Good Money Week

good money week 2This week is Good Money Week, 19-25 October, an opportunity to ensure those you trust with your money are looking after it well and using it in ways that benefit society and protect the environment.

 

One World Week

one world week Youth Group in CacaoperaThis week is One World Week, 19 – 26 October, a week intended to let others know about some of the global issues that affect us all and to recognise we can all be part of the change.

 

 

United Reformed Church expresses concern for former president of Madagascar

madagascar-presMembers of the United Reformed Church, including the general secretary of the URC, the Revd John Proctor, have expressed their concern for Marc Ravolamanana, former president of Madagascar and vice-president of the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM), who, upon his return to Madagascar after years in exile in South Africa following a military coup, has been arrested with no clear information about his detention.

 

Faith in politics but less faith in politicians, say Church young people

youngvote1The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church asked Christian young people about their attitudes to voting and politics.

 

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.

Follow Us

Latest News

Civil partnership debateThis afternoon the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church turned its attention to same-sex relationships, specifically whether or not to allow civil partnerships to be registered in United Reformed Church premises. During an hour-long debate both sides of the argument were heard, but the Assembly agreed the resolution (that local churches were able to take a decision on whether to allow registrations to take place in there buildings) and in so doing has become the first mainstream Christian denomination to allow same-sex partners to register their civil partnership in church.

This resolution takes effect immediately and enables local United Reformed Churches in England and Wales to consider whether they wish to allow civil partnerships to be registered on their premises (i.e. for the legal formalities, as well as the religious ceremony, to take place in church).  Once a church has decided to take this step, it will need to ask its trustees to apply to the superintendent registrar of the relevant local authority to become registered as an approved venue.

The decision about applying to register as a legal place for civil partnerships will be in the hands of each local church meeting; the denomination cannot estimate how many of its churches will take advantage of this resolution. However, several of its churches have made it known that they will be seeking registration and are expected to be amongst the first wave of early adopters.
 
One such is City United Reformed Church in Cardiff; its minister, The Revd Adrian Bulley said: “For many years this church has been hosting services of blessing for those who have entered a civil partnership.  How sad that these couples have had to go through two ceremonies to enable their union to be blessed by God in the context of prayer and worship.  How wonderful that General Assembly has now opened the door and enabled those local churches that wish to do so, to register their premises in order that same-sex couples may have a single ceremony – both religious and legal – to mark their commitment to each other. This is a very welcome decision, finally enabling the Church to offer to same sex-couples what heterosexual couples have for so long taken for granted.”
 
The Revd Steve Faber, URC minister at Riverside Church in Sleaford, said: “This is a difficult issue but what is important to me is that we continue to work together, as we seek the mind of Christ over this issue. I’m saddened that we have taken this step before we have finished these conversations. Some of our ecumenical partners, who won’t support our move, will feel that we have reached a conclusion on the matter, when as a denomination; we are far from that place. We need to keep talking, not stop the conversation, through precipitate action by a few local churches.  It is not about drawing battle lines, this is absolutely a conversation that I’m keen to continue.”

The Revd Kirsty Thorpe, immediate past moderator of the United Reformed Church, added: “We have a long way to go in terms of recognising and supporting those people in our churches who are in lasting, loving, mature same-sex relationships. This resolution could help those congregations who are already on this journey to reach a new stage in their understanding of how best to support and relate to such couples. There are other congregations in the United Reformed Church for whom the possible recognition in church of same-sex relationships would be a total contradiction of their theological understanding and identity. I hope and pray that we can continue to respect one another’s diversity on this matter, as we do in positive ways for other issues in our denominational life where we don’t all share the same views.”