Community Project Award winners

community awards winners1The General Assembly celebrated the work of the many community-based projects based in or linked to United Reformed Churches the length and breadth of the three nations.

 

The United Reformed Church General Assembly journeys together towards a decision on same-sex marriage

same sex marriageOn 6 July 2014, the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, moved forward with its discussions on the marriage of same-sex couples.

 

The United Reformed Church welcomes women bishops

White Blue URC Logo 300The United Reformed Church has warmly welcomed the Church of England's General Synod vote in favour of allowing women to become bishops. 

 

The URC's position on assisted dying

Fotolia 52170185 XSThe United Reformed Church has joined with the other mainstream Christian churches and faith communities in the UK in expressing its deep concerns about Lord Falconer's Assisted Dying Bill, which is due to be debated in the House of Lords today, Friday 18 July.

 

Copyright alert!

copyrightIn recent months Church House has become aware of two occasions where unintentional copyright infringements have resulted in local churches being faced with legal action. On both occasions the infringement centred on a short poem: The Dash by Linda Ellis – being published without permission in church newsletters and/or church websites.

 

Community Project Awards 2014

Community-project-playlist-videosOn 6 July the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church celebrated the work of the many community-based projects based in or linked to United Reformed Churches with the Congregational and General sponsored Community Project Awards.

Four projects won awards – the overall winner was Glenorchy Work Club based at Glenorchy United Reformed Church in Exmouth and the three runners up were Chapelfield Grow Your Own; Hope Restored, and Messy Church SEND.  Short films of all four projects are available here.

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Val Morrison and Clare Downing

On Saturday 8 January the Revd Clare Downing was formally inducted as moderator of the Wessex Synod of the United Reformed Church. 

As synod moderator, Ms Downing will lead Wessex Synod, giving strategic direction and offering care and support to the synod’s 60 URC ministers and 138 URC churches.

Talking of her appointment, Clare says: “I’m really looking forward, with some trepidation, to the joys and challenges of my new role in Wessex.  For me, ministry is always about people and I’m looking forward to sharing in and developing the mission of the synod and to the opportunity to share my life and story with the lives and stories of the people of Wessex.”

She adds: “I bring with me broad shoulders and a well developed sense of humour. Of course, I take faith seriously, but I have learnt that the ability to laugh at myself is just as essential as other more overtly ‘spiritual’ characteristics!”

Peter Pay, Wessex Synod Clerk, concludes: “We are all delighted that Clare has been appointed as our new synod moderator. I have no doubt that she brings with her exactly the right combination of deep love for God, proven leadership skills and a warm and engaging personality, and I look forward to working with her over the coming months and years,”

Clare trained at the South East Institute for Theological Education and Westminster College, was ordained minister in 1998 and served at Braunstone & Evington Road, Leicester between 1998 and 2007. Immediately prior to this appointment she worked as special category minister at St Philip’s Centre for Study and Engagement in a Multi Faith Society in Leicester, and before training for ordination was a qualified social worker.

Wessex Synod covers a swathe of central southern England, taking in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, together with parts of Buckinghamshire, Dorset and Surrey and Ms Downing’s appointment represents something of a homecoming for her; she was born in Oxford and spent her early years in Wallingford in Berkshire and Bournemouth.

Clare is married to John, also a URC minister, and they have two adult sons.

On Sunday 9 January Clare appeared on the Mary Green Show on BBC Radio Berkshire, listen to the interview here, it starts at 1.35:    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p00cvwhd/Mary_Green_09_01_2011/

Photo caption: Mrs Val Morrison, moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, with the Revd Clare Downing (pictured right) at her induction service on Saturday 8 January