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Maldon URC concertWith more than 100 people packing its hall every month, Maldon United Reformed Church, Maldon, Essex, offers free lunch time music concerts to show the community what being a Christian means to members.

The concerts, held on the second Thursday of every month, have been running for 15 years.

And Sylvia Rickett, a church elder, who has been involved since the start, explains how the activity has quickly become a highlight in the church's calendar, and gives people an insight in what being a Christian is all about. 

‘It’s very daunting for people to come into a church sometimes,’ said Sylvia. ‘If you can encourage them in other ways and welcome them, it’s showing them how we Christians live and what we do as disciples. We are showing them our facility isn’t just a building for church.’

Read more: Free concerts help show community what Church is all about

scott webb 120552 pixelledI've listened to several people recently talking about the contrast between depictions of God in Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament. Of course, it's not clear cut – but I can see why people like the 'God of the New Testament', (as if there were two), better.

So, this poem is partly about that (false?) contrast; but also about the implications of forgiveness. How do we feel about a repentant Myra Hindley? Or a repentant Hitler? A repentant Serpent? A repentant Judas? Do we tolerate the idea of forgiveness?


Read more: ‘At the Gates of Eden’. A poem by URC poet-minister, Lucy Berry

Ann HoneyChurch Related Community Worker Ann Honey tells how doing ‘nothing’ can achieve surprising results

‘Sometimes, in my job, the hardest thing to do is – nothing. A recent example of this came when the congregations at Robert Stewart Memorial (RSM) decided they would like to organise a combined event for the community so that people could have fun and meet others. 

The church premises provide a home not only for the URC congregation but also for French Congolese, Ethiopian and Romanian worship groups. RSM helps to support these congregations –especially those new to the UK – and also hosts Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, a community bowls group and older people’s projects, including a monthly tea dance.

Read more: Community building at Robert Stewart Memorial URC Newcastle