gets herself in at 8:00AM to prepare, checking the overnight market and company news, and then contributing proactively to that meeting. She puts many of our “long-in-the tooth” managers to shame with her commitment and diligence.”  

 

Bekki RadcliffeBekki told us, “I have loved every moment. It has given me a great opportunity to expand myself and my faith. It will help me so much in my future not only for applying for jobs once I graduate, but by actually having the confidence in myself to go out and do what I want to do. Through the year I have worked at the Central Finance Board firstly in business development, then operations and compliance and finally investment. This helped me gain a full understanding of the business and what area I might be more suited to. To me this placement has been invaluable. I have gained knowledge, skill and confidence since the first day with the CFB and the ONE Intern program. I am extremely grateful for the support that I have received from them both.” 

The Methodist Church are now advertising two internships within the Central Finance Board.  Apply by 28 August for a one year paid Internship combining work experience and faith with Methodist One Intern Programme.