Latest News

windfarm tylercasey unsplashThe United Reformed Church Synod of Wales has decided to end investments in fossil fuel companies made on its behalf.

A Synod meeting on Saturday 19 October passed a resolution on divestment that had been proposed by members of Beulah United Reformed Church in Cardiff.

The resolution asks the United Reformed Church (URC) Synod of Wales to amend its investment portfolio to exclude investment in companies that derive more than 10% of their revenues from the extraction and/or supply of fossil fuels, including thermal coal, oil and natural gas.

Read more: URC Synod of Wales divests from fossil fuels

praying hands on bibleThe Moderators of the United Reformed Church (URC) General Assembly, the Revd Nigel Uden and Derek Estill, have offered a prayer for the families and friends of the 39 people whose bodies were found in a container lorry on an industrial estate in Grays, Essex, this morning. They have also expressed their shock and outrage at the abuse and exploitation that lead to those deaths. 

"We have learned with shock of the deaths of thirty-nine people in a lorry container that arrived in Essex from Bulgaria."

"With all people of goodwill, we are appalled that incidents of this nature occur. The suffering and then death of so many people is a tragedy. The callous abuse and exploitation of some by others is an outrage." 

"And the broader issues of a world where people end up feeling they must seek refuge in so perilous a way require urgent attention."

"Most immediately, we express sympathy to bereaved families and friends, and urge prayer for justice and peace."

Read more: Essex container deaths: Moderators' prayer, shock and outrage

Brian JollyThe Revd Brian Jolly has been nominated as the next Moderator of the North Western Synod of the United Reformed Church.

Born in 1956 in north London, Brian moved to the north west in 1978 for his initial ministerial formation at the University of Manchester and the Congregational College.

He was ordained in 1982 and has served pastorates in Blackburn, Bolton, Stockport and Altrincham. He serves now as Clerk of the North Western Synod and has been covering some of the duties of a Synod Moderator during a vacancy period.

He has served extensively in the wider church and as a trustee of the UK Christian charity Embrace the Middle East (formerly BibleLands). 

Read more: Next Moderator of North Western Synod nominated

Syria mapThe United Reformed Church General Assembly Moderators, Derek Estill and the Revd Nigel Uden, with leaders from the Methodist Church and Baptists Together, have urged the UK Government to work for peace in Syria. Recent military attacks in the north-east of the country have left unarmed civilians caught between two fighting parties.

The pastors of three local churches have shared their concerns for the desperate situation facing families in the area, which includes disruption to the water supply, bombings, food prices soaring, people unable to attend their workplaces and some aged under 45 being forced to join the fighting. With the cold of winter fast approaching, people of north-eastern Syria are understandably deeply distressed and wish to live in peace and safety but they need help.

Statement on Syria

Following reports from our Church partners in Syria, we are extremely concerned about the impact on civilians of the assault on north-eastern Syria by Turkey. 

Read more: URC Moderators join call for urgent action to end violence in Syria

yad vashem kevin snyman urc croppedOn the holiest of days in the Jewish calendar, a gunman ruthlessly shot dead two people in Halle, East Germany yesterday.

The man allegedly attempted to gain access to the city’s Humboldt Street Synagogue, where 70-80 people were marking Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. A video was posted online by the suspect, who is now in custody, filled with hatred and anti-Semitism, including denial of the Holocaust.

“The senseless attack is yet another reminder of the rise in the kind of extremism, which so often targets people of faith at worship,” says the Revd Philip Brooks, the United Reformed Church’s Secretary for Ecumenical Interfaith Relations.

Read more: Prayers for Halle attack