E-LETTER NO: 242 – 13th April 2017


As a CYDO I do a lot of driving around the Synod visiting some lovely churches and hearing what they do with their children’s and youth ministry. I look at what they could do as well as talking about the Child Friendly Church Award (have you got this yet?) and training.  If I have not visited you yet, invite me, I really enjoy visiting churches and children’s and youth groups.

Whilst driving I do a lot of thinking and listening to music, I have an iPod which I have on shuffle so that I get a mix of my eclectic music collection.

The other day I was contemplating the cross, Good Friday and the journey to the Cross, I had an all age Stations of the Cross service to do. Whilst driving through Lincolnshire the wonderful hymn by John Newton, Amazing Grace, came on and it’s a good job that no one could hear me singing along.  As it ended I am at the foot of the cross, seeing what God has done for me, for us, His Grace and forgiveness but at what cost, his only son dying for us.  Then the next song came on, ‘It’s better now’ by Status Quo, I told you my taste was eclectic!  As I’m listening to the words it struck me that it is better now.  We approach Good Friday with the knowledge of Easter day, It is better now!  Our sins are forgiven, we have a new life in Christ and the promise of eternal life.

The words of the Status Quo song talk about needing a friend, having a God of my own and needing something to sing about. 

We, as Christians, have something to sing about.  A risen Christ, a new life.  Let’s sing it out loud this Easter!

May you all have a blessed and Happy Easter.                                                                      

Jane Henderson, CYDO



  • It is with sadness that we inform you of the death of Revd Leslie Guthrie, a retired Minister, who was living in the Isle of Man. Leslie passed away peacefully on 23rd March after a stroke. He had previously served at: Church of Scotland -1986; Finch Hill 1986 - 1993; St. Andrew's, Douglas 1986 - 2009. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Jean, and their family and friends.


Office Closure - Please note that the Synod Office will be closed on Monday 17th April for the Bank Holiday and also Tuesday 18th April 2017



GAINSBOROUGH UNITED REFORMED CHURCH- will open for the West Lindsey Churches Festival over the weekend of 13/14 May 2017.  The church, built as a memorial to John Robinson, ‘Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers,’ will be open 10am-4pm on Saturday 13 May and 2-5pm on Sunday 14 May.  There will be an informal concert including music, singing, poetry and drama at 7pm on Saturday and opportunities to hear organ music during the weekend. Highlights include a Bassetlaw Christian Heritage exhibition about the Separatists, an exhibition ‘Illuminating the Mayflower Pilgrims’ Story’ created by Retford artist Jenny King, and a display from the Art Club which meets at the church.  Adrian Gray, historical adviser and director of Pilgrims and Prophets, will give a talk, ‘Why did they come from here?  Gainsborough’s radical Christians’ at 3pm on Sunday.  Light refreshments will be served, including lunches of soup, pudding and hot drink 12-1.30pm on Saturday. A Big Cake Sale will begin on Saturday morning and continue until all cakes are gone!  For further information of the West Lindsey Churches Festival see: www.churchesfestival.info.



BIG SING: SINGING FOR JUSTICE - Saturday 13th May, 2pm – 4.30pm. Trinity Methodist Church, Harborough Rd, Oadby, LE2 4LA. Come and sing songs of peace, justice, community, and celebration from the world church, and raise money for Christian Aid at the same time. Join your voice with others in harmony (and unison!), as we explore song from the places and people that Christian Aid will be focusing on during Christian Aid Week. All are very welcome - no singing experience necessary. Donations to the work of Christian Aid. Organised by the East Midlands group of the Iona Community.

 More information from Tricia on tricia36lockley@googlemail.com / 0116 367 6474, or Emily on emilyjw23@yahoo.co.uk



GOSPEL BAYFEST – Morecambe Bay Festival of Gospel Music – 29/30 September and 1 October 2017.  www.gospelbayfest.com  - This gospel music festival has been arranged in response to a growing interest in the north-west of England and will take place at The Platform venue in Morecambe.  The mission of the festival will have two facets.  It will be a celebration of gospel music in its many forms, and it will afford the facility for people to make or renew their commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.  With this second facet in mind, one of Britain’s most accomplished evangelists, Roger Carswell, will be a member of the Gospel Bayfest team.  The weekend will be hosted by Eurovision Song Contest winner Dana who will also be singing and sharing her Christian faith, and it will include Songs of Praise Choir of the Year winners One Voice Community Choir.  The programme of three concerts, a Praise and Testimony session and a praise-led service of Sunday morning worship will include top gospel artists from across the British Isles, and will feature a rich diversity in gospel music styles. 

Weekend tickets are priced at just £40.00 and are available via the Bayfest website (see above) or by phone from the Platform booking office: 01524 582803.  For further information please contact 01524 262373


WHOLE-LIFE DISCIPLESHIP - Rural Ministries Annual Conference, 13th May

At The Well, Retford, Nottinghamshire, Cost £30

It's too easy for 98% of the church (all the 'lay people') to think that their contribution to God's work mainly happens in 5% of their lives (when we are engaged in church-sponsored activity). At least that is the impression we can give one another.

But the Bible is full of stories that show what can happen when God takes ordinary people and uses them in ways that they could never have imagined. What might that look like in our places, in our lives when we get a vision for whole life discipleship?

Led by Neil Hudson of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, we shall be helped and challenged to develop a culture of whole-life discipleship in our churches, communities, and workplace.

For more information and booking go to www.ruralministries.org.uk/annual-conference of follow the link on our home page.


CREATIVITY AND THE DEMENTIA FRIENDLY CHURCH IN LEEDS - Livability Community Engagement                          

Tuesday, 13 June 2017 from 09:30 to 15:30, Leeds Church Institute, 20 New Market St, LS1 6DG Leeds. Early bird tickets (ends 19th May): £15.00, Ticket: £20.00. To book visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/creativity-and-the-dementia-friendly-church-in-leeds-tickets-33301962065

What is the event all about? Living with dementia presents many challenges. The experience of ongoing loss can be devastating, often leaving a deep sense of disconnection. Yet, as we face the challenge of finding ways to connect, creative approaches can offer new ways forward. Involving art, music and play can help us develop new opportunities for positive relationships and interactions. Livability’s Dementia-Friendly Churches Programme engages church communities in considering practical responses to dementia, resourcing  worship, theology, community partnering and encouraging participation.

What will the event cover? Hearing from those with direct experience of experimenting with new approaches, exploring creative tools, we will also explore how our theology and worship can provide inspiration through the ups and downs of living with dementia.

Who is this for? If you, or your church wants to reach out and support people with dementia and their carers in your community, then this event is for you.



Date: Saturday 29 April 2017 9:45am-4pm
Place: The Centre for Faith and Spirituality, Loughborough University

A free day conference taking a look at the Christian response to injustice including issues around Climate Change, Brexit, Refugees and UK Poverty. James Buchanan from Bright Now, Operation Noah’s divestment campaign, will speak on Climate Change & Fossil Fuel Divestment.

Details and booking: https://beinggodspeople.eventbrite.co.uk




At Edward King House, Lincoln on  13th May 2017 from 9.30am – 4.30pm.

A day conference to explore living well as individuals, church and community. For details & booking see https://faithandenvironmentlincoln.wordpress.com   All Welcome – Tickets £6 plus £0.96 Eventbrite booking fee

For help email:  faithandenvironmentlincs@gmail.com & see Facebook



On Friday 12th May, 9.30am-4pm, at Hope House in Beeston (NG9 2RF). 

Essentially it will cover:

  1. Leading Confidently.
  2. Recruiting & managing a team.
  3. Promotion & partnership.
  4. Fundraising & evaluation.

For individuals and teams who lead, or are interested in setting up social action community projects.

Spaces are limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment. 

Book your place(s) on Eventbrite:




The April Newsletter is now available on the ACAT Website - you can view and print it from here:  http://acat.uk.com/membership/newsletter.php. As always, we are covering issues that we think will be very important to you, including:  The Budget; Changes to the GASDS scheme; Accruals Report & Accounts Templates; Trustees Finance Responsibilities; Fit & Proper Persons; Building Security.


BIG CHURCH DAY OUT                                                                                                                                                       Tickets are still available for the United Reformed Church’s Big Day Out, part of the URC’s year of Feast and Festivals. This is an event for all ages run by the Youth and Children’s organisation, Pilots. The event takes place at Warwick Castle on Saturday 20th May 2017 and involves fellowship, worship and reflection. Activities will run from 10am -5pm in the historic and beautiful setting. A festival-like programme on the Pageant Field will celebrate many aspects of the URC’s life, with participants including the URC’s General Secretary, John Proctor; Neil Thoroughgood, Principal of Westminster College; Paul Northup, Creative Director of the Greenbelt Festival; Wayne Hawkins, Mission Secretary (Europe) for the Council for World Mission; and representatives from the Christian Aid Collective and Messy Church. Individuals and groups, with their church communities and wider family and friends, are all welcome to be part of what promises to be a day to remember.  For more information or to book email: feastandfestivals@urc.org.uk or call: 020 7976 8637 Booking forms should be returned no later than 31st March 2017. If anyone attending has a merlin pass, they will be able to attend free of charge but please let us know so that we have enough goodies for you!




Youth Camp is being organised by East Midlands, West Midlands and Wales Synod’s. It is being held at  Beaudesert Activity Centre, Cannock Wood, Rugeley, Staffordshire, from 5th August to 12th August 2017

Is the camp for you?:

If you are aged between 11 and 17 then we hope that you will join us. The event is run inclusively, that means everybody is welcome and involved in every part of the week. Fun, adventure and positive experiences are at the heart of the planning. There will be a whole range of activities and events that will be stimulating, interesting and entertaining for everybody.

East Midlands have 10 spaces available and there is help available with funding Cost £100. Contact Jane Henderson for more information.  If you are interested in being part of the team please also speak to Jane.  Email: cydo@urc5.org.uk  Tel: 07572 291007



The dates of our upcoming safeguarding training events are:

  • Monday 8th May 2017 – Toller URC – 10am – 2pm (bring your own lunch)
  • Monday 15th May – St. Stephen’s, Leicester – 12 Noon – 4pm (bring your own lunch)
  • Tuesday 27th June 2017 – Melbourne URC – 7.30pm – 9.30pm

All are welcome. To book please contact Hannah Holmes at the Synod Office: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk  Tel: 0115 9609241



Full Time, Permanent Contract      Salary: £38,548

We have an opportunity for a highly motivated and dedicated professional who possesses a strong conviction regarding the need to safeguard the vulnerable. In this role you will oversee the implementation and development of operational procedures and be our voice and adviser in all matters relating to safeguarding, providing support to synods and local churches. With extensive experience of advising on a range of safeguarding issues, you will have knowledge in safeguarding case management, preferably in the voluntary sector. 

Your knowledge of best practice, statutory, and other guidance or policy concerning issues related to the protection of children and adults at risk, will be key in playing a role in arranging and leading the training others. You will be able to work with minimal supervision and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

If you are interested in working for us and can meet all of 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 Friday 5 May 2017       Interview date: Thursday 1 June 2017
This post requires an enhanced DBS Certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service.                                                                                           

See more at: http://urc.org.uk/vacancies/2330-safeguarding-officer.html#sthash.JLC2FZ...



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: 24.04.2017