Lay Preachers & Worship Leaders

 A Gift to our lay Preachers & Worship Leaders - Saturday 4th April - Saturday 3rd October 2020

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CANCELLED. Theme: 'Pentecost' Led by Jonathon Soyars - Saturday 4th April 2020  Please Note that this event has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus epidemic

Theme: 'Passover' Led by Alison Gray - Saturday 3rd October 2020

Eastern Synod and Westminster College A gift for our Lay-Preachers and Worship Leaders” - Join us at Westminster College for a day that will resource and refresh you for the gift of worship leading that you offer to our Synod, and end with sharing of communion. 

Leaders: 3rd October - Alison Gray Westminster College - Old Testament tutor. Alongside Liz Bird (Synod Lay Preachers Advocate), Lindsey Brown (Synod Mission and Training Officer), and Nicola Grieves (Children and Youth Development Officer), who will be offering their experience in particular areas of knowledge.

Eastern Synod, along with the whole United Reformed Church, is deeply indebted to the many lay people who freely give of their time to lead worship in our churches week by week. We would therefore like to offer something back. where up to thirty people can come together at Westminster College to be fed rather than to be those who feed others. The intention is to offer both spiritual and physical food. The day will start with coffee on arrival and include lunch. The rest of our time will be spent with input and discussion led by those leading the day.  

Download:  Lay Preachers Gift Day Booking Form 

Eastern Synod Mission & Training Team Dates for 2020

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  • Lay Preachers' Gift Days  -                    4th April, CANCELLED due to the Coronavirus epidemic. and 3rd October - Westminster College, Cambridge
  • Ministers' Spring School -                     11th -15th May- CANCELLED 
  • Synod Big Day Out -                            13th June - Trinity Park, Ipswich
  • Worship Roadshows introductory evenings, followed by a day event, supporting churches leading worship

Evening Bitesize Meetings: 7pm for 7.15pm – 9.15pm

  • Monday 4th May -        Christ Church, Chelmsford
  • Tuesday 5th May -       Whiting Street URC, Bury St Edmunds
  • Wednesday  6th May    Ipswich Road URC, Norwich
  • Thursday 21st May  -    Plume Avenue, Colchester 
  • Monday 1st June -        Christ Church, Wickford

All-day workshop: 10am for 10.30am - 4pm   -  Saturday 19th September -  Whittlesford URC

For more information on Worship Roadshows  please E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Download: Worship Roadshows Poster
E:mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  regarding any of the above events     Download: Mission and Training Events Poster 

Church Leadership Programme-2020

Church Leadership Programme  27th April - 1st May 2020

wydale-hall-yorkshire-2019Transforming leadership from the inside out Strengthening personal qualities, insights and skills for effective Christian leadership. The residential elements of the programme are to be held from 27th of April to the 1st of May 2020, at Wydale Hall, Yorkshire.

What does it seek to achieve?

  • to continue to place Christian leadership within the context of vocation and ministry within the United Reformed Church
  • to enable growth in personal formation for participants, and extend the knowledge and skills necessary for effective Christian leadership
  • reflection on personal leadership experience, alongside new ways of leadership discernment
  • to develop leaders who enable United Reformed Churches to become communities of more faithful disciples, better equipped to share in the Mission of God – Walking the Way of Jesus Today

This programme is for people in recognised church leadership roles and those in public ministry as ministers of Word and sacraments and church-related community workers. The course benefits those with some experience of Christian leadership, including those nearing retirement. There are up to 16 places each time the programme runs. The Church Leadership Programme (CLP) takes place over two residential weeks, Monday to Friday, approximately 6 months apart. The first week concentrates on the personal qualities and skills which are core to a leader; the second focuses on how these are translated within public leadership. Between the two parts there is a personal development project which is particular to each participant. It helps to put learning into practice and embeds the spiritual, emotional and intellectual changes engendered in the first week.

Each residential week costs £265, making the total £530. Each week is in a different calendar year, making it possible for grants to be sought more easily from various sources.  Download: Church Leadership Programme Further Details 

Churches in Farming Communities

Churches in Farming Communities: Christian Ethics of Farmed Animal Welfare (CEFAW) - 30th April 2020

Message for those registered for the seminar:

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and the government’s measures in relation to social distancing, you will understand that we have had to cancel the seminar on Christianity and Farmed Animal Welfare on 30th April. We would like to invite you to take part in an online discussion instead on that day, which will allow us to hear your views and get your feedback on our policy framework. If you would be interested in participating in this event, please email Dr Margaret Adam to let us know and we will be in touch with further details.

Christian Ethics of Farmed Animal Welfare Seminar for farmers, at the Royal Agricultural University Stroud Road, Cirencester, GL7 6JS  on Thursday 30th April 2020 - 10.30am -16.00pm 

Elizabeth Clark (National Rural Officer for the Methodist and United Reformed Churches) and Mark Betson (National Rural Officer for the Church of England) are part of the partner reference group on a project looking at the Christian Ethics of Farmed Animal welfare. 

  • to hear from those working in the industry about how farmers and others understand the relationship between Christian faith and farming animals
  • to make a presentation of key points from the draft policy framework and getting feedback

Please could you circulate among your farming networks so that there is some good input for farmers.  Bookings can now be made via the Eventbrite link. 

Y-Pray 2020 Retreat World Day of Prayer

Y-Pray 2020 Retreat, World Day of Prayer, 1st - 3rd May 2020Y-Pray-WDP-logo-150x123

An exciting weekend for women who are interested in exploring prayer creatively, being held at King's Park, Northampton from the 1st to the 3rd May. The programme includes worship, bible study and creative prayer, some light-hearted activities and an opportunity to discover what World Day of Prayer is about. 

Website: Y-Pray for further information and Booking Form

New Housing Hub Regional Conference

New Housing Hub Regional Conference  - 16th May 2020

new-housing-2020Saturday, 16th May 2020 9.30—16.00 - St George’s Church Place, Cheyne Lane, Stamford, Lincs., PE9 2AX

About this Event
In this time of housing crisis, new housing developments are springing up all over Britain. Whole new communities and even towns are emerging sometimes with little in the way of community facilities, often with little capacity to nurture friendships amongst the new residents, usually against a backdrop of local protest, and almost always without a church building. Our challenge as Christians is to work out our response to this changing landscape. The New Housing Hub is committed to encouraging Christians to be a prophetic voice of welcome, amidst the sea of protest, and to work together to share God’s love with every new housing area.

Through keynote addresses, a range of seminar groups, a resource hub and networking together we will explore how to step into the unknown physically and spiritually to welcome and bless new residents and create opportunities for the Christian faith to be explored and nurtured in ways that are appropriate to the new context.

Early-bird Tickets £11.37 - Link to booking page     Download: New Housing Hub Regional Conference Details

Crossfire Camp 2020

Crossfire is a United Reformed Camp - 22nd - 25th May 2020

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Crossfire Christian Camp which is run by GEAR (Group for Evangelism and Renewal in the United Reformed Church in conjunction with URC Youth. It has been running for over 35 years

Crossfire Camp 2020

Friday 22nd to Monday 25th May 2020 -  Stathern Lodge Farm, Nr Melton Mowbray LE14 4EX 
Cost: £30 when booked before 31st March 2020 (£40 after)

Need to hire a tent? £10 for individual tent hire or £5 per person if you're happy to share with a friend. Crossfire is a camp for young people aged 12+ years (year 7 upwards) brought to you by GEAR and URC Youth. Its a fun weekend of talks, small group sessions, sung worship led by the Crossfire worship band and fantastic cooked food. Expect a great weekend of learning more about Jesus, fun activities and meeting new people. 

Website:  Crossfire for more information and booking details.   

Rural Ministry Course is Back

The highly-regarded Rural Ministry Course is back! - 8th - 10th June 2020

germinate-2020The course will be on Monday 8th - Wednesday 10th June 2020 lunchtime to lunchtime, at King's Park Conference Centre in Northampton.  The fees for this will be £300 and will also include a one-year subscription to Country Way magazine.

The Rural Ministry Course is designed for lay and ordained church leaders across the denominations entering a rural appointment for the first time, and those already in rural ministry who feel the need for a 'refresher'. The three-day residential programme employs a variety of approaches including practical sessions, group work and workshops led by practitioners, and includes sessions on understanding rural contexts, mission and growth, leadership, farming and work with children and young people in the countryside. This is a really good course for those new to rural areas.

Delegates can book the course by going to Germinate Website and follow the links to our online booking form, or by e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. our office administrator, or phone (020 7685 3066) for further enquiries.

Eastern Synod Big Day Out 2020

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SAVE the Date for Summer 2020 - Don't miss this Fun Day Out  on Saturday 13th June 2020 
Venue:  Trinity Park, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, IP3 8UH 

A Fun Day for all the family  - Come and  - Relax Create  Reflect 
         Have Fun  -  Celebrate
       Download:   Big Day out Poster     Download:  Booking Form 

Clare Priory Retreat 2020

Clare Priory Retreat 3rd July - 5th July 2020  

still-waters-2020STILL WATERS RUN DEEP - This retreat will be led by Revd Mary Irish and Sister Karen Knight.

Friday 3rd July - Sunday 5th July 2020 - Clare Priory, Ashen Road, Clare, Suffolk, CO10 8NX 

This retreat offers the opportunity to slow down and find rest. A time for prayer, refreshment and individual spiritual accompaniment will be available.  Clare Priory has been a place of prayer for many centuries. The monastery, new church and beautiful grounds offer peaceful surroundings, inviting us into the presence of God.  

The weekend will start late Friday afternoon and finish after lunch on Sunday. The accommodation is full board and most rooms are en-suite. The charge for this retreat is £140 per person. This includes all meals. The cost of the retreat can be met from EM or Lay Preachers allowances if applicable. 

The Closing date for booking is 1st June 2020, please book early as the numbers are strictly limited.         

Download: Clare Priory Retreat Booking Form   Further Information from  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  - Synod Office  01223 830770    Website: Clare Priory 

The Gathering New Expressions of Church-2020

The Gathering for all New Expressions of Church 2020

gathering-2019"Fresh expressions are new forms of church that emerge within contemporary culture and engage primarily with those who don't go to church"

An invitation to apply for an extraordinary gift from United Reformed Church Mission and Westminster College Cambridge. The Gathering will be a network of prayerful mutual encouragement which will convene for three 24-hour meetings in 2020 (plus in-between via a social media) and meetings thereafter to be arranged. 

July 17th-18th - October 12th-13th 2020

The URC is committed to supporting people who have set up new types of church and are now exploring the way forward in faith. Together with URC Westminster College Cambridge, we are delighted to invite applications to join The Gathering of teams who are intentionally developing and nurturing new types of worshipping communities and fresh expressions of church alongside our more traditional churches.  All fresh expressions of church share similar values, though they vary as to their position on the journey. The values are:

  • Missional - serving those outside church 
  • Contextual - listening to people and entering their culture
  • Formational - making discipleship a priority
  • Ecclesial - forming 'church'
  • Download: The Gathering Information Sheet

    Free to Believe National Conference 2020

    Free to Believe National Conference - 30th July - 1st August 2020

    free-to-believe-2020High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Herts, EN11 8SG

    Liberal Theology: What is liberal faith and what does it offer to the world? 

    The liberal option is of a faith that changes and develops to meet the needs of the contemporary world. It stands for a faith that is open, inclusive and socially radical. In our time it has been championed among others by John Robinson, Paul Tillich, Jack Spong and Martin Luther King. Without it theology too easily becomes a shrivelled, narrow, bigoted discourse. Instead it looks for a liberating faith. 

    Speakers: Gary Dorrien, Peter Brain, Alex Clare-Young and Alison Micklem

    Download: Free to Believe Booking Form or contact Mrs Linda Harrison, Conference Bookings, 60 Muirhead Crescent. Bo'ness, West Lothian, EH51 9TH 

    Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.        Website:  Free to Believe

    URC Holiday Forum 2020

    URC Holiday Forum 22nd  - 28th August 2020 - "What shall we tell the Children?"

    Holiday-forum-2020 copySaturday 22nd to Friday 28th August,2020 The Hayes Christian Conference, Centre Swanwick Derbyshire.

    That’s the question John Bell is putting to the 2020 Holiday Forum. What were we told as children about God, the Bible, and heaven? Are these the right things to be passing on to our own children? We’ll focus, too, on some of the big issues they face, growing up in the 21st century. What should we tell them about money, technology, and dealing with people who are different? John Bell is the theme and worship leader at the forthcoming Holiday Forum – a week of faith, fun and fellowship for individuals and families of all ages and walks of life. Many Forumites come back, year after year. Then they grow up, and bring their own children! Book soon places are going quickly!

    The Hayes Conference Centre, at Swanwick in Derbyshire, is set in beautiful grounds and run by the Christian Conference Trust. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included and the meals are generous. In addition to morning coffee and afternoon tea, there is also a well-stocked gift shop and bar.

    To book Holiday Forum, please use the Booking Form  or contact our Bookings Secretary Alison Foxwell on?? Payment can be made by cheque, BACS or standing order.  This information about Forum 2020 is also available as a PDF  to print and distribute it to your church community.

    Website: URC Holiday Forum 

    In the Spirit's Power

    The East Anglia Dunamis Project - In the Spirits Power 21st - 25th September 2020

    In-the-spirits-power-eventDunamis Project - In the Spirit's Power -  21st - 25th September  2020 - Monday evening meal until Friday lunch time (included) Belsey Bridge Conference Centre, Ditchingham, Bungay, Suffolk NR35 2DZ 

    In the Spirit’s Power Jesus gave his followers a mission and promised the Holy Spirit to equip them for the task. Yet many Christians today have little first-hand experience of how to cooperate with the Spirit.

    Our understanding and expectations may be limited by a lack of teaching. Perhaps past experiences and hurts make us cautious about exploring the various spiritual gifts that Jesus offers through his Holy Spirit. In the Spirit’s Power looks at how Christians today can know the presence and power of the Holy Spirit for themselves. The events are 4/5 days, living in community with very careful Biblical teaching and practical application, all soaked in an atmosphere of prayer. The Dunamis project consists of 6 such events over 3 years in East Anglia!                 Download - Booking Details from the Dunamis website

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    Vision Initiatives

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    The Purpose and Mission of the Synod; the Synod Meeting; our Area Partnerships; each of our Committees and the calendar of meeting dates.

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