Faith through a lens

faith-through-lensAre you interested in entering a national photography competition celebrating “Faith Through a Lens”? The Congregational & General is holding a prestigious annual photography competition which celebrates diverse representations of faith. Now in its fifth year, the contest is aimed at amateur photographers across the UK and is calling for creative photography that showcases everyday demonstrations and expressions of faith.

Time for creation

creation-timeFrom 1 September to the 4 October churches around the world will be taking time to pray for the protection of creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles that reverse our contribution to climate change.

 

Archbishop to deliver keynote speech at public issues conference

welbyThe Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will give the keynote address at the ‘Love your neighbour: Think, Pray, Vote’ conference organised by the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church. This will be the third such conference arranged by the three churches and will be held at Coventry Central Hall on Saturday 21 February 2015.

Churches campaign for the abolition of Trident ahead of Peacemaking Sunday

JPIT logoAs diplomatic initiatives gather pace to build a framework for a nuclear-weapon-free world, three British Churches are reiterating their call for the abolition of Trident. The call comes in advance of Peacemaking Sunday, which falls on 21 September this year.

 

The United Reformed Church prays for the people of Scotland

flower of scotlandThe Revd John Proctor, general secretary of the United Reformed Church, wrote the following prayer for the people of Scotland prior to the Scottish Referendum, praying for the future it will open, whatever the outcome. John has lived three quarters of his life in England, but retains strong links to Scotland, where he began his life and began his ministry.

 

Peacemaking Sunday

jerusalemPeacemaking Sunday is the Sunday closest to the United Nations International Day of Peace on 21 September. This year it falls on 21 September itself.

 

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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The Revd Dr Kevin Snyman preaching at St Paul's © Melanie Smith

On Saturday afternoon, URC minister the Revd Dr Kevin Snyman, preached from the steps of St Paul’s – he was one of many taking part in the ecumenical, interfaith, service which he described as “deeply meaningful”.

Dr Snyman delivered a children’s address on God’s Fabulous Farmyard, a parable focusing on God’s desire to see love, equality, confidence and celebration at the heart of human community.  His words, although aimed at the children, were heard by around 1,200 people, the vast majority of which were supporters of the Occupy London camp in the cathedral piazza. 

Asked why he supports the protest, Dr Snyman, said: “I believe these issues of economic injustice are the most important facing our Church and our world today. If the Church is not supporting Occupy, then is it not, by default, supporting the economic status quo?”

He continued: “I’m a nonconformist minister and I’m passionate about making sure the voice of protest and dissent is heard loudly – the world needs to hear it and the Church cannot afford to ignore it.”

Talking about the Occupy London camp, Nadene Snyman, Kevin’s wife, said: “The atmosphere in the camp is kind and gentle – as far as either of us can tell there has been no hint of negativity – just a positive environment where many committed, creative, people are able to democratically address things they care passionately about.” 

Mrs Snyman added: “One thing that really saddened me is that it has not been St Paul’s, but Starbucks, which has thrown open its doors in welcome to provide basic amenities for the camp and its supporters.  That should be the role of the Church – the role of St Paul’s.” 

Dr and Mrs Snyman are planning to return to the camp next week.

Since Saturday, the position of St Paul’s has changed and yesterday, 1 November, the Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral unanimously agreed to suspend its legal action against the Occupy London camp outside the church.

Photo shows Kevin Snyman preaching from the steps of St Paul’s on Saturday. © Melanie Smith