General Assembly 2012
met in the Spa Centre Scarborough
over the weekend of 6 - 9 July
What it was like to be there - an illustrated report by Revd David Legge.
This is a typical view of Scarborough over the weekend.
Here we are walking back to the Grand Hotel
which can just see looming in the mists.
As the people gathered in the Spa Centre,
we took a seat at one of many tables
- so that we could more easily engage
in 'Living Conversations' with fellow representatives.
The view from the balcony show this more clearly
On the top table:
Moderator's Chaplain Melanie Smith,
Moderator Revd Micheal Jagessar
(who was inducted to this post at the start of Assembly.)
Moderator Val Morrison - continuing to serve for an extra year
and her Chaplain Revd Dr James Coleman
Revd Roberta Rominger, General Secretary of the United Reformed Church.
Just out of sight is Revd James Breslyn, clerk to assembly - a key role as he is the one who knows the rules and regulations inside out!
Chaplain Melanie Smith
led much of the worship this year.
She is an ordinand at Westminster College,
and has special permission to do this role.
Each Day we were led in Bible Study by Dr Marylin Legge,
a lecturer in Christian Ethics from Canada.
She presented simpler Bible studies
in the booklet that was sent round to all churches
before General Assembly met.
They are worth doing!
On the Saturday evening,
Some children from the Children's Assembly
gave an amusing and challenging presentation
on what makes an ideal minister
and in the evening back at the Grand Hotel,
we were able to meet in the lobby for a drink and a chat,
or go into the Cabaret Room to hear Thursday's Child - a Christian Rock group featuring two ministers: Stephen Brown of the URC and Carol Ann Parker of the Church of Scotland.
Please contact Thursdays' Child if you are interested in using them in a program of outreach or mission to youth and young people.
Their singing must have been good,
for the weather improved overnight,
and we had a tantalising view of Scarborough
from the Hotel Window.
saw us walking over the bridge
and up the hill to St Andrew's United Reformed Church
for a little light business and Some serious worship
in the form of the Communion Service
The Order of service for this can be found on the URC national website
After the communion service
many members of Assembly
marched down into the the town centre
Following the piper (Stephen Brown again) . . .
. . . as he led the two Assembly Modertors,
the general Secretary
and the two chaplains . . .
. . . down the road into town
until we gathered outside the Town Hall . . . .
. . . where Moderator Michael (and others) gave a speech,
and presented the Scarborough Declaration
(agreed the previous day by Assembly)
to MP Robert Goodwill.
Apart from breakfast in the Hotel, meals were provided at the Spa.
Here we are Scavenging at Lunchtime
- searching the bags for the right type of sandwich!
While the children were rather more dignified!
Dinner was much more civilised!
The view from our table at the back of the Hall.
At the back of the Hall
there was always
other work going on.
In one corner a team of intercessors continually prayed over the business, and were available for to pray for issues on our hearts as well.
One intercessor suggested
that I should not take a photo of them as we would not be able to tell
if they were praying or sleeping!
Next to the intercessors was a bank of high technology.
The booth surrounded in black boards enclosed the mixing desk for the sound and vision team - they managed the microphones, operated the projectors showing the slides and video, and managed the two TV cameras filming Assembly and streaming most of it to the URC website.
The orange table was the office of the Communications team for the duration of Assembly - this is where they wrote the News Pages for the National URC website,
and began drafting the articles for the September issue of REFORM
Then there were two much more 'arty' areas:
one showing the 'Yorkshire Gospels',
a re-presentation of the four Gospels
made up of contributions from the churches of the Yorkshire Synod.
In the opposite corner to the Intercessors
Elizabeth Gray-King was our artist in reidence,
painting an image of Assembly as it happened.
Three panels for three days . . .