EMURCE-LETTER 264 - 15th March 2018

E-LETTER NO: 264 – 15th MARCH 2018


Dear Friends,

We live in momentous times for the United Reformed Church!   Walking the Way has now begun and already some of our churches are making use of the materials that are to be found on the United Reformed Church’s website.  Stepwise, an integral part of WtW, which is the successor to TLS is now starting to be rolled out.   As I write this letter, the Synod meeting is several days away but we will be hearing more about Stepwise at the meeting.  There are times in the churches life when all seems to be changing very quickly and this is one of those times.  So we will be considering together the opportunities that two significant resolutions coming to this March Synod will present for us.  Please be prayerful if you are attending or if you’re not attending.   May we hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to us as we meet together.  Circumstances may seem scary or daunting but our God travels with us and simply calls us to remember that this is how it has always been for the people of God and God has never let God’s people down.  The disciples thought it was all over not just on Good Friday but before that on the Thursday of the trials.  They lost heart and fled.  Little did they know that God was weaving the terrible events they witnessed into God’s amazing plan for the world.  And lo and behold, on Easter Sunday, God proved their despondency ill-founded and brought them hope they’d never known before.  We are inheritors of that hope and so, may I take this chance to wish you a blessed and hopeful Eastertide.




SYNOD MEETING – Please  remember  the  Synod  Meeting  at  Abbots  Road  URC,  Leicester  takes
place this Saturday 17th March 2018, with a 10:30am start.  Please ensure that your church is represented in the decisions that are to be made at this Synod.

OFFICE CLOSURE – Please note that the office will be closed week commencing Monday 19th March.  We will endeavour to check the answer phone throughout the day.  Please bear with us as the office renovations reach their conclusion.

  • We regretfully inform you that the Revd Dr David Byron Evans - known as Byron - died on 21st February 2018 at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.  Byron served at Dunvant, Swansea (1947-50);  Tabernacle, Haverfordwest (1950-57);  Retford (1959-67); and Worksop (1986-91); and as Dean of Studies, Greenwich School of Theology in association with NW University of South Africa.  Byron was still serving as an examiner up until his death. David’s  funeral service will be held on Wednesday 21st March, 12.30pm at St. Swithun's Parish Church, Chapelgate, Retford, DN22 6PL. Our thoughts and prayers are with Byron’s family at this time.


  • It is with sadness that we inform you that retired minister, Revd Michael O'Hara, passed away last Thursday (Feb 22nd) in the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital, Exeter. Michael served at Buckingham& Tingewick 1967 - 83, Potterspury & Paulerspury 1974 - 83; East Grinstead 1983 - 99; Balcombe 1988 - 99; Chapel Street Sidmouth 1999 – 2002. A service of Celebration of his Life will be held at Primley URC on March 15th at 11am and will be led by Rev Iain McDonald. Please remember the family in your prayers.


  • It is with regret that we inform you of the sad news that Revd Dr Stephen Mayor died on the evening of Sunday 11th March.  Stephen had been in Hinchinbrook Hospital during the week, where his family had spent time with him, but had returned to Bramley Court, Histon, where he died. Stephen served at Handbridge, Chester 1954-58; Westminster Road, Liverpool 1958-64; Research Fellow, Mansfield College 1964-69; Director of Field Studies & Lay Training, Westminster College & Cheshunt 1969-76; Director, Cheshunt Foundation & Professor of Pastoral Studies, Westminster College 1977-85; Professor of Church History 1985-92.

ALVASTON URC – Invite you to attend an Augmented Choir Presentation ‘Olivet to Calvary’ on Sunday 25th March at 5.30pm. Soloists: Kathryn Fitchett, Nicola Rudge, Colin Ashton and Jon Morris. Organist: Geoff Hooley. Musical Director: Margaret Slater. Free Admission.  Alvaston URC, Baker Street, Derby.


MARLPOOL URC THEATRE COMPANY – presents ‘Saints Alive! and songs of New Beginnings’ in the Community Hall, Chapel Street, Marlpool from 17th – 19th May 2018 at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £6 each and are available from the box office by calling: 01332 986082  or online at: www.ticketsource.co.uk/murctc with no booking fee. This event is in partnership with Marlpool URC Flower Festival which can be visited from 6pm on performance nights.


ARTS BREAKOUT - Friday 20 April to Saturday 28 April at ChristChurch LEP on Finkin Street Grantham. Nine days of multi-media arts-related events, with a range of topics, activities and performances. It begins on Friday 20 April at 7.00pm with Pam Rhodes from BBC’s Songs of Praise telling Stories behind our Favourite Hymns. All events will be free and all are very welcome.


A study day looking at the rule of St. Benedict. All Welcome!

On Saturday 14th July 2018 from 10.30am - 3pm (bring a packed lunch) at the Synod Meeting Room, Nottingham, NG5 3AA. Led by Revd Dr Deborah Baird. Booking is essential, to book contact Hannah Holmes:

Tel: 0115 9609241

Lay Preachers Gathering

Join us for Bible Study, discussion and fellowship. Led by Revd Dr Deborah Baird on Saturday 23rd June 2018, 10.30am - 2.30pm at the Synod Meeting Room, Nottingham, NG5 3AA (Please bring your own lunch) To book contact Hannah Holmes: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk  Tel: 0115 9609241


Safeguarding training led by Jane Henderson at Stamford URC, in the Church Hall on Broad Street.

On Saturday 21st April 2018 from 10am to 2pm. Refreshments served. To book or for more information contact Hannah Holmes at the Synod Office: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk  Tel: 0115 9609241


With Spring approaching it is time to get booked in for our March events at Westminster. Coming up is the first of this year’s Elders residential as we look at Eldership on the Frontline aimed at helping Elders be think about what it means to be leadership teams encountering both opportunity and challenge.

Then we have Draw Breath and Reflect upon the Cross coming up on March 24th, offering a chance to spend a day reflecting upon how the cross of Jesus affects our daily living. There will be opportunity to do this through worship, art, prayer, conversation and personal space and reflection. The choice will be yours.

For more information or to book for any of these events visit: http://www.westminster.cam.ac.uk/church/events

Rural Ministries Annual Conference

Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire, from 8th-9th June 2018

Sharing our God led experiences in a missional sense should inspire and encourage us. We should be challenged to view the culture and community that we are part of through God's eyes, how might that change your church mission activities? What might you be led to stop and engaged to start something new? Together, we will enjoy two days of fellowship, discussion, learning and sharing based on John’s Gospel.

We are delighted that our teaching sessions will be led by Rev Canon Dave Male who has recently been promoted to Church of England Director for Evangelism and Discipleship. He is highly respected for his expertise and is very experienced in helping churches implement missional strategies. We believe those attending will benefit greatly from his sessions. Our times of worship will be led by Sam and Sara Hargreaves of engage worship.

The conference cost is just £90 per person including accommodation on the 8th June, all meals and delegate packs. Full details of the event and booking information can be found on our https://www.ruralministries.org.uk/annual-conference-2018


Do you…

  • have Sikh neighbours?
  • work with Sikhs?
  • employ Sikh staff?
  • have a Sikh Temple in your neighbourhood?
  • have a curiosity about Sikh beliefs and practice?

So would it help you to understand Sikhs and Sikhism better?  If so, come to Relating to Sikhs and Sikhism on Saturday 21st April 2018, 10am to 4pm.  An introductory day for Christians, church groups and people of all faiths and none. 

The aims of the day are for participants to:

  • gain a working understanding of Sikh beliefs, practices and festivals
  • visit and understand the role of a Sikh Temple (Gurdwara)
  • meet and chat with a Sikh
  • identify common ground
  • ask questions
  • become more informed and confident in relating to Sikhs and gurdwaras

Cost £30 per person, with a £15 non-returnable deposit on booking. Contact Andy Williams: andy.williams@blackleycentre.co.uk Centre Office Tel. 01422 646803, The Blackley Centre ,Prospect View, Blackley, Elland, West Yorkshire HX5 0TD (Near Junction 24 of the M62)


PILGRIMAGE – On Saturday 17th March at Abbots Road URC, running alongside Synod for ages 11 years upwards.

Labyrinth, Fellowship, Discussion, Fun! Booking is essential, to book please contact Hannah Holmes at the Synod Office:

Tel: 0115 9609241


13th—15th April 2018. At The Pioneer Centre, Kidderminster This is a chance to meet together and have fun. If you are between 11 and 17 then we hope you’ll join us. For more information contact Hannah Holmes: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk or Jane Henderson: cydo@urc5.org.uk


Children and Youth Leaders Training and ‘Meet Up’ - The Dales URC - Saturday 15th September 2018 from 10am - 3pm

To book please contact Hannah Holmes at the Synod Office: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk  

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: 26.03.2018

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