E-LETTER NO: 252 – 21st SEPTEMBER 2017


For me it has been a busy start to the new academic year, as I am sure it has for most of you.  I have just returned from the Synod Youth Leaders weekend, where we spent time sharing ideas, support and exploring ‘7 Sacred Spaces’.  The leaders looked at ways they could encourage their children and young people to deepen their discipleship and what resources are available to help all ages engage in prayer and bible study.

There are lots of exciting things happening in our Synod with churches of all shapes and sizes, and as a group we discussed ideas and ways we can do more together as leaders and as churches over 2018.  The Youth and Children’s leader’s hopes and dreams!

As churches, you have been asked to have a ‘harvest of hopes and dreams’ and to send them in to Hannah Holmes or bring them to Synod meeting in October, where, alongside John Proctor (General Secretary) the young people will gather and collate them for use in the afternoon.

Please do the activity and bring 11 – 25-year olds to Synod in October, they need to let Hannah Holmes know if they are coming.  It is an excellent opportunity for our young people to be involved in Synod as well as meeting John Proctor.

We also have our Youth Weekend in November and Youth Assembly 2018 in January (see under Youth and Children).  There’s lots of opportunities for young people to gather together with others from around the country. Please encourage your young people to consider attending.  Contact me for more information.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about your church activities in the run up to Christmas, do let me know what you are all up to. And I am always happy to be invited to activities as my diary allows.

I hope to see you all at our Synod meeting on 14th October at Sherwood URC.



  • We send our congratulations to Irene and Dave Wren who celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on the 9th September.



MARTIN LUTHER, THE REFORMATION AND HOW CHRISTIAN LIFE CHANGED - An afternoon of singing, listening and praying in celebration of a key time in the life of the church, led by Revd Professor Stephen Orchard. Sunday 15th October 2017 at 4pm at West Derbyshire United Reformed Church, Coldwell Street, Wirksworth DE4 4FB. Followed by a “Bring and Share Tea” in the Glenorchy Centre, Chapel Lane, Wirksworth. If you are staying for the Tea, you are invited to bring food to share.  Please let the Church Secretary, Ian Wright, know if you plan to attend on wright.ian24@gmail.com

CHURCHES TOGETHER IN DERBYSHIRE – Come and be inspired by stories of mission from across the county as we hold another event in Matlock (at the Methodist/URC Church) on Saturday 7th October 2017 from 10am – 3pm (parking at County Hall). Free entry and drinks are provided – bring your own lunch. For further information or to book contact Ian Sant: ian.sant@ntlworld.com Tel: 01332 721927



NOTTINGHAMSHIRE WORLD CHURCH SUNDAY - 19th November at St. Andrew's with Castle Gate URC from 4 pm to 6 pm. Celebrating our World Church connections at national, synod and local church levels, this event will also include a "bring and share" tea and worship with hymns from across the world. All are welcome!




Synod was represented by Convenor of Ministries Group - Revd Samuel Silungwe – and Deputy Moderator – Revd Geoffrey Clarke – at the 11th Annual College Service held at Northern College on Saturday, 16th September. The Revd Martha McInnes and Mrs Claire Ette also attended – as minister and church secretary at Wellingborough where one of our synod’s students served her placement. In his sermon the guest preacher for the service, Revd John Campbell, invited us to discern which distinctive fruit each of us bears in our respective ministries and to be open to the possibility that some of the time we might bear brambles as well as mangoes. His sermon was followed by a hymn he had written for the service, including this verse:

I want to be fruitful, bear mangoes for you,

Bring joy, hope and healing, help others pull through;

But if life has made me more wild bush and thorn,

Help me bear bright brambles not grumble, forlorn.

(© John Campbell)

The service included presentations to two leavers now serving in East Midlands Synod:  Liz Adams, newly-ordained to the Northampton Group, and Vicky Longbone, newly-commissioned to Derby Central and Ashbourne Road. Present, too, was our other ministerial student, Amanda Linney.


Our prayers for Liz and Vicky as they embark on their ministries among us and for Amanda in her studies and placement.   In John’s closing verse,


Sing thanks, Hallelujah!, for bringing me here,

And leading me faithfully year upon year;

Now take me and lead me to places unknown

Where I may be fruitful and your love is shown.


(Amanda Linney, Samuel Silungwe, Liz Adams, Vicky Longbone, Geoffrey Clarke, Martha McInnes & Claire Ette outside Luther King House after the Northern College Service.)




We have just heard from Church House that prayer handbooks and diaries will be available for us to have at Synod. I am planning on ordering the same number of prayer handbooks as last year. If your church would like to ensure we have enough handbooks for their needs please let me have your orders by Monday 9 October so I can have them ready for you to pay and collect on the day. PLEASE NOTE I am unable to post orders out (unless the church pays the postage). The prayer handbooks are £6.50 each.

Diaries: There are two sizes of diaries this year – Pocket size £7 in cornflower blue and A5 in navy blue £9.99. Constance Coltman: We have been advised that there is a series of items available to celebrate the anniversary of Constance Coltman. At Synod we will have sample T shirts and the white tote bag for you to view. There will be pens (£1 each); red tote bags (£4 each) and mugs (£5 each) for sale. To see these items please visit the merchandise section on the URC web-site.



 You are cordially invited to a service organised by The Anglican-Lutheran Society in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation at The Roman Catholic Cathedral of our Lady and St Thomas, Kingsthorpe Road – Northampton NN2 6AG on Saturday 4th November 2017 at 12 noon.

Preacher: Revd Jana Jeruma-Grinberga - Formerly Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Great Britain and now Chaplain at the Anglican Church in Riga, Latvia.

This service has been organised by the Anglican-Lutheran Society, an international society which aims to improve knowledge and understanding between Anglicans and Lutherans worldwide.

The society is very grateful to the Bishop of Northampton and the Dean of the Cathedral for making the cathedral available for this service.

This will be an ecumenical service in the Lutheran tradition and will be a time to come together for worship, to make links between and within our traditions, and to pray for an increase in mutual understanding. After the service there will be refreshments. For further details, please contact either Revd Dr Roy Long (Lutheran pastor) at roy.long485@btinternet.com or Mrs Sally Barnes at sally.barnes3@btopenworld.com



This year URC Music will contribute to a programme of events taking place to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  Our Music Day will give members a wonderful and exciting opportunity to learn, improve and perform a small and perfectly formed piece written by a composer who will need no introductions but who did so much to promote the cause of the reformed tradition.  Our performance of Bach’s Cantata 180 “Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele” - O soul, adorn thyself with gladness - will form the uplifting spiritual and musical core of our closing worship.

A day of singing, praise, prayer, fellowship and fun! If you would like a booking form or flyer sent out to you please contact Hannah Holmes at the Synod office: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk



At Worcester Cathedral on Saturday 14 October 2017 from 7.00pm - Presiding Minister: Revd. Geoff Colmer.

The Free Church Choirs, as it is known today, was established in 1888 and is still very active. Festival services of church music are held every two years in a cathedral and this year, for the first time, the event will be held in Worcester Cathedral. The festival includes traditional and contemporary church music, and there will be a chance for everyone to take part. 

Choirs and singers from around the country - Festival Organist - Rufus Frowde, Festival Pianist - Lynne Bradburn, Festival Conductor - Peter J Williams. For more information visit the website http://www.freechurchchoirs.org.uk




At Leicester Cathedral on Sunday 15th October 2017 at 3pm. Students, staff and choirs from the University of Leicester together with representatives of partner denominations and other organisations will be joining with chaplains, local congregations and friends, both past and present, for this historic service. The preacher will be Bob Fyffe, General Secretary of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. We hope that you can join us too. For information on location visit: http://leicestercathedral.org/visit-us/contact-find-us/



Is it I, Lord?

All are welcome on Saturday 4 November 2017 from 10am-4pm at Westminster College, Cambridge

• Explore opportunities for service through the United Reformed Church

• 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 - T: 020 7916 8649 E: vivienne.williams@urc.org.uk





The young people (11 years plus) will be meeting alongside Synod on Saturday 14th October at Sherwood URC. Come along and join us! In the morning we will be working with John Proctor and in the afternoon helping him to lead part of the Synod Meeting where we will be focussing on ‘Hopes and Dreams’. To book please contact Hannah Holmes at the Synod office: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk



From 17- 19 November 2017 at The Pioneer Centre, Kidderminster. East Midlands together with Wales and West Midlands Synod’s are holding this exciting weekend. This is a chance to meet together and have fun.

If you are aged between 11 and 17 then we hope you’ll join us. This is an inclusive event at which everyone is welcome. The cost is £69. Funding may be available towards costs. For a booking form contact Hannah Holmes at: trainingpa@urc5.org.uk  Tel: 0115 9609241

If you have any queries then give Jane Henderson (CYDO) a call on: 0757 229 1007 or email: cydo@urc5.org.uk



Theme: Pilgrimage: Are we there yet? From 19-21 January 2018 at Whitemoor Lakes, Alrewas, Staffs.

Age: school year 10 to age 25

It is a great weekend to meet up with other young people in the Synod and around the country.  Worship, workshops, activities and some business.

Cost if booked before 9 November: £110  Cost on or after 9 November: £140

Book your place at: www.urc.org.uk/urcya

More information from Jane Henderson – Funding is available from Synod.





Based at the District Office, Tollerton - 30 hours per week, circa £10 per hour.

The newly formed District Office, based at Tollerton Methodist Church is looking for a District Administrator to work 30 hours per week to include occasional evenings and Saturdays.

Duties will include all aspects of office administration: Liaising with all members of the Resources team, District Executive and Synod Secretary. Maintaining contact all circuit administrators. Receiving updates on any pastoral concerns of staff and supernumerary ministers. Post events and news to the District Facebook page and the District website. This is by no means an exhaustive list and more details are available in the Job Description and Person Specification. Closing date:  Tuesday 26th September 2017     Interviews:  W/c Monday 2nd October 2017

Letter of application and resume to: Peter Broekhuizen, Resources Team, 8 The Teasels, Bingham, Nottingham NG13 8TY  E-mail: LibbyBroek@aol.com   Telephone: 01949 839558



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: 02.10.2017