Hundreds attend Ministers’ Gathering 2022

Two hundred and fifty of the United Reformed Church Ministers and Church Related Community Workers from the denomination’s 13 synods, are spending four days being refreshed and encouraged at the 2022 Ministers’ Gathering.

From 9-12 May, ministers were gifted with time to be inspired and encouraged with a full programme of activities which blended keynote addresses, Bible studies, workshops, worship and space for conversation and reflection.

The gathering, at Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre in Stone, near Stafford, opened with worship led by the Revd Dr Douglas Gay, Church of Scotland minister who teaches practical theology at the University of Glasgow, and Iain McLarty, a worship development worker for the Church of Scotland.

Guest speakers included Najla Kassab, President of the World Communion of the Reformed Churches; Pádraig Ó Tuama, a compelling poet and skilled speaker, teacher and group worker, whose work centres around themes of language, power, conflict and religion; and the Revd David Cornick, a former as General Secretary of the URC and Churches Together in England.

Workshops explored a range of topics such as: rewilding the church, the URC Church Life Review, hybrid church in an age of digitalisation, white privilege, climate change after COP and beyond stewardship, leading your church into growth, pastoral supervision, church on the wild side, singing, simplifying church, the URC’s discipleship programme Stepwise, using your church building for change, the opportunities the jubilee presents to reset, and resilience.

The Revd Christopher Ford of, St Andrews with Castle Gate in the South Nottingham area of URC, said: “I went to the first Ministers’ Gathering in 2018 which was brilliant. What brought me back was the opportunity to meet with other ministers, which we don’t get to do very often. Obviously, I came for the input to, but the opportunity to meet as we do here is invaluable.”

“I’ve had a brilliant time,” added the Revd John Macaulay, Minister of Upper Clapton URC. “What brought me here was my commitment to being a URC Minister and the opportunity for inspiration, encouragement and reflection. I’m having a great time.”