Mission Council is taking place now: 17-19 October. Any major decisions will be posted on this website (and the next issue of REFORM will carry a full report). Outline details of debates and decisions as they happen are being posted on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/urcmedia#!/urcmedia
The United Reformed Church in Wales – and other non-conformist traditions – have been challenged to take the radical step of electing bishops, as part of a move towards establishing a Uniting Church in Wales.
Representatives of the five Covenanted Churches – the Church in Wales, the Covenanted Baptists, the Presbyterian Church of Wales, the Methodists and the United Reformed Church – gathered in Aberystwyth on Saturday to receive proposals from a commission which has been working towards a scheme for greater unity. A United Reformed Church delegation of almost 40 attended, including the Moderator of the National Synod of Wales, the Revd Simon Walkling.
The Revd David Downing, a United Reformed Church minister in Derby, has found a new role for himself – as a model! David was among seven priests and ministers from different traditions, who took to the catwalk to model formal and leisure wear for clergy, at the Christian Resources Exhibition North in Manchester.
David, who is minister to a group of churches in Derby and chaplain at Derby University, said of the experience: “As someone who doesn’t robe for Sunday church services, I thoroughly enjoyed wearing such beautiful regalia. Modelling is something I have never tried before, but who knows what doors this could open? There’s a Fashion Studies course at the university, so I may be able to offer my services there!”
The fashion show, which featured designs by four different suppliers of clerical clothing, was filmed for regional television, and David was invited to appear on BBC Radio Derby to talk about the experience.
The United Reformed Church, the Methodist Church, and the Baptist Union of Great Britain have called on the foreign secretary to distance the UK government from the United States government’s practice of using missiles to target individuals suspected of involvement in terrorism.
Church leaders have expressed their anxiety over the humanitarian and legal implications of the CIA-operated drone campaign, arguing that it contravenes protections established in international law and is inciting radicalism and violence. The three denominations have written to the Foreign Secretary, asking him to confirm that the UK would not permit the rules of war to be used to support targeted killings of individuals suspected of committing terrorist crimes.