November 2017

In November, both moderators will attend Mission Council at The Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire, from 7 to 9 November. They will also attend a meeting for URC General Assembly Moderators and Chaplains. Additionally, Alan Yates will visit Broad Chalke United Reformed Church, attend the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, and attend the Council for World Mission’s ‘Legacies after Slavery’ hearing in London. He will also meet the Moderator of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly. The Revd Kevin Watson will attend the synod moderators’ meeting and visit both Toller URC, Kettering and Northallerton URC, North Yorkshire.

Getting off the Motoway

It wasn’t really a tour of Wessex – more a drive along the A27 – M27, starting at Havant and driving west until it runs out in the New Forest! How many of us use the motorways to commute for work and get to holiday destinations – the hope of fast, unimpeded travel, the reality now more like chock-a-block queues. Good to get off the motorway, and start making discoveries. For us, it was to discover how our churches are engaging with their communities, even making an impact on people’s lives.  A big thanks to those ministers, elders and churches who opened their hearts and church-doors to us. So many discoveries!

From this …..                                                                                        to this…………….

Moderator thumbing a lift!





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Thoughts from the Conservative Party Conference

From front left: Helen Cameron – Salvation Army, Dominic Grieve MP, Alan Yates, Dianne Tidball – Baptist Union, Loraine Mellor – Methodists and Jane Dawson – Quakers.

I recently spent a couple of days at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.  On the first day, I went to a fringe event hosted by the Salvation Army dealing with care for the elderly.  The Salvation Army run a number of care homes across the country.  They are relatively unique in providing top-up funding when that is needed.  One of the main points they were making was that the gap between local government funding and the actual care costs is significant, even for those care homes with modest costs.  There is a significant number of people requiring care who simply don’t have the resources (or relatives) to pay for the top-ups … and with decreasing home ownership this is only going to get worse.  One of the Salvation Army care home managers provided us with some insights to the issues, including the sense of loss, facing both the resident and their family. Continue reading