E - Letter 185 – 4th December 2014

E-LETTER NO: 185 – 4th DECEMBER 2014


During my journey to the office this morning, I heard my first Christmas song! So far this month I have already attended 2 Christmas 'do's, I have school Christmas Concerts booked into my diary as well as my own church youth group Christmas party, church Christmas party, several meetings with Christmas themes, carol services, and arrangements to see friends and family. I have lists of Christmas cards to write, presents to buy and food to think about.

We get so involved in the business of Christmas that sometimes we often forget that we are in Advent, a time of preparation, expectation of the Birth of Christ, and in a way the planning of different events, buying presents could be a classed as a time of preparation. However, the commercial parts of the 'Christmas' season can make us forget about the meaning that it has.

On Advent Sunday, I challenged my own church young people, and other members of the congregation to take part in the Bible Society's Advent Challenge, http://www.biblesociety.org.uk doing something every day for other people. This may seem scary or a strange thing to do - doing something nice for people you don't know, some of the daily suggestions include leaving out the luxuries for the day and donating the money instead, buying someone a treat, or dropping some flowers off at a local nursing home.

But we need to remember if it is strange, scary or just difficult to do every day, that Mary, when she was visited by the Angel and told of God's plan for her would have been very scared and it would have been easy for the young teenage girl to say 'no'. But she accepted God's plan for her in faith and without question and did something wonderful for all of us. She gave birth to God's Son.

My challenge to you all this Advent season, is to perhaps spend some time thinking of others, doing something for people and reflecting on the difficulties that Mary and Joseph faced on their journey to Bethlehem, and thanking God for all those around us who help us on our spiritual journey.

God bless and have a fruitful Advent. Jane


  • It is with sadness that we inform you that Barbara Smith, a member at Ashbourne Road LEP, passed away suddenly on Tuesday 18th November, following a brief admission to hospital. Barbara had recently been to The Palace to have her MBE presented by HM The Queen. During her life she raised in excess of £750,000 having started fundraising at the age of 5!  Barbara was one of those people in church life who ‘got on with things and did not make a fuss’ - she will be missed.

  • We regret to inform you that Roy Barnett, MBE. Elder of Badby URC (SWaN Group of Churches) died on Saturday aged 93. Back in the 1980's Roy was much moved by the plight of Children in Africa dying from dehydration. he set up the mite scheme, by which people donated 5 pence pieces each week , which was the cost of a rehydration sachet. The scheme was adopted by UNICEF, and through the partnership over 7 million lives have been saved. Roy was a regular preacher, and a lifelong member of Badby Chapel. His funeral will be on Monday 15th December at Badby, at 10.30am.


PROPERTY NETWORKER - Mr Geoff Ware is the new Synod Property Networker for Derbyshire.  He is an experienced building professional and is happy to give advice and help on property matters to any URC in Derbyshire.  His contact details are: Email geoffware@hotmail.co.uk Tel: 0115 840 5120 Mob: 07721 404815. 

CELEBRATIONS AT ST ANDREW’S CHESTERFIELD - 2015 marks the 60 Anniversary year of the dedication of St Andrew’s URC church building in Chesterfield. Though the anniversary date of dedication was 10 September 1955, the Church have programmed a year of events in celebration. The events start on 11 January at 3.00pm with a Songs of Praise with members and friends being joined by the Mayor and Mayoress of Chesterfield The year’s programme also includes a Burns Night, Concerts, Exhibitions of Art, Photography and Film Making, including Art work from local senior schools, the latter organised in partnership with the Rotary Club of Chesterfield. Local Primary schools will, in a separate event, exhibit a range of craft work. Throughout the celebration year a number of guest preachers have agreed to lead worship at St Andrew’s. These include, on Palm Sunday, 29 March, Rev Dr Rosalind Selby, Principal, Northern College, on July 19, Rev Dr Stephen Orchard will lead worship celebrating the 84 Anniversary of the founding the St Andrew’s congregation and on Sunday 11 October Rev David Grosch-Miller, Moderator of the General Assembly of the URC will lead the worship celebrating the 60 Anniversary of the building Dedication.

The minister at St Andrew’s, Rev John Cook and the congregation invite all to join them at any or all of these celebration events. You will be made welcome. If further information is required on the programme please contact Ian Gordon 01246 270954 or email:

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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.

SILENT NIGHT CAROLS (1914-2014) – Hope 2014 Churches, Hinckley AFC & Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council present ‘Silent Night Carols’ on Friday 12th December, 7pm at Hinckley Market Place, Guest Speaker, Linvoy Primus (ex Portsmouth FC legend).



THE CROSSING LEP – The Circuit Choristers Presents – ‘Joy to the World’ A celebration of Christmas, on Friday 12th December at 7:30pm at The Crossing, Newcastle Street, Worksop. Tickets cost £5 and proceeds will go to Bassetlaw Hospice.

BULWELL URC – are pleased to invite you to a ‘Riding Lights Theatre Company’ presentation – GOOSE CHASE, A feather flying tale of the first Christmas. In the depth of a Russian winter, what on earth could make frail old Baboushka cross hundreds of miles of snow on foot? And why is she armed only with a feather duster and a set of Russian dolls? Goose Chase is a startling reworking of the famous Russian folk story, served up richly spiced with traditional songs and carols. At Bulwell URC on 20th December 2014 at 12.30pm, Riding Lights tells the tale with a characteristic blend of riotous humour, mystery, and magical glimpses into the heart of the first Christmas. Tickets cost - £7 (£5 children) £20 (family of 4). For more information or tickets tel: 07773 335443


ONE ROOF LEICESTER – Launches Emergency Winter Accommodation Appeal for the homeless

One Roof Leicester (ORL) is appealing for funds to accommodate homeless people who are living on the streets of Leicester. The organisation is deeply concerned about the number of people who will be sleeping rough in the cold months. From December 2014 they want to provide emergency accommodation for three months for those homeless people who are ineligible for benefits, banned from the homeless housing, and/or without any other support network. Alongside the accommodation the clients will be given support and a daily hot meal.

Salma Ravat, One Roof Leicester Co-ordinator said ‘The aim is to ensure that we provide accommodation for those who are rough sleeping, and once housed we want to work with other organisations to ensure that each person’s needs are identified and long term solutions are developed’.

To run this emergency winter project ORL need to raise £25,000. With this sum, they can provide emergency beds throughout the three month period. Rev Helen Hayes, Chair of ORL said ‘We desperately need to raise these funds because two homeless people have already died this year in Leicester. We feel it is our humanitarian responsibility to ensure that no other homeless person loses their life this winter’.

For more information on ORL or to donate visit: www.oneroof.org.uk


Tuesday 3rd March 2015 at Mount St Bernard Abbey, Leicestershire

Do you enjoy taking photos and would like to explore ways to make use of them alongside your faith?

If so, then this introductory day is for you.

Led by former professional photographer, Revd John Potter, we will look briefly at how images can enhance our faith, some tips on taking better pictures, and an opportunity to get snapping.

You don’t need expensive equipment, just a camera and enthusiasm!

To book please contact Hannah Bones:

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A Bridge Builders Open Workshop on 12 February 2014, 9.30-4.30, King’s House, Manchester

This workshop is designed for anyone in church leadership, but is especially relevant to those in a position of overall oversight. 

For full details or to book visit: http://www.bbministries.org.uk/component/option,com_eventbooking/Itemid,47/event_id,79/task,view_event/

Bridge Builders’ programme of Open Workshops is proving popular. At £60, they are excellent value.


A CHRISTMAS EVENING AT LAUNDE ABBEY – December 18th, 19th and 20th 2014, Join us for an evening of fine food and fun, with Christmas carols and seasonal songs. Please be in fine seasonal voice as audience participation is essential!! Starting with a drinks reception at 7pm, a four course gourmet dinner and seasonal sing-along featuring Brian Davis on the keyboard. Dress code: Lounge Suits (black tie optional) Price: £35.00 per person

CHRISTMAS LUNCHES AT LAUNDE ABBEY – From 5th – 23rd December 2014, come and enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch with friends, family or colleagues in the beautiful setting of Launde Abbey. 2 course menu: £16.00, 3 course menu: £18.50, pre-booking is essential.

NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA DINNER – 31st December 2014, Come and see in the New Year in style at magical Launde Abbey, with a seven course gourmet dinner, followed by dancing to a top quality disco from Cream Entertainments. Price: £55 per person.

For more information on any of these events or to book call: 01572 717254 email:

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Calling all young people!! SAVE THE DATE for the Youth Event which will run alongside the Synod meeting on Saturday 21st March 2015 at Newport Pagnell URC.


 East Midlands Synod are holding core skills training for children’s and youth leaders in 2015, the course is taking place over 4 sessions being held at Loughborough URC from 10am – 1pm on: Saturday 14th March, Saturday 18th April, Saturday 9th May, Saturday 13th June. For more information contact Jane Henderson:

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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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