E - Letter 183 – 6th November 2014

E-LETTER NO: 183 – 16th NOVEMBER 2014


Grandparents’ day - did you know there is one? I ask the question having been asked it during a Sunday morning service at my daughter’s church in Canada. Very few of the congregation indicated they had heard of it let alone that it was ‘that day’. A good number, like me and the retired minister leading worship, indicated they are grandparents so when back at home I did some research and found that the day is not as ‘rare’ as I thought. It seems to have been ‘created’ in the USA in 1978 (although earlier variations are acknowledged) and is held on the ‘first Sunday after Labor Day’. In Canada it is usually celebrated on the second Sunday in September, and around the world mostly in the time of year we call autumn. Does that have any significance I wondered? I could not see any links while researching.

In the United Kingdom ‘grandparents’ day’ was introduced in 1990 by Age Concern and since 2008 is celebrated on the first Sunday in October. I think I missed it this year - certainly did not get a card!

Some facts - In the USA it was estimated that there were 65 million grandparents in 2011 - with that figure set to increase to 80 million by 2020 - primarily the effect of the ‘baby boom’ after 1946. In 2012 in the USA, 30% of children under five with working mothers were cared for on a regular basis by a grandparent. The total UK population in 2013 was estimated at 64 million with some 14 million being grandparents. 

So, as a grandparent what do I want or should I be doing? Certainly I do not need a card from my grandchildren - but is nice to get an acknowledgement of their concern, love and respect. I feel it is more important though that I be the one to be ‘caring’ for them in all the ways possible, given that my grandson lives some 3,500 miles away, and step grandchildren, although living in England, are now ‘grown up’ and have different needs. Apparently, according to the ‘grandparents plus’ organisation, caring for grandchildren can be good for the health! David J Greatorex


* It is with deep regret that we must advise you that Mrs Jill Turner passed away at 18.30 on Sunday 2 November 2014. Since she retired she has worked in many roles for Sherwood URC and the former Nottinghamshire District. Since the demise of Districts she has continued until recently to work on pulpit exchange Sunday for Nottinghamshire. Jill has also for a number of years until her recent illness worked as a volunteer in the East Midlands Synod Office and become part of the team. She has also been part of the Office Management Group; the Synod Enabling Group and has represented the East Midlands on Mission Council. Her willingness to help all those she met will be sorely missed. Our prayers and thoughts are with her family at this time. A Thanksgiving service for Jill’s life will take place at 12.45pm on Wednesday 19th November at Sherwood URC. Please note that the Synod Office will be closed from 12 noon on this date.


* It is with sadness that we pass on the news that the Reverend Alan Odian Cassingham, a retired minister living in Wiltshire, has died. Alan’s ministries were with/at the Guildford Group 1961-67; Petersfield & Harting 1967-72; Petersfield 1972-78; Liss 1974-78 and Ickenham 1978-99. The funeral arrangements are not yet available. Please contact South Western Synod Office (01823 275470 / synodoffice@urcsouthwest.org.uk) to be informed when they are.


ADVENT QUIET MORNING- Time to reflect on Advent themes and prepare for Christmas.10am – 12.30 pm, Saturday 28th November, The Gateway, Dale Abbey DE7 4PN. Led by Revd Ruth Allen. £5, please, to cover heating and drinks.

WORKPLACE CHAPLAINCY IN DERBYSHIRE – is a local ecumenical partnership sponsored by Churches Together in Derbyshire. More chaplains are required to serve Derby and Derbyshire. Could you provide voluntary support to people in the county by building bridges of understanding between industry, faith, commerce and society? For more information contact Revd. Canon Paul Morris, Principle Chaplain:

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ABBOTS ROAD URC - Nativity Festival! Come and discover the real meaning of Christmas Everyone is welcome to this free event on Saturday 13th December from 10am to 3pm. There will be displays telling the Christmas story, displays of many different Nativity sets to see, children’s activities, storytelling and refreshments. Then on Sunday 14th December at 10.45am there will be morning worship led by the choir singing a Christmas musical “While Shepherds watched” then later at 4pm join us for  Messy Church Christingle: thinking about Christmas for all the family.



WORLD CHURCH SUNDAY - A Cafe Service event at Boulevard URC on 16th November from 4-6pm.  Revd. Malcolm Fife will be sharing his very recent experiences in Jamaica with a CWM Faith and Culture visit. See poster on website for further details or contact ian.sylvia@salmon2.co.uk

LONG EATON URC CHOIR PRESENTS – ‘Home for Christmas’ A commemoration of World War One and a selection of Christmas songs on Saturday 29th November at 2.30pm and 7.30pm at Long Eaton URC, Church Hall, The Green, Long Eaton. Tickets cost £4. To get tickets for this or for EXCERTS FROM HANDEL’S MESSIAH (tickets are free of charge but are required for seating purposes. A collection will be taken for /rainbows Children’s Hospice) - On Sunday 7th December at 2.30pm with choir, band and soloists at Long Eaton URC please telephone Hilda Wright: 0115 9734177 or Sarah Richards: 07968 608331


CHRISTCHURCH GRANTHAM - On 11th November, 10.30 am to 3 pm, ChristChurch Grantham will be open to allow the congregation and people from our town to gather to pray for the peace of the world. There will be prayers and readings every half hour, a prayer corner for reflection and a ‘Drones Quilt’ from the Fellowship of Reconciliation, on which each square displays the name of a civilian killed by an armed drone.  The following is a prayer from Fellowship of Reconciliation “God of peace, we pray for courage and gentleness; that when we hear your call to act, we won’t put our fingers in our ears and start whistling.  Open our eyes to injustice and strengthen us to stand by others and listen to our convictions.  We are not separate beings nor are we apart from the planet with which we live.  Help us remember this in all our doings and beings and to live and work to your praise and glory.  Amen”


"IMAGINE"- NEW WAYS OF BEING CHURCH - 29 November 2014, from 10am-2pm Wellingborough URC, Salem Hall, Wellingborough. An opportunity to value the church as we know it and think about what the church may become.  All are welcome to come and explore the ideas and opportunities for mission with example from Fresh Expressions churches. Bring a packed lunch.  Tea and coffee will be provided. Any questions, contact Revd. Martha McInnes, 07519831405



'Reason, Faith & Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate' by Terry Eagleton at Windermere from May 11-14th , Led by David Peel, former Principal of Northern College This is a chance to think, relax and renew.  By talks, group discussion and worship we reflect on an important book together. Here is a considerable amount of free time so that people can walk or otherwise enjoy the Lake District. It is open to anyone who is happy to take part in free discussion in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance.  
Reason Faith and Revolution is a passionate, witty critique of the new atheism of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchings.  Many of the charges they bring against religious practice are true yet their arguments are fatally undermined by their own unacknowledged dogmas and doctrines, and they completely fail to understand Christian faith (or any other kind) except in its stupidest and most literal-minded form.  To book visit: http://windermere.urc.org.uk/portfolio-item/free-to-believe-reading-party/ or call Windermere: 01539 444902


St John’s College are pleased to announce that John Drane, author of ‘The McDonaldization of the Church, will give a College lecture on 12th November'14 on the topic of Spirituality for Mission from 9.00-10.00am. This is open to the wider community. Cost: £5 per person, to book or for more information email:

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CAS are now moving to being able to use the online system for DBS Checks, and those verifiers whose email address they have should have received emails from CAS about this.  If you are a verifier and have not received any such emails, please contact the safeguarding dept at Church House, on safeguarding@urc.org.uk


YOUTH ASSEMBLY - Treasures: Gifts from God 

An opportunity to grow in faith, to meet and share with other young people, discussing and exploring issues affecting the church and society. Youth Assembly is on 23-25th January 2015 at Whitemoor Lakes.  If anyone is interested please could they email their details to Hannah Bones,

// --> We have some funding available and will endeavour to financially support all young people wanting to attend Youth Assembly BUT you may need to seek extra support from your Church or youth group as we may not be able to fund the full cost. The cut off date for the reduced rate of £100 is this Saturday (8th November) so please register online at: http://www.fury.org.uk/fury-assembly/ if you don’t want to miss out on the discount and don’t forget to email Jane to let her know. If you have any questions please contact Jane Henderson

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The United Reformed Church seeks to appoint a Children’s and Youth Work Programme Officer
Salary - £35,796, Full-time, permanent contract

Are you committed and passionate about enabling children and young people to grow in faith? We are seeking an individual who has experience of working with children and young people, ideally in a Christian environment.

Based at our central London headquarters, you will be working as part of a wider team within our Children’s & Youth Work office to advocate, plan and implement key programmes, projects and events.

To be considered candidates should:

• possess a relevant qualification or equivalent experience in youth and children’s work;
• have a proven track record of working with volunteers;
• possess experience of organising events and writing resource materials;
• have an understanding of faith development in children and young people;
• possess a commitment to addressing issues of discrimination and inequality in an inclusive Christian denomination;
• have proven skills in youth and children’s work programme delivery;
• possess an awareness of varied media trends, techniques and opportunities;
• be able to work some evenings and weekends; and
• possess a willingness to work within the Christian ethos of the URC.

If you are interested in working for us and can meet all of the above requirements please contact us/see our website for an Application Form (please note that we do not accept CVs):

Helen Bird, Human Resources Office, The United Reformed Church, 86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT. Tel: 0207 691 9874 Email: recruitment@urc.org.uk Website: www.urc.org.uk/vacancies

Closing date for applications: 12 midday, Friday 14th November 2014
Interview date: Friday 5th December 2014


Full time Position with salary £17,000 - £22,500 (dependent on qualifications and experience)

3 year contract (job share will be considered) starting from September/October 2014

We are a vibrant, exciting, lively and growing church on the northern outskirts of the city of Nottingham. We are seeking to appoint a gifted and committed Christian to serve as part of the ministry team to oversee and develop our vision to bless and grow the church in its ministry with children, youth and families.

For an application pack and full details please email info@bulwellurc.org.uk Or download forms and documents from www.bulwellurc.org.uk We’re up for it, are you?

Closing date for applications: 28th November 2014


  • Please note that Corby URC have a new Secretary:  Mrs Irene Lawrie, 13 Warwick Avenue, Stanion, Nr Corby, NN14 1DS  tel: 01536 402199

  • Please note that Corby URC have a new Treasurer: Mrs Adeline White, 17 Oxford Road, Corby, NN17 2TQ   tel: 01536 394884

AND FINALLY: - Please send any comments or feedback on this e-letter to: admin@urc5.org.uk
The URC East Midlands Synod, 1 Edwards Lane, Sherwood, Nottingham, NG5 3AA.
Email address for E-Letter Editor:

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