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greenbelt 2017Now in its third year of being an associate partner of Greenbelt, the United Reformed Church Greenbelt planning team is busy making sure there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Greenbelt 2018.

The Greenbelt Festival has run every year since 1974, and takes place over the August bank holiday weekend (24-27 August) focusing on arts, faith and justice.

Special guests include: Russian protest punk rock group Pussy Riot, New York-based rock band We Are Scientists, electronic afro-funk band Ibibio Sound Machine, poet Dame Carol Ann Duffy, broadcaster June Sarpong, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis, activist Jack Monroe, and much more. People can also look forward to theatre, comedy, visual arts, worship and spirituality, workshops, sports, and crafts.

Read more: Fun and more in store at Greenbelt Festival 2018

Alan YatesBusiness session six:

Outgoing moderator's final Assembly speech offers encouragement
Mr Alan Yates, outgoing Moderator of the United Reformed Church General Assembly, gave an encouraging address on the final day of the denomination's 2018 Assembly (Monday 9 July). Referring to declining church membership, Mr Yates ended by saying: 'Being small does not prevent us [the URC] from being successful.'

Received by the Assembly with appreciative applause, Mr Yates' speech offered reflections on his call, reflection on his fear and concerns for the URC, and enthusiastic praise for local churches. Mr Yates recognised the contribution of the URC's 'fantastic' large churches but particularly championed smaller churches that make good use of limited resources, and often working creatively and collaboratively. He said: 'Across our three nations ... I have been impressed and encouraged by the way the URC is demonstrating the love of God.'

Read more: General Assembly Day four – Monday 9 July 2018

claire downing 2Business session four

General Assembly Moderators elected for 2020-2022
The Revd Clare Downing and Mr Peter Pay have been elected as Moderators of General Assembly for 2020 to 2022. The result was announced on Sunday morning.

Mrs Downing was chosen as ministerial moderator. She is the Moderator of Wessex Synod, a post she has held since January 2011. Mr Pay of Salisbury United Reformed Church, was chosen as elder Moderator; he served as Clerk for Wessex Synod between 2004 and 2014.

Read more: General Assembly Day three round-up – Sunday 8 July 2018

big speak outBusiness Session two

'Charter for children’ sparks lively discussion
On Saturday 7 July, the United Reformed Church General Assembly was asked to consider the relevance of the 'charter for children' – a set of ten statements affirmed by the 1990 Assembly on the place of children within worship and church life. After a short presentation, the Revd Jenny Mills, convenor of the URC’s children's and youth work (CYW) committee, moved Resolution 22, which asked the Assembly to recommit implementing the charter for children. The issue sparked a lively debate on the floor of Assembly; comments ranged from linguistic concerns about the resolution’s wording and whether the existing charter is written in child-friendly language, to whether the charter needs significant new work.

Read more: General Assembly Day two round-up – Saturday 7 July 2018