March 2017

In March, Mr Alan Yates will lead services in Drumchapel and Clydebank for the United Reformed Church National Synod of Scotland.

The Revd Kevin Watson will attend a Synod Moderators’ meeting in Birmingham, as well as the Malvern Science and Faith Weekend, presiding at Holly Mount URC. He will also attend synod meetings in Yorkshire and the East Midlands, visit The Crossing Church and Centre in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, attend a meeting of the Mission Council Arrangements Group and visit Northern College, Manchester.

From rural to urban

Recently I spent an enlightening morning with the Rural Ministries team based in the Arthur Rank Centre just outside Coventry.  I was impressed by the work they do to help Christians rejuvenate rural churches in a holistic way; covering everything from mission to economic development: returning the church to its position as the centre of the community (and hopefully returning Christ to his position in the centre of our lives also).  Despite being a small team their work is really high quality.  Some of you may already know that the URC and the Methodist Church jointly fund a full time post (the National Rural Officer) supporting rural ministry as part of the Germinate organisation (  At present this role is fulfilled by Revd Elizabeth Clarke, a Methodist minister.

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“For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful”

An anonymous moderator of southerly disposition was overheard saying this prayer before breakfast. I asked if this was a prayer for the food to be eaten or for the day ahead to be lived in. As she selected the latter, this got me thinking whether we begin each day in thankful spirit for what lies before us, and do we offer those thanks to God in prayer. And does it depend whether we are looking forward to recreation and reflection, or just think we might escape the day without pain or struggle. But what if we know we face hard and testing hours, or our health is failing us? Continue reading