In October, Derek Estill will lead worship at Grange United Reformed Church, Reading, and at West Orchard URC, Coventry. He will also attend the URC’s children and youth work committee meeting.
The Revd Nigel
Uden will preach at Caterham URC, Surrey; Upper Clapton URC, London; Dulwich
Grove URC, London; and Gillingham URC, Kent. He will also attend a Community of
Protestant Churches in Europe meeting, in Cambridge, address Thames North
Synod, address former missionaries at Kensington URC, London, and attend a
Churches Together in England dinner in London.
moderators will attend a Mission Council advisory group meeting in Birmingham.
Since my last blog I have led worship three times, attended Greenbelt, participated in a Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) political party briefing, and prepared for a trip to Jerusalem. These occasions have brought home to me the variety we have within the URC family, which I am sure you will agree is a strength and a wonderful blessing.
Revidge Fold URC Blackburn
My first service was at Revidge Fold United Reformed Church in Blackburn. It is an urban church, within a community that has a large Asian presence, mainly Muslims, and which is opposite a large Catholic College. The church embraces its community in many ways and welcomes all to use its buildings and facilities. Activities such as the Guides, Brownies and Rainbows, a dementia café, a regular lunch club and social gatherings are held there. Formerly, the church was known as Four Lane Ends Congregational Church which began in 1820 as a ‘plant’ from the Chapel Street Congregational church in the centre of Blackburn that had been founded in 1778. The picture below shows the present church.
The Revd Nigel Uden, Moderator of the United Reformed Church General Assembly, urges prayer for the needs of our Church and society
Last month, I wrote about the value of praying with and for politicians. There have been times when people have criticised my praying for a local MP because they (the critic) did not share that parliamentarian’s philosophy and commitments. I nevertheless continue, convinced by Paul that part of the Church’s vocation is to be a community of prayer for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Current developments in parliament only confirm me in that conviction.
This month, I am in a similar vein. But I also urge prayer for the Church, and particularly for the United Reformed Church. Over the coming months, there are several processes of discernment in train: for the appointment of a General Secretary to replace the Revd John Proctor, when he retires in August next year; for a Deputy General Secretary (Discipleship) to succeed the Revd Richard Church, whose retirement is just a few weeks prior to John’s; for a Principal for Westminster College, Cambridge, as the Revd Neil Thorogood’s term will be complete at the end of the Easter term next year; and for four new Moderators – for North Western, Yorkshire, East Midlands and Southern Synods – to build upon the work of the Revds Andrew Mills, Kevin Watson, Peter Meek and Nicola Furley-Smith respectively. Nicola is replacing the Revd Craig Bowman, who after 12 years is moving on from being Secretary for Ministries. Craig has accepted a call to the Cheam and Wallington churches.