E-LETTER NO: 256 – 16th NOVEMBER 2017



According to my Book of Quotations, it was David Beckham who said that “hindsight is a wonderful thing.” Reflecting back on the events of the Reformation, I can’t help but wonder whether Martin Luther would still have nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg if he had known what effect it would have.  As a Synod we are needing to try to look ahead, bearing in mind the words of Madeline L’Engle in her book “The Arm of the Starfish” when she wrote ,”You cannot see the past that did not happen, any more than you can forsee the future.” The discussion paper, “A View From 2025” which was presented at Synod is an attempt to see how we can make best use of a declining number of Stipendiary Ministers.

We now know our target figure for 2021, which is 4 less than we have now, but will not know beyond that, until the New Year. So inevitably there is an element of crystal ball gazing, but we do know, the number is very likely to continue to be reduced, what we don’t know yet, is by how many. The intention is for the discussion paper to be adopted at our March Synod, before then we would like to receive feedback from Church and Area meetings as well as from any individuals. If any comments are sent to me, I will collate them and then pass them onto the Pastoral Group. If comments could be sent by mid-January they could then be discussed at the Pastoral meeting on 31st January.

Please send to: geoffrey.townsend@btinternet.com


THE DALES URC – are holding their Autumn Fair on Saturday 18th November from 2.15pm. There will be tombola, raffle, greeting cards, stalls, toys, books, cakes and jams. There is a small charge for entry, all are welcome!


NOTTINGHAMSHIRE WORLD CHURCH SUNDAY - 19th November at St. Andrew's with Castle Gate URC from 4 pm to 6 pm. Celebrating our World Church connections at national, synod and local church levels, this event will also include a "bring and share" tea and worship with hymns from across the world. All are welcome!



DERBYSHIRE AREA GATHERING - Just a reminder to the Derbyshire churches that there will be an Area Gathering on Monday 27th November, 7:30pm at Rose Hill URC, 22 Soresby Street, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S40 1JN.  The Gatherings are an opportunity to meet together now that we no longer have Districts and a time for fellowship, the sharing of thoughts and ideas. As part of this years gatherings, it is also a chance to talk about a paper that the Moderator has written called 'A View from 2025'.

Please do come along and encourage others to come along too. It would be good to have representatives from each church. Please let us know you are coming by telephoning the office or emailing: modpa@urc5.org.uk


PILGRIMS FESTIVAL AT GAINSBOROUGH UNITED REFORMED CHURCH - As the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ voyage to the U.S.A. in 2020 draws closer, celebrations will take place in Gainsborough for the first time.  Lantern-making workshops have been taking place in schools and other venues since late October, and one will be held in the U.R.C. 10am-4pm on 18 and 19 November.  There will be a joint worship service at All Saints Parish Church on Sunday 19 November when a candle will be lit for taking to the Civic Service at Gainsborough U.R.C. at 6pm on Wednesday 22 November.  That service will be preceded by a procession of lanterns through the town centre at 5pm, and followed by a reception at Gainsborough Old Hall.

The annual church Autumn Fayre has been timed to coincide with the Pilgrims’ Festival during Coffee Morning on Tuesday 21 November.  The church will also be open so visitors may browse the newly installed Pilgrims Exhibition at 12-2pm Tuesday 21, 10am-2pm Thursday 23 and 10am-12 Saturday 25 November.  For further information, please contact Church Secretary Susan Bee (e-mail: bee.susan@yahoo.co.uk; Tel. 01427 811258).

STAMFORD URC - are holding a Table Top and Book Sale at their hall (29 Broad Street) on Saturday 25th November 2017 from 10am to 4pm.  This in aid of the Arch Repair fund and church funds.  Tables are £5 each and are going fast.  Everyone is welcome.

Synod Elders Gatherings


An opportunity to meet with other elders to share experiences and ideas within our churches and take part in bible study. All elders are welcome to join us on either of the following dates, please note that spaces are limited and will be given on a first come first serve basis.

  • Saturday 27th January 2018 from 10.30am - 2.30pm (bring your own lunch) at The Synod Meeting Room, Nottingham, NG5 3AA, Led by Revd Dr Deborah Baird
  • Saturday 3rd March 2018 from 10.30am - 2.30pm (bring your own lunch) at Loughborough URC (blue room), LE11 3BH, Led by Revd Dr Deborah Baird

 To book contact Hannah Holmes, Email: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk  Tel: 0115 9609241

Extra - Alert re Web Photographs from Churches Together


A new website for a local Churches Together group has accidentally used a photograph that looked like one of their own, but was in fact from a photographic stock library. They have been issued with a letter of Copyright Infringement and an Invoice for £305.

Though an image of a church, the stock library has an automatic mechanism (called a ‘bot’) which trawls the internet looking for an electronic ‘tag’ on the individual stock image. If such an image is not covered with a copyright licence cover, a letter arrives from the stock library agent to the local web manager. In this case to CTE, which we then had to pass on to the local Churches Together group for image removal and information, as well as possible payment.

As the letter initially came to me as CTE web manager, I tracked down the local CT group at the same time as protesting strongly to the stock library agent that local community volunteers were unfairly being given an Invoice for £305 for copyright infringement that was recent and accidental.

I have had to leave the situation to the local CT group but offered to issue an alert for anyone using web images on a blog site, web site, image gallery, online PowerPoint, or any other way images are kept and from whatever source (especially Google Images and other online providers). There are licence arrangements and every image needs to be covered individually eg ‘Creative Commons Zero’ or copyright payment provided for the length of time the image is live. Please research and avoid copyright infringement.

We have issued an Alert before but ask everyone please to pass the message on for due diligence and avoidance on unnecessary cost to unwary web managers.


Synod Office Building Work


We are now in week 7 of the office building work. Please do keep checking the website for weekly updates and pictures and videos: http://www.urc5.org.uk/SOimprovement . As you will see from the pictures the partition walls are now up to divide the hall into its 3 main rooms, being the new Synod meeting room (with kitchenette), the Moderator’s room and the TDO and CYDO’s room. The electrical first fix has been completed and this week the plastering has been finished. The old ramp at the front of the building has been demolished, ready for the disabled access ramp to go in its place.


Advent Refresher


You are invited to our Synod Advent Refresher on Saturday 25th November 2017 from 2pm – 5pm at Sherwood URC, Nottingham, led by Revd Dr Deborah Baird. Come along to share ideas and discussions with other churches and be led in bible study and reflection. Booking is essential, please contact Hannah Holmes to book your place: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk  Tel: 0115 9609241

Youth and Children


Theme: Pilgrimage: Are we there yet? From 19-21 January 2018 at Whitemoor Lakes, Alrewas, Staffs.

Age: school year 10 to age 25

It is a great weekend to meet up with other young people in the Synod and around the country.  Worship, workshops, activities and some business.

Cost if booked before 9 November: £110, cost on or after 9 November: £140

Book your place at: www.urc.org.uk/urcya

More information from Jane Henderson – Funding is available from Synod.

Job Opportunities


Fixed-Term Contract, 35 hours per week, Salary: £37,992

Are you passionate about building a Church which caters effectively for children and young people? Are you a team player committed to seeing tasks through? Can you motivate and support colleagues in carrying out challenging tasks?

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a reliable and focussed person to support the national Children’s and Youth Work Office of the United Reformed Church in keeping its programme running, as well as helping to advocate for children and young people in the Church, during a period of review and renewal in the denomination’s work with children and young people. You will need to be able to work with a diverse group of colleagues and volunteers to ensure that the various events, publications, online materials and opportunities offered for children, young people, their families and workers are delivered to a high standard in a timely fashion. Your professionalism will help to maintain a sense of order and consistency during this time of transition.

If you are interested in working for us and can meet the above requirements, please contact us/see our website for an application form (noting that we do not accept CVs):

Human Resources Office, the United Reformed Church, 86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT

T: 0207 691 9871 E: recruitment@urc.org.uk W: www.urc.org.uk/vacancies

Closing date for applications: 12 noon, Monday 8 January 2018 Interview date: Monday 22 January 2018

This post requires an enhanced DBS certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service


Permanent Contract, 28 hours per week (to include Fridays), Salary: £17,291

The United Reformed Church’s busy graphic and print office is looking for an enthusiastic, self‐motivated individual to join our small and friendly team. You will have experience of customer service, excellent verbal communication skills and proven ability to juggle competing deadlines and priorities whilst remaining calm under pressure. Experience of the printing process, Adobe Acrobat DC and knowledge of paper types in a print environment, while not essential, would be a distinct advantage.

It’s busy – and covers a wide gamut of tasks so we can promise you’ll never get bored!

If you are interested in working for us and can meet the above requirements, please contact us/see our website for an application form (noting that we do not accept CVs):

Human Resources Office, the United Reformed Church, 86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT

T: 0207 691 9874 E: recruitment@urc.org.uk W: www.urc.org.uk/vacancies

Closing date for applications: 12 noon, Thursday 30 November 2017 Interview date: Wednesday 13 December 2017

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: 27.11.2017

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