Viv Thorne (pictured), a stalwart of the Church House staff team, known to her colleagues for her wit, wisdom and a smile that lights up a room, and to many across the local churches in the three nations as the friendly and efficient voice of the children and youth department, is leaving United Reformed Church House at the end of the month.
Viv’s farewell party was held this afternoon (22 May) and, as the picture shows, she was sent off in style with a four-tiered lilac cake and gifts galore.
Karen Morrison, head of children's & youth work development, who has worked alongside Viv for the past 21 years said: “Karen Morrison, Head of Children's & Youth Work Development, who has worked alongside Viv for the past 21 years said: “It’s been wonderful to work with Viv – her commitment, expertise, professionalism, conscientious nature and caring attitude towards everyone has been an inspiration to me, and to many others both inside and outside of this building. I will miss her greatly.”
Viv added: “I’d just like to thank all the lovely people I’ve met along the way – not forgetting all the children and young people I’ve worked with and had the pleasure of watching grow … I’ll miss everyone – and it will be lovely to keep in touch! Love and blessings.”
Viv’s last day in Church House will be 31 May – it will be a poorer place without her.
Photo credit: Chris Andrews/URC 2013
Church House staff gathered over lunch to say a fond farewell to the Revd Richard Mortimer, who is leaving Church House after ten years, the last four and a half of which have been as deputy general secretary; immediately prior to that he worked as the URC’s secretary for ecumenical relations.
The lunch party was filled with tributes to Richard – songs, poems and a speech all highlighting (amongst other things) his love of cricket, his sincerity, wisdom and great listening skills. The Revd Roberta Rominger general secretary, made a short speech full of warmth and affection, and in his response Richard said: “It has been a privilege to work here for ten years. And thank you for the sense of community, the fellowship, support and fun you have given me along the way.” Richard went on to thank everyone for his presents (including a ticket to the Yorkshire County Final at Lords) and “wonderful” cricket cake,
Richard is now on sabbatical. The gap he leaves at Church House will be partly filled by the Revd David Grosch-Miller, who will be taking up the temporary post of interim assistant general secretary on 1 July.
Photo shows: Richard opening his card from Church House staff ©Chris Andrews/URC 2013 (more photos at https://www.facebook.com/urcmedia
The Peace & Reconciliation Centre, based at Crookham United Reformed Church, Northumberland – and part of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum which commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden – had its official opening on 8 May, with Mrs Val Morrison, then moderator of the United Reformed Church doing the honours and cutting the ribbon.
The newly created Peace Garden, designed by Dougie James Garden Landscaping of Galashiels, reflects themes of peace and reconciliation, featuring dark spiky plants in the conflict zone as a contrast to the rich colours and water of the reconciliation area.
Steering group member the Revd David Herbert said: “I would like to thank all the steering group members and volunteers who have worked so hard on the openin, and I hope visitors will enjoy the garden and timeline. Going forward, the Centre will also host a speaker programme and a series of music and arts events all focused on finding peace and reconciliation in today’s world.”
Where the Spirit is, there God is, Christ is, Love is.
Where the Spirit is not, there God is not, Christ is not, Love is not.
Where the Spirit is, there people grow,
lives develop, Love thrives.
Where the Spirit is not, there people shrink,
lives collapse, Love dies.
Where the Spirit is, there are meetings and beginnings.
Where the Spirit is not, there are partings and endings.
Where the Spirit is, there is the Word.