E-LETTER NO: 246 – 8th JUNE 2017



Today is polling day, the day when those of us who are entitled to take part, may be voting for the party we think should lead the next government.  We have heard of, and maybe read, party manifestos and what each one stands for and how they might deliver their promises (or not), and we might be swayed, or not, by the party leaders we see and hear in the days before we vote.  There is little doubt that this is an important election and that our whole country’s future depends very heavily on the outcome.  It is not my place to tell anyone else which way to vote, but I would like to repeat something I read recently.  When St Francis began to produce his first Rule, or ‘Manifesto’, in 1209, it was simply a collection of quotes from the New Testament.  He sent it to the Pope, who commented that it was no Rule, but was just the Gospel!  But this, however, is the point.  Jesus gave us only two commandments: to love God and to love our neighbour.  It seems to me that to be able to fulfil these commandments, as we profess to do, we need to decide who our neighbour is.  So, when it comes to voting today, do we vote for the party who does the best for us, or the party that we feel best looks after our neighbour?  Everything we do and think should be directed by the Gospel, which may be simple in theory albeit difficult in practice.  But then Jesus never said that following him would be easy.  So today, may each and every one choose to live the Gospel, and vote for the party who most closely promises to live by the Rule of Love.




  • It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of the Revd Kenneth Simpkin. Ken died on Tuesday 23rd May. His ministries were: Moseley Road, Birmingham (1961-64), Coplaw Street, Glasgow (1964-73), Christ Church, Manchester (1982-95). Our thoughts and prayers are with Ken’s family. There will be a private cremation followed by a Service of Thanksgiving on Wednesday 14th June at 12.30pm at Bonby Parish Church, Church Lane, Bonby, North Lincolnshire, DN20 0PU. All welcome.
  • Congratulations to Evelyn Judd of Wigston Magna URC who will be 100 years young on Thursday 15th June. Evelyn has been a life-long member at Wigston and has held many roles in the Church during her lifetime including Sunday School teacher, choir member, Deacon and then Elder, Church Treasurer, organist for over 40 years (even though it was only meant to be temporary) and she still plays alternate weeks. Everyone at Wigston wishes her well.




You are warmly invited to a Service to mark the Golden Jubilee of Revd Michael Playdon’s Ordination to the Christian Ministry at Loughborough United Reformed Church on Sunday 23rd July 2017 at 4 p.m.

Presiding Minister: The Revd Peter Meek, Moderator of the East Midlands Synod

Preacher: Mr. Alan Yates, Joint Moderator of the General Assembly

To be followed by refreshments. Please let Mike know if you intend to come – to help with catering.

If you are not able to come, please remember Mike in your prayers. Please reply to: 43 Grange Drive, Glen Parva, Leicester, LE2 9PH, or 0116 230 4634 or playdon.mike@gmail.com


CWM 40th Anniversary

The Council for World Mission celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year and has designated the 16th July as CWM Sunday.  Add it to your Feasts and Festivals calendar and celebrate with Christians around the world.  CWM General Secretary, Revd Dr Collin Cowan, describes what is happening.

“The year-long celebration will begin with an inaugural thanksgiving service, scheduled for 4 June 2017 in Singapore.  This is an opportune moment as the Board of Directors, the Trustee Body and the member representatives will be present for their annual meetings.  The service will take place at 4:00pm on 4 June at the Amazing Grace Presbyterian Church and we are delighted that Rev Dr Christopher Duraisingh, a former General Secretary of CWM will be our preacher.  We seek your prayers for this event and for all the other activities being planned to mark this historical milestone.

July 16 2017 is declared CWM Sunday and we are requesting all our member churches to set this Sunday aside for this purpose.  This is an opportunity for all our member churches to join in celebrating CWM.  We hope that it will be an educational moment for everyone, especially those at the congregational level. Attached to this e letter email is  the liturgy that has been prepared for use on this Sunday.  Please feel free to adapt it for your context.”



Elders or other small groups looking for an Away-Day venue? Crick URC- with newly refurbished halls and kitchen, may be the venue you are looking for. No charges but a donation would be welcome.
With easy access from Junction 18 off the M1, it is well located. The address is: Chapel Lane, Crick, Northampton, NN6 7TW.
Enquiries about availability and facilities, please contact Brenda the Church Secretary, Tel. 01788822564 or E.Mail<brenda.morgan2011@btinternet.com>



17th July 2017 11am – 3.30pm, Free Churches House, 27 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HH

Come and join the conversation about Palliative Care and Dying matters, and see how to strengthen and develop this important ministry in your church and local community. The day will  a mixture of key note speakers and interactive discussions.

Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialised medical care for people with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress of a serious illness - whatever the diagnosis. The goal of such therapy is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. This care also includes Pastoral, spiritual and Religious Care, which forms the mediator for other care.

This day seeks to:-

  • place that care at the center of palliative care in the community
  • explore the churches role in this care
  • engage with  the National Conversation on Dying Matters

Speakers for the day will include:-

  • Revd Meg Burton, College of Health Care Chaplains lead on End of Life Care, Lead Chaplain at St Johns Hospice in Doncaster and Methodist Minister
  • Claire Henry  from the Dying Matters Team at the National Council for Palliative Care
  • Revd Debbie Hodge, Secretary for Health Care Chaplaincy Free Churches Group and project leader for Community Chaplaincy for NHS England

Please contact Sabina Williams  sabina.williams@freechurches.org.uk  as soon as possible if you would like to attend.  There is no charge for the day and lunch is included. 



Led by Revd Dr Deborah Baird on Saturday 1st July 2017 from 10.30am - 3pm at Kilby URC, Leicester (please bring your own lunch). Booking is essential, to book contact Hannah Holmes at the Synod Office: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk Tel: 0115 9609241



The URC at Greenbelt planning group still need more knitted food for their treasure hunt.  As part of this year’s theme of ‘More than Welcome,’ and in keeping with last year’s successful hunt, we are preparing a knitted food themed treasure hunt. The hunt will take festival goers to hampers dotted around the site where will answer questions on food/feast stories from the Bible and collect various knitted food items. For a full list of what is needed and the patterns please contact Hannah Holmes at the Synod Office: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk Tel:0115 9609241       



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

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




It is with regret we have had to cancel the summer camp due to be held in August.  This is due to lack of numbers. We are hoping in conjunction with West Midlands Synod and the National Synod of Wales, to hold a youth weekend in November.  More information to follow.



The dates of our upcoming safeguarding training events are:

  • Tuesday 27th June 2017 – Melbourne URC – 7.30pm – 9.30pm
  • Tuesday 4th July 2017 – Ermine URC -  10am - 1pm – please note the new time for this event

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




Salary: £28,000 (pro rata), Actual salary: £15,891, Hours of work: 3 days per week (21 hrs), Fixed term for 2 years

The United Reformed Church Yorkshire Synod are seeking to appoint an experienced Children and Families Practitioner.  The post is a newly created post covering the geography of Yorkshire’s 98 Churches, the councils within the structures of the Synod and the Moderator.

You will have experience of working with children and families in a Christian setting, having the ability to inspire and enthuse children, families and their leaders in God’s Mission. Importantly you should also possess exceptional organisational and communication skills as the post holder will be expected to work strategically at Synod level.

Closing date for applications will be 16th June, formal interviews will be held on 30th June. On 2 July candidates will be expected to participate in an assessed activity at Herringthorpe URC Rotherham which will include a presentation to a group of children and their leaders.  You are asked to keep this date free as this is part of the interview.

For informal enquires can be made to Mrs Sally Duxbury or Mrs Anne Ward Tel  0113 289 8490 who will arrange for an informal discussion with one of the team. Completed applications to be returned by 16th June to Office@urcyorkshire.org.uk

The post is subject to an enhanced DBS check.  Job pack can be found http://urcyorkshire.org.uk/notice-board/



Church House, London, Permanent Contract, Full Time, 35 hours per week, Salary: £26,991

An unusual vacancy has arisen in the United Reformed Church’s busy graphic and print office and we’re looking for an enthusiastic, self-motivated and experienced individual to join our small and friendly team in this combined role of Risograph Printer and Print Estimator.

You will have a keen eye for detail, excellent verbal communication skills, proven ability to negotiate contracts and obtain best price for supplies as well as being a proficient juggler of competing deadlines and priorities whilst remaining calm under pressure. The ideal candidate will already have experience of the printing process, Adobe Acrobat DC and excellent knowledge of paper types and estimating in a print environment.

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, Monday 26 June 2017 Interview date: Tuesday 18 July 2017



An exciting opportunity has arisen in the Peterborough Methodist Circuit, where we require a Pioneer Team Leader for a fixed three year contract on a part-time basis. This will ideally suit a person who is able to work flexibly in order to meet the needs of evening work and the occasional Saturday and / or Sunday.  The salary being offered is £20k pro-rata’d, which will include pro-rata’d entitlement to 28 days holiday.

Applicants must be prepared to undertake an enhanced DBS Check if appointed to the post and have a successful outcome as required by the Methodist Church in its Child Protection Policy. There is an occupational requirement for the post holder to be a practising Christian in accordance with the Equality Act 2010: Part 1, Schedule 9. 

Full details on the appointment and an application pack can be obtained from the Circuit Administrator, preferably via email. Please email Mrs Sue Moore at: pborocircuitoffice@gmail.com Alternatively, please send an A4 envelope, pre-addressed, with a large letter postage stamp to Mrs S Moore, Circuit Administrator, Brookside Methodist Church, Gunthorpe Road, Gunthorpe, Peterborough, PE4 7TG.

The closing date for all applications will be Wednesday 28th June at 1700hrs to allow time for shortlisting prior to the interview planned for mid-July.  Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held on Saturday 15th July.  Applicants who are shortlisted will receive a letter as soon as the shortlisting has taken place, which is likely to be during the first week of July.



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: 19.06.2017