Prayers for the people of Scotland in the run up to the referendum

scottish voteA resolution brought forward by the synod of Scotland at the United Reformed Church General Assembly last month, called for the URC to pray for the people of Scotland before, during and following the independence referendum to be held on 18 September 2014. The resolution stated: "These prayers should be for all, regardless of conviction, recognising how important the peoples of these islands are to each other."

 

The United Reformed Church offers statement of solidarity on crisis in Iraq and Syria

iraq crisisModerator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, the Revd David Grosch-Miller, offers the following statement of solidarity as the crisis continues to unfold in Syria and communities in northern Iraq continue to face unrelenting persecution for their religious beliefs:

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.

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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Cross marks the spot

Chorley United Reformed Church, Lancashire, believes it has painted itself into history by producing a giant white cross in its car park – large enough to be seen from the sky.

 URC minister, the Revd Martin Whiffen, together with three volunteers, set to work just before Easter with paint and brushes. The result is a cross – 25 metres long and 10 metres wide – thought to be the largest of its kind in the UK.

It will mean that anyone looking at an aerial online view of the area – once Google Earth images are updated – or passing over in a plane or hot-air balloon, will instantly be able to pick out the church.

Martin, who is pictured in orange overalls with his painting team, said: “We thought it would be a fun, modern and effective way of advertising the church and the town. A lot of people use Google Earth to help them explore Britain and the huge cross will draw their attention to us, and hopefully the work we do. We believe this is the first time this has ever been done in Britain and it’s already generated a lot of interest.”

Martin and the other volunteers – Brian Darbyshire, Brian Longton and Brian Riding – are now waiting for Google Earth images to be updated to capture the cross.

The church, in Hollinshead Street, Chorley, is one of the largest United Reformed Churches in North West England; it has two choirs and its young people have just formed an eight-strong puppet group.

www.chorleyurc.org

Photo credit: Jim Turberfield.