E - Letter 203

E-LETTER NO: 203 – 3rd SEPTEMBER 2015
edited this week by: Revd Jenny Mills

Having worked in Education for over 21 years I am a real believer that the best ideas are ‘borrowed’ from other people. Little of what we do is actually new and original- it can often be a version of what we have seen someone else do and we adapt it for our own situation. I call this sharing and wise! So on Sunday, when we had our visitors from the Evangelische Kirche in the Palatinate, Germany with us, in worship I decided to ‘borrow’ an idea from a colleague and do an ‘Ask the Minister’ service. Sadly I got only one question (not sure if all their questions have been asked or if they do not think I could answer their questions!). This one was from a 9 year old boy who asked: ‘How old is God?’ So I crafted the service around that question, going from: there is no simple answer to that (besides ‘we don’t know’) but how it threw up other questions such as ‘Who or What is God’ (onto what images of God do we find in the Bible and what do these images/metaphors tell us and lead us to understand about God). I asked the children to draw what they thought God looked like and then they shared them with us: an old man with a beard (as expected), a rainbow, a man with big eyes (in fact 3 pictures had God wearing glasses!) and a smiley face; and then two of our teenagers got up to share their thoughts. One came up with a piece of paper with a hole torn out in the middle. He spoke of God with us always and then poked his head in the hole and said: ‘if you want to see God, look in the mirror, God is in us as well as with us’. At that point the other teenager sat down as he said he couldn’t match that and for me it encapsulated most of the rest of the service! The congregation were so impressed that they broke into spontaneous applause and the conversations following worship were peppered with reflections on what he said! How wondrous when these sort of insights come at us from the left field and knock us sideways! May we never stop being surprised by such revelations. Thank you, God!


-       It is with sadness that we inform you of the death of Revd Fred Hill on his 102nd birthday on Monday 10th August. His funeral will take place at Gosport URC Bury Road, on Thursday 20th August at 1pm.  All are welcome. For further details please contact Revd Paul Bedford on 01329 234401. Fred served at Christ Church Leicester and Lutterworth from 1974-80.


ABBOTS ROAD URC - August has been a busy month at Abbots Road, as we have sought to smooth the holiday period for both young and older folk. Fifty children enjoyed the junior holiday club, aged from three to eleven.  They focussed on healthy eating with the aid of Tesco's Farm to Fork scheme.  We created as many healthy foods as time allowed and also reflected on Jesus being the Bread of Life.  We were pleased to welcome some of the children and their parents on the Sunday morning when we shared what we had been doing with the rest of the congregation.

Our older friends had a relaxed three days with craft activities, games, puzzles and lunch. We enjoyed the Folk songs which Malcolm Fife brought to us, the slight of hand of a local magician and singing from one of our own younger men. On the final day we visited Spalding URC where Marilyn and her team provided 48 splendid lunches before a little retail therapy at Springfields .

This type of Holiday at Home caters well for many people who live alone and have little regular company; we do recommend it to you to try for yourselves.


THE ART OF FLOWER ARRANGING - Come along and find out more! At Newport Pagnell URC on Friday 2nd October 2015 at 7.30pm. Lloyd Andrews will be sharing his expertise and knowledge, demonstrating and talking about flower arranging. Tickets are £10 per person (and include refreshments) and are available on 01908 217559. This is a fundraising event for the Mead Centre- our Hall rebuild project for which we need to raise £660,000. 


MELBOURNE URC – Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September brings the annual Melbourne Arts Festival Trail and also our Harvest Thanksgiving Celebrations. An occasion where Melbourne welcomes hundreds of visitors to the town. On Saturday 19th the church will be open from 10am to 6pm, when visitors can see not only the traditional harvest displays but also a display of Knitted Bible Stories ranging from Noahs Ark to Easter Day. During the day coffee and biscuits will be served from 10am to 12noon, roast beef lunches from 12 noon and tea and cakes from 2.30pm.
Special Services will be held on Sunday 20th:  10.30am - Harvest Thanksgiving Family Worship, and Harvest Songs of Praise at 6pm. The church will be opening for viewing from 12 noon to 5pm.   Ploughman’s lunches will be available from 12.15pm and tea and cakes from 2.30pm
Everyone will be very welcome to share this special time with us!



COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP ROADSHOW – being Church within the Community whatever that means .....

A day to explore, celebrate and strengthen existing connections between our faith, our church and our communities, and stimulate new connections being made; encourage and equip ourselves to become a more meaningful presence in our local contexts – living our faith as the Church in our communities.

The day offers ample opportunity for churches to dig deep as they think about their own perspective and develop their own individual mission-in-the-community action plan. It’s a day of networking-bouncing ideas around between the churches. It’s interactive with lots of discussion, and learning from each other, plus videos and real life case studies.

Bring a car load or two from your church and be prepared for challenge. You will go home inspired, renewed and filled with enthusiasm and ideas!

  • Northampton – 7th November 2015 – Abington Avenue URC
  • Kincardine – 12th March 2016 – Tulliallan Police College
  • Bridgwater – 23rd April 2016 – Westfield URC
  • Manchester – June 2016 – Chorlton URC
  • Newcastle – June 2016  /  London – April 2016

For more information contact Tracey Hardingham: tracey.hardingham@urc.org.uk

Each event is listed in Eventbrite – search for Community Partnership Roadshow


Is your church planning a mission project which needs financial support?  The Synod Mission Fund can make grants for up to half the project costs.  The maximum grant payable is £30,000.  You can download an application form and the guidance notes from the Synod website:  http://www.urc5.org.uk/content/mission/mission-resources.   Applications must be sent to the Synod Office by 14th September for consideration by the Mission Fund Panel in mid-October.   The deadline for applications for the next round of funding is mid-February.

BETTER CHURCH HOSTING - Saturday 31st October 2015 at High Cross URC, Tottenham.

Piloting a joint initiative: RJiM and Urban URC Network present - Exploring the church hosting phenomenon and good practice in the URC - an opportunity for mutual sharing & encouragement.   

More information from Tracey Hardingham (Mrs), Administrator for RJiM, 020 7916 8655, tracey.hardingham@urc.org.uk



Journeys: drinking from many wells

Come and be inspired! Celebrate our diverse spirituality and ethos, share across cultures, develop friendships .......

Saturday 26th September from 10 am – 4pm at Carrs Lane Church, Birmingham

Further info from: 020 7916 8655  michael.jagessar@urc.org.uk  tracey.hardingham@urc.org.uk


Please note that the planned Synod Elders Gatherings have now been postponed. Details of new dates will follow.



The time has come, once again, for the URC to nominate participants for CWM’s Training in Mission (TIM) Programme.

Every year, 10-12 participants, aged 18-30, from member churches including the United Reformed Church, are brought together for about seven months of intensive mission training.

Employing an action-reflection model of learning, over 350 young people have so far been changed for life by this magnificent programme, developing a new practical and radical understanding of what witnessing to Christ means. CWM is known for its commitment to mutual encounter, in which peoples and cultures form across the planet meet together to learn from one another. TIM participants are able to see, first-hand how this works on the ground and, in turn, to incorporate their findings into their own practice. In every member church, TIM participants are to be seen as living expressions of CWM's understanding of partnership in mission, making this programme crucial, not only for participants, but for their home denominations.

TIM aims to:

  • provide training for life. It is intended to act as a stage in one’s Christian formation to encourage a life–long involvement with the Mission of the Church.
  •  offer training with a wide vision, deepened commitment and a strengthened sense of fellowship and partnership with other Christians around the world, particularly through CWM member-churches.
  •     be an enabling experience, offering an adventure of faith, rooted in God and enacted in the world
  •  be a journey of transformation, dialectic of self and society. Though initiated three decades ago, CWM is constantly re-defining the content and methodology of the programme, just as it hopes participants will do themselves.

The next TIM will take place between the 2nd May and 26th November 2016. The closing date for the submission of applications is on 15th November 2015.  For more information please  e-mail children.youth@urc.org.uk or call us on 020 7916 8683 for an application form.



Wednesday 9th September,  7pm – 9pm  - The Dales URC

Tuesday 29th September, 6.30pm – 9pm – Bulwell URC


Saturday 12th September, 10.45am – 2pm – Marlpool URC


Thursday 15th October, 7pm – 9pm – Wigston Magna

Booking is essential, email: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk   tel: 0115 9609241




Are you a gifted and passionate individual who wants to share the gospel, making Jesus known to children, young people and their families? An opportunity has arisen to join our team in the ELM Pastorate, providing Christian support and guidance.

The ELM Pastorate is a group of three United Reformed Churches in Eastwood, Langley and Marlpool, on the boundary between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. We have a team that includes an ordained minister, lay people and a number of volunteers who are passionate about working with children, young people and their families. We have been working with six schools in the local area and run a variety of groups for children and young people within the churches.

We are looking for someone to sustain and develop the work we have been doing.

Salary: £19,000 - 23,213 pro rata (depending on qualification and experience)

Part-time hours: 24 Hours a week (£12,300-£15.000)

Contract: Fixed term for two years; third year pending funding.

For further details, an informal chat and application pack please contact Revd Bachelard Kaze at

     or on 07476280555

Closing Date:  17th September 2015  

Interviews will be held on 29th September 2015.

 An enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check will be required




  • Please note that Westgate have a new Secretary: Audrey Thompson, 14 Cosgrove Close, Peterborough, PE3 7JN, Tel 01733 265932, e-mail geraud3@gmail.com
  • Please note that all emails for Helen Lidgett (Synod Clerk), should now be sent to: clerk@urc5.org.uk
  • Please note that Margaret Davies, Secretary at Rose Hill URC, has a new email address:


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: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk Copy Date for Next E-Letter:14.09.15