E-LETTER NO: 238 – 16th FEBRUARY 2017


Earlier this week I opened a book that I have not looked at for some time, and a prayer card fell out of it.  It reads: From this moment on, may I LOVE powerfully, GIVE prayerfully, LIVE purposefully and LEAVE the rest to God.  The bird drawn on it is quite cute too, but I digress.  Now, this week many of us will have celebrated Valentine’s Day, but I don’t think that this prayer card is about the sentimental, often gushy sort of love we tend to exhibit on 14 February.  Indeed, Basil of Caesarea, a fourth-century monk and bishop, wrote: ‘I cannot persuade myself that without love to others, and without, as far as rests with me, peaceableness towards all, I can be called a worthy servant of Jesus Christ.’  So, I regard the finding of my prayer card a happy reminder that if 14 February is a day about love, it has to include the hard work of working for peace, whatever and wherever that might be, and loving those I don’t really want to, because that is the only way I can try to be a worthy servant of Jesus Christ, endeavouring to live purposefully and then leaving the rest to God.

God bless, Deborah


  • It is with sadness that we inform you of the death of Revd David Robertson on 3 February 2017. David served at: Diss 1987-90; Woodley & Hatherlow 1990-93; and Trinity, Fishermead, Milton Keynes 1993-98. Our thoughts and prayers are with David’s family and friends. For funeral details please contact North Western Synod Office.



GAINSBOROUGH URC - are hoping to arrange a Training Day in March/April led by Sarah Crossland, a Trustee with Churches and Visitors Tourism Association (CVTA).  CVTA describes itself as ‘the UK’s leading body for promoting best practice in welcoming people to places of worship.  Our work is all about developing the tourism potential and visitor experience...of our historical and contemporary sacred heritage, captured for the future, living in the present, and distinctive to the location of every community across the land.’  (See cvta.og.uk for further information).

Gainsborough U.R.C. was built as a memorial to John Robinson ‘pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers.’  We are seeking to develop our church’s heritage potential in the approach to the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the ‘Mayflower’ in 2020.  We see this as a springboard to developing our ministry of welcome.  Members of other churches keen to develop their ministry of welcome may also find the CVTA Training Day valuable.  There will be a cost, varying according to numbers attending.  If 15-20 people attend, the cost will be no more than £20 per person according to current figures.  Please contact Church Secretary Mrs. Susan Bee (e-mail: bee.susan@yahoo.co.uk, Tel. 01427 811258) to register your interest.



THE DALES – On Saturday 4th March, The Dales are holding a Coffee morning, to raise funds for Dementia research. Time 10-30am -12 noon. There will be tombola / raffle/ sales table/ coffee & cakes. All Welcome.

BASSETLAW CHRISTIAN HERITAGE – 2nd Religious Tolerance Conference. Saturday 11th March 2017, 9.30am – 1pm at The Well, Hospital road, Retford, DN22 7BN   www.bassetlawchristianheritage.com

BULWELL FOREST GARDENS - Barn Dance, a Charity event for BFG on Tuesday 28th February at Oakleigh, Lodge Social Club, 1 Highbury Rd, Bulwell, Nottingham, NG6 9DD. Doors open at 6.30pm - first dance 7pm.

Food! Raffle! Live music! Tickets - donation of £5 or over available from: Bulwell Forest Garden during opening times, Cantrell Primary School, or contact us via Facebook page or email: http://bulwellforestgarden.co.uk Charity number 1160072



DUSTON URC – This year Duston URC, Northampton, celebrates 190 years.  We are holding our annual Anniversary Flower Festival this year on 4th and 5th March entitled '190 YEAR LONG ,190 YEAR STRONG' when you are invited to stroll through the decades portrayed in flowers.  We are open on 4th March from 10am to 4.30pm and on Sunday 5th March we shall welcome our Moderator to preach at our 10.30 am service and the flowers will be open from 2pm to 4.30pm.  Refreshments will be served and craft stalls will also be available.  We would love to welcome you.




Would you like to contribute to the discussions on The Windermere Centre? You can follow this link: http://www.urc.org.uk/future-of-the-windermere-centre.html  which takes you to the webpage gathering together in one place, a number of papers which relate to the future of the Windermere Centre. This page will be maintained until after Mission Council meets in May 2017.                                                                                      

The questions, comments and ideas which have been received so far from a variety of places in the United Reformed Church are helpful prompts to the two committees in preparing the papers for Mission Council, so that there can be fully informed debate at the meeting in May.                                                                              

Further responses are welcome, according to the following guidelines which have been set in order that submissions can be considered while the papers for Mission Council are being prepared. All responses:

  • Must include the name and contact details of sender
  • Should be written and submitted by 1 March 2017
  • Should be sent to the Revd Fiona Thomas, Secretary for Education and Learning, by email or by post to Church House, 86 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9RT.
  • Will be made public, unless otherwise requested, and available to read on the URC website in due course.                                                                                                                                                                                  

If you do choose to contribute to the discussions, it would be very helpful if you could let our representatives at Mission Council know your views as they prepare for the meeting in May. The representatives from East Midlands Synod are: Revd Peter Meek, Mrs Helen Lidgett and Mr David Greatorex. Please send your contribution to Helen Lidgett: clerk@urc5.org.uk



As you are all aware we will be having two visitors from our Partner Synod- Revd. Keleneilwe Kgerathwa  (Synod Secretary) and Revd. John Motswai (Synod Chairman Elect) for the week - March 12th to 20th.  I have already had some response to my last message in the e letter but I still have some gaps in their programme , so if you have any meetings, gatherings during that week there is still the opportunity to let me know to enable them to have a wider picture of our Synod. Please contact me a.s.a.p. so that I can put a programme together.  Judith North  0116 2862625. 07765009585. Judithnorth64@yahoo.co.uk




The URC are holding a Ministry Enquirer’s Day on Saturday 18th March 2017 from 10am – 4pm at Luther King House, Manchester.

  • Explore opportunities for service through the URC
  • Ask the questions that are on your mind and heart
  • Hear from people engaged in a variety of lay and ordained ministries
  • Listen for the voice of God as we worship and pray together

For full details contact Vivienne Williams: Vivienne.williams@urc.org.uk  Tel: 020 7916 8649


Implications for churches and communities – A day conference exploring the issues of Brexit and likely effects on rural communities, churches, agriculture and the environment. This is not a day to debate the pros and cons of Brexit but a day to work towards the common good whilst recognising that differences will continue to exist. Thursday 30th March 2017 from 10am – 4pm at The Arthur Rank Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleigh, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG. The cost is £25 (plus £1.99 booking fee) to include lunch and refreshments. For more information visit: https://tinyurl.com/hst2wbx



For those who have been exercising this valuable ministry for many years, please do bring along the resources that you use and tips that you have found helpful, especially when going to serve in this way in different churches, so that we can all learn more.  For those who have not yet presided, or are very new to doing so, here is the opportunity to undergo some training with Revd Mary Burgess.  All are welcome! The two dates are:

  • Saturday 4th March 2017 from 10am – 12noon (arriving at 9.45am for tea/coffee before a prompt 10am start) At Long Eaton URC, Nottingham Road, Long Eaton, NG10 1HQ
  • Saturday 8th April 2017 from 10am – 12noon (arriving at 9.45am for tea/coffee before a prompt 10am start) At Ermine URC, Sudbrooke Drive, Ermine, Lincoln, LN2 2EF. There is parking on site and around the Church

Please let Mary know if you are coming, by email mary@spiritualseekers.co.uk or phone 0116 2849623.



Looking at living and dying well. 6-7pm. All welcome!                                                                                                                 

At Newport Pagnell United Reformed Church, MK16 0FH

  • Sunday 26th February- Living to die and Dying to live. Looking at things we need to let go in order to move forward and grow. Ruth Iley.
  • Sunday 5th March: Discussion around previous week's theme.
  • Sunday 12th March: Life and death, crucifixion and resurrection in the Bible. Focusing on the Biblical themes of life, death and resurrection. Lawrence Moore.
  • Sunday 19th March: Discussion around the previous week's theme.
  • Sunday 26th March: Dying well- end of life thinking. Thinking and talking about death- for those dying and those left behind. Steve Barnes.
  • Sunday 2nd April: Discussion around the previous week's theme and follow on series ideas.

Each session will begin with a shared meal at 5pm- just let us know you are coming.

For more information speak to Jenny Mills: call 07703485017 or email: revdjmills@btinternet.com




You are invited to attend a Messy Church Family Ministry Day, led by Jane Henderson (CYDO) with Lucy Moore from Messy Church. Come along to find out more about family ministry and get lots of ideas!!! Saturday 25th February 2017 from 10am – 4pm at Christ Church, Leicester. Please bring a packed lunch. Booking is essential, to book contact Hannah B at the Synod Office:    trainingpa@urc5.org.uk  tel: 0115 9609241


There is a Youth Event for over 11’s running alongside the next Synod Meeting on Saturday 18th March 2017 at St. Columba’s, Lincoln. We are pleased to announce that Dan Morrell, the URC’s Youth Moderator, will be joining us and getting involved with our activities! To book please contact Hannah B at the Synod Office: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk





• As a member of the Leadership Team, to develop the Strategy and Business Plan and ensure the effective functioning of the organisation in achieving its goals in furtherance of these.

• To lead MHA’s work on the spiritual well-being of older people

• To establish MHA as the leading organisation in the UK on spirituality in later life

• To lead the chaplaincy service provided throughout MHA.

• To be the functional lead for the Volunteer service across all MHA services.

• To lead on MHA’s relationships with the Methodist Church, other Christian denominations and other faith organisations.

• To work with colleagues across the organisation to release time, money and voice from people across the UK to benefit older people of all faiths and of none.

Candidates should apply for this role through the website: www.saxbam.com/jobs using reference code UAFMH.

Click on the ‘apply’ button and follow the instructions to upload a CV and cover letter, and complete the application and equal opportunities monitoring* form.

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 27th February 2017.

If you are unable to apply through the website, please email belinda.beck@saxbam.com quoting reference UAFMH.

* The equal opportunities monitoring online form will not be shared with anyone involved in assessing your application. Please





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: 27.02.2017