E-LETTER NO: 244 – 11th MAY 2017



Did you see Jesus in the London Marathon? No I don’t mean one of the fancy dress runners running in sandals and with a halo. No it was a regular runner called David Wyeth who was staggering towards the finish of the 26 mile race. So why was he Jesus? Well in Matthew 25:31- 46 we read ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me into your home’. Yes we all cheered and welcomed the pictures of Matthew Rees a fellow runner helping David over the finishing line.

Jesus often comes to us as someone in need, maybe someone we know but also someone unrecognised. We may encounter Jesus as a fellow traveller; someone who is lonely; someone who is homeless; someone who comes to a food bank; someone who is being cared for or the carer. Yet Jesus also comes to us with needs that are not so obvious someone in a ‘zero hours’ job; someone whose work is unfulfilling; someone who does not feel part of the community; someone whose family is breaking up.

Before Easter I was ‘Counting my Blessings’ with Christian Aid in the Lent activity ‘When I needed a neighbour’, so I have learnt about neighbours in need I did not know I had, in many parts of the world.

Jesus presence on earth is not just a historical event but a current and continuing reality, however it is only through us that his work will continue. The prayer by Teresa of Avila expresses this well:  Christ has no body on earth but yours, ........

God bless from Cliff Winfield (Synod Office Chaplain)



  • We are sorry to inform you that Revd Lydia Rapkin died on 1st May in Addenbrookes, after a very short stay in hospital with breathing difficulties.  She was 93. Lydia served at Stansted Group 1985-2000. Our thoughts are with her sons Stephen and Adrian at this sad time.



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



WELLINGBOROUGH URC - Wellingborough Community Gospel Choir will be presenting an evening of Music & Song on Saturday 13th May 2017 at 7.30pm at Wellingborough United Reformed Church, High Street, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 4HW. Tickets for this event: £10 and Concessions £8 with refreshments included. Tickets are available from the CHURCH OFFICE 01933 278137, or can be purchased on the evening at the door.  This is a fund-raising event for the church and we will welcome your support.  



LETTER OF SUPPORT - from the United Reformed Church in the context of the current situation in Korea and sent to our Partner Churches in South Korea and to all our minister colleagues of the Korean community who are among us.

Dear Friends,

This note is being sent to all the Korean pastors in the United Reformed Church and to the General Secretaries of our two partner Churches in Korea, the Presbyterian Church of Korea and the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea. It comes with heartfelt concern, to let you know of our support, attention and prayers in the context of the news from Korea in recent weeks. With you we have prayed before for the continuing peace of your land, and for its return to unity after decades of deep political division. With you we sense the anxiety and alarm that recent events have caused, and we yearn with you for a reduction in the tension and threat of the current situation. We shall continue to pray for all who lead the two nations that presently make up Korea, for the peoples of Korea, and for all who seek to influence the situation there from outside.

In this season of Easter, our confidence is in the power and victory of the risen Jesus Christ, far more than in the arms, schemes or wisdom of human leaders. In the name of Jesus, we assure you of our friendship, partnership and deep Christian care.

John Proctor



On the morning of Saturday 20th May 2017  at West Derbyshire URC Coldwell Street, Wirksworth, Derbyshire, DE4 4FB. 10am for a 10.30am start – 12.30pm

Led by Revd Ruth Allen. To book or for more information please email or text Ruth (text is best due to appalling telecommunications):07974 835171   Email: RevRAllen@aol.com

If you would like to organise a Quiet Time at your church please get in touch with Ruth and in case you’re wondering what these Quiet Times consist of: typically we meet in a church or hall, start with a drink, and then a little bit of input from me. Then the main part of the time is taken up with 3 half-hour slots with a short break in between, and there will be sheets of paper with reflections to work on if you wish. But if you wish just to be still before God, that is absolutely fine. Finally we come together for the chance to comment, if we want to; a final prayer, and home we go. The whole thing lasts about 2½ hours.

Blessings, Ruth Allen (Synod Retreats Organiser)



With Dr. Jonathan Oloyede, Leader of the Global Day of Prayer & Worship

On Saturday 20th May 2017 from 10.00am-3.00pm At Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, 147-155 Kettering Road, Northampton, NN1 4BS

Jonathan has a powerful ministry of gathering God’s people. He is anointed to equip the Church for major outreach. Church Leaders, Evangelists, Mission enablers, Prayer & Intercession teams, Youth workers, Worship teams and those with a heart to reach the lost are especially invited.

This is a non-ticketed event and refreshments will be provided for participants. 
Please bring your own packed lunch. An offering will be taken.

For further information please email missionnorthamptonshire@gmail.com


SYNOD STUDY DAY – All are invited to our Study Day, led by Revd Dr David Cornick on the theme of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. On Saturday 15th July 2017 from 10am – 4pm (please bring a packed lunch) at Sherwood URC, Nottingham. Booking is essential, to book please contact Hannah Holmes at the Synod Office: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk  Tel: 0115 9609241

YOU ARE INVITED TO CELEBRATE FREEDOM – On Sunday 11th June, East Midlands Synod are asking churches to dedicate the day to celebrating the Reformation. There are many ways you can do this, through services, tea parties, special events, shared lunches …. Be as creative as you like! Resource packs with ideas, games, service ideas and bible study have been sent out to all Churches. We would love to know your plans, so please do send details of what you are planning to: cydo@urc5.org.uk so that we can keep everyone posted on our website.

CONSTANCE COLTMAN CENTENARY SERVICE - on Sunday 17 September, 3pm at the American International Church in London.  All are invited. Please let Francis Brienen know of women to invite especially who have played a pioneering role in our churches:  francis.brienen@urc.org.uk




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 15th May – St. Stephen’s, Leicester – 12 Noon – 4pm (bring your own lunch)
  • Tuesday 27th June 2017 – Melbourne URC – 7.30pm – 9.30pm
  • Tuesday 4th July 2017 – Ermine URC -  1pm - 4pm


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




Salary: £34,025 - £39,813 (pro rata)

Actual salary £17,012 – 19,906. Starting point dependent on experience. Hours of work: 2.5 days per week (18.5hrs)

The United Reformed Church in Mersey and North Western Synods are seeking to appoint an experienced Safeguarding Adviser. The post is a newly created post covering the North West to provide advice to the 218 Churches, the councils within the structures of the Synods and the Moderators.

The post holder will be the main point of contact for the churches to advise them on a day to day basis, as well as providing training as necessary. They will have excellent communication skills, broad experience of networking across organisations, experience of delivering training to a wide range of people, expert knowledge of current statutory safeguarding legislation and the ability to work and travel independently. The Synod office for Mersey is in Wavertree, Liverpool, close to the end of the M62 and the North Western Synod office is in Eccles, Manchester, close to the M60.  The post holder will be expected to be sympathetic to the values and ethos of the United Reformed Church.

Keeping up to date with appropriate professional registration (where relevant) and continuous professional development will be a requirement of the post.

Closing date for applications is noon on 19th May. Interviews will be held on 6th June.

Informal enquires can be made to Leo Roberts on cydo@nwsynod.org.uk or 07812 339 550. For an application pack please see www.urcmerseysynod.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: 22.05.2017