Category Archives: Moderators’ blog

Exploring faith in action across the URC

Derek Estill, one of the General Assembly Moderators, reflects on his personal commitment to explore faith in action across the URC.

In my closing address at General Assembly, I shared that my focus would be on “faith in action” alongside the importance of listening.  I also resolved to attend as many mission and children’s and youth work committee meetings as I could, because these are aspects of our work that I am particularly interested in.


Having a focus on mission is very important as we seek God’s guidance when reaching out to others.  The agenda of our mission committee is wide and varied to ensure our Church works with others – like the World Council of Churches, Council for World Mission, Churches Together in England, and the Free Churches Group – to contribute to important issues such as climate change, interfaith and ecumenism, and the marginalised. Although we are a relatively small church, I can report that we punch way above our weight in many of these areas and it is a source of great inspiration to attend these meetings and hear about the good work we do.  Continue reading

Crisis? What crisis?

The Revd Nigel Uden, Moderator of the United Reformed Church General Assembly, reflects on what to do before, during and after a crisis.

 The idea of crisis has been lingering in my mind for various reasons.

The entirely unanticipated illness of a dear friend, has found him in intensive care. He is in a crisis, because things are difficult and worrying. It’s a sudden crisis.

The progress of the negotiations about the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union is often termed a crisis. The arrangements for after the UK leaving the EU on 29th March seem to be less than finalised. It’s a crisis that some saw coming, whatever their views on whether we should leave or remain.

The ecological recklessness with which many believe the planet has been treated over a sustained period is increasingly summed up as a crisis. The consequences, including things like climate change, might mean some of us complain about summers hotter than we prefer, but for Polynesians they are destructive of their home, even of their island, as sea levels rise, extreme weather events increase and marine ecosystems are irreparably damaged. It’s a crisis long in the making.  Continue reading

Epiphany and new beginnings

Derek Estill, one of the Moderators of the United Reformed Church (URC) General Assembly, tells of his moderatorial adventures in January

For me, Epiphany and the new year season always brings thoughts of new beginnings and realisations. Little did I know that January would see me translate those thoughts into action, and grant me further gratitude for new beginnings.

New ministry

I was pleased to represent our church-related community work (CRCW) committee at the commissioning of a new CRCW minister in early January. This new minister, Jo Patterson, will serve in a local ecumenical partnership of the URC and the Church of England in Peckham, southeast London. Having completed her CRCW training, Jo accepted the invitation from Copleston Church Centre to work alongside Anglican Priest in Charge, the Revd Edward Collier. Copleston is a very busy church community centre serving a diverse community of people in many ways.

It was a joy to be able to be at this important occasion, and to be able to sign the church’s important covenant document, with others, at the beginning of what I am sure will be a very busy and exciting new ministry for Jo, with many epiphany moments. What a great way to begin 2019!  Continue reading