By John Ellis
For over sixty years there has been a week in Summer when families and others from all around the country have gathered for what is nowadays called the URC Holiday Forum. This year was no exception and this year it also felt like Summer, with the attractive grounds and gardens of the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire, looking their best in the sunshine.
By the time of my visit participants had already prepared interesting music for worship with the Revd Ray Adams and explored the lives of various Old Testament characters with the Revd Dr Janet Tollington of Westminster College, while her Westminster colleague the Revd Neil Thorogood was the Forum’s main worship leader. There had also been indoor and outdoor games, outings and plenty of time to catch up with old friends amongst Forum regulars and to meet new ones.
The Meet the Moderator session was an opportunity for Forum members to raise any topics they wished. It proved a lively and thought-provoking time, with a strong flow of questions from people with long experience of the life of the Church.
For the last 20 years, Forum has been organised by enthusiastic volunteers and has succeeded in being self-funding. As so often in the United Reformed Church, informal networks of the committed produce results.