Northern Synod celebrates URC’s jubilee at open-air museum

Last Updated on 20 July 2022 by Ann-Marie Nye

There couldn’t have been a more ideal place for Northern Synod to celebrate the United Reformed Church (URC’s) 50th Jubilee year than at the open-air museum in Beamish, County Durham.

At every turn visitors to this popular attraction are to be heard sharing memories of how they or their parents or grandparents had lived in times past. And in the events park, members and friends from around the synod gathered under bright skies to share their own memories, to enjoy packed lunches and to worship in the specially erected marquee.

As one retired minister observed, Northern Synod is “a big patch” (it stretches from Wooler in North Northumberland to Northallerton in North Yorkshire) “so we don’t often get together like this”.

Over lunch, one older member recalled her life growing up in the Presbyterian Church and then joining the URC, and of building closures and amalgamations over the years.

“But it’s not about the buildings,” she said. “Jesus didn’t go into many buildings, did he? He’d have been here,” she said – looking around the gathering in the tent and on the grass outside.
Worship brought the day to a celebratory close.

There was a big party atmosphere, complete with party hats, ‘presents’ of faith, hope and love, and the creation of a massive paper chain to symbolise our unity as Christians.

Voices were heard from across the generations – from those who were around in 1972 to youngsters at the very start of their church lives. And everyone left wearing smiles and carrying their party bags – not forgetting an all-important 50th anniversary cupcake!