Author Archives: urcmedia

February 2020

In February, Derek Estill will lead worship at Tonge Moor United Reformed Church, Bolton. He will also attend meetings of the URC’s children and youth work committee, Leeds, the URC equalities committee, London, and the General Assembly arrangements committee, London.

The Revd Nigel Uden will preach at St John’s URC in Marsh Green, Kent; at Abbey Hill URC in Kenilworth, Warwickshire; and at Fleet URC, Hampshire. He will join URC House staff in London to commemorate the bombing of URC House in 1945, visit URC representatives in West Thamesmead, London, speak to students and staff at Westminster College, Cambridge, and begin a two-month-long visit to URC representatives on the Isle of Man.

Both moderators will attend the URC Trust meeting in London.

Family, friends and new beginnings

Derek Estill, Moderator of the United Reformed Church General Assembly, on how to bring new, better ways of being into this new year

The festive season usually gives us an opportunity to come together with family and friends, no matter how distant they may be from us and from each other during the rest of the year. If we can’t physically come together, we can feel closer through the exchange of cards, letters, phone calls, emails, Skype, WhatsApp etc, which gives me the feeling that our world is becoming smaller. The great distances that some of us have grown up thinking about and have struggled with over the years, are now, it seems, much easier to come to terms with.

One thing is for sure, at this special time of year, and that is that there is a real feeling of the need to connect, particularly as we think about the holy family and their trials and tribulations. They must have had great difficulty getting about, not to mention finding somewhere to stay, and then having to hot foot it to Egypt!

Now that the excitement of Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve has passed, I have begun to look back and take stock. I’ve asked myself: Have I been able to make a difference by bridging physical or emotional gaps in my life? 

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Queuing for hope

The Revd Nigel Uden, Moderator of the United Reformed Church General Assembly, reflects on the nature of hope in this New Year, and explains why it’s Christian to queue…

image of queue outside a church

What’s on your bucket list – the things you hope to do in your lifetime? The year 2019 enabled me to tick off two very special ones from my own. In June, while visiting First Nations people with the United Church of Canada, a free evening made it possible to nip down the highway to the Niagara Falls. And in November, an overnight stay in Berlin enabled me to go to a concert in the Philharmonie – the world famous concert hall of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. It wasn’t performing, but a fine chamber ensemble, visiting from the US, offered a sparkling programme of Beethoven and Mendelssohn.

At 7.15am on Christmas Eve, I was walking through Cambridge and saw how the queue for that afternoon’s Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College Chapel was already well down King’s Parade. I stopped for a chat with the person who was first in the queue. He’d started his annual wait on 21 December, as he has done almost every year since he was a choral scholar himself there in the 1970s. He was soaked after heavy night time rainfall, but eager in his anticipation of the first such service to be conducted by King’s new Director of Music, Daniel Hyde.  

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