A Big Day Out and a Small Church Visit

bdoWhat do you call a whole load of URCs gathering together for a day out? The answer is ”A Big Day Out” and a great day out it was, for over 600 people of all ages who spent the day at Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire this month. It was great to watch all the young people – and some old enough to know better – on all the wild fairground rides. There were amazing animals to see at the zoo and picnics to be eaten. The day was completed with worship, praising God and witnessing to the good news of Jesus Christ – the Truth declared and folk set free. Over 50 Gospels were given to those who responded to the message of Jesus Christ. It was just one of those special days, which we need occasionally, to remind ourselves that we are part of something much bigger than our own local church and community, and we have a God who is God of all people. As Ashley Evans, Yorkshire Synod Evangelist, described it: “A great day for all the family, with God at the centre.” Continue reading

Northern Celebration

These last two weeks have been rather London centric for me – at least in terms of the meeting location – as I attended four meetings in Church House: the Mission Council Advisory Group, the Finance Committee, the URC Trust and the Assembly Arrangements Committee.  These meetings demonstrated to me how wisely our committee members carefully manage our resources.  I was pleased to hear that the 2016 General Assembly finance outcome was just below budget – we got through all of the business, had some great worship and fellowship, and came in under budget – praise the Lord!

In addition, my appetite was whetted for the next Mission Council which (I hope and pray) will help us to address deployment in a creative and prayerful manner.

Revd Dave Herbert and Revd Peter Rand

Revd Dave Herbert and Revd Peter Rand

My final event before my holiday was to preside at the induction of Revd Dave Herbert as the Moderator of our Northern Synod.  The service was held in St James’s URC in the centre of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  This was a joyful occasion made even more special by the generous hospitality, the warmth of the ecumenical and civic greetings and the majestic building.  So if averages work out we will have done the quota of Synod Moderator inductions for our two-year appointment in the first two months – covering the alpha and the omega of synods (number 1 and 13)!