Explore Churches URC History Project

Explore Churches/URC History Project National Churches Trust

The Church Tourism manager at the National Churches Trust is seeking more churches from acroslogo2x copys the denominations, who would like to be included on their new website, designed to promote churches to visit, which is called ExploreChurches.

Valerie Jenkins who represents the URC on the Board of Trustees of the Churches Visitors and Tourism Association says: "to encourage visitors is part of the task of evangelism and by welcoming visitors we may be part of the first stage to transform those visitors into pilgrims". 

If you would like your church to be included, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to requet a form.

Commitment For LIFE 25 Years

Commitment FOR LIFE 25 Years 

commitment for life-2018As in the past, Faith in Action Meeting and Commitment for Life have appreciated the practice of encouraging the congregations by updating them on the activities and others aspects of Commitment for Life. It is felt that in so doing the congregations are encouraged to keep playing their part, and for others to add their names on the list of contributors.  To view the article written on behalf of Commitment for Life, see link below. 

Download: Twenty Five Years plus is great! Report

Invitation to count and share your Blessings 

Commitment for Life is the world development programme of the United Reformed Church. We encourage participating churches  to take action, pray and give for people across the world but especially in our four partner countries/region of Bangladesh, Central America (Honduras, Guatemala. Nicaragua and El Salvador), Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory and Zimbabwe. We work in partnership with Christian Aid and Global Justice Now raising around half a million pounds a year from contributing churches. To find out more about the programme, visit the resources page click on the website link below.

Website: URC Mission Commitment for Life

Immoral & illogical Immigration Rules in USA

'Immoral and Illogical' Immigration Rules in the US

The Moderators of the United Reformed Church General Assembly, Alan Yates and Kevin Watson, have issued the following call to prayer: It was with deep sadness that we received the news that President Trump has barred entry to the US to the nationals of seven countries. As the ruling was immediate, it caused severe distress and personal loss to many.

If the President will not listen to his critics at home, including one of the foremost American finance businesses, Goldman Sachs, we have no expectation that he will listen to us. However, that does not prevent us from expressing our disgust at this action, which is both immoral and illogical. It is not likely to have any positive impact on the security of the US, and in fact could have just the opposite effect. Jesus calls us to do two things: To love the Lord our God and to love our neighbour as ourselves. We call upon the Trump administration to reverse this obnoxious order and to begin showing the love Jesus called us all to show to one another. We call upon all Christians to pray that the Trump administration will drop this odious order, and to pray for all our Muslim sisters and brothers that they may find peace and forgiveness in their hearts.

Read a selection of statements issued by US churches in response to the ban, gathered by the Joint Public Issues Team - See more at:  Latest News Immoral and Illogical Immigration

URC Past Case Review

The URC Past Case Review Process

past-case-review-2017A time to acknowledge past abuses, show Christian love and build a stronger, safer church community. The United Reformed Church Past Case Review phase two is an open invitation for anyone to raise concerns about the behaviour or conduct of anyone affiliated with the United Reformed Church since its formation in 1972.   Why is this happening and what does it mean for us?

There is the highest level of public and political concern about past failings in the behaviour of national bodies which have resulted in past abuses being ignored or covered up. A number of high profile cases involved national figures in positions of authority or influence who were found guilty of abusing their power, authority or celebrity status (such as Jimmy Saville and Rolf Harris), in particular involving the abuse of women and young people.

The churches have recognised that they have ignored evidence about past abuses. Some church leaders have been found guilty, including a Scottish Cardinal and a former Anglican Bishop of Lewes. The Pope has said that abuse of children was like "leprosy" infecting the Church, according to the Italian La Repubblica newspaper. Pope Francis has strengthened the Vatican's laws against child abuse and has sought forgiveness from the victims of sexual abuse by priests. Sadly, there have also been a few cases within the URC.

Concern about abuse is now widespread around the world and several countries have established public enquiries. The UK government’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is investigating a wide range of institutions including local authorities, the police, the armed forces, schools, churches and mosques to consider the extent to which State and non-State institutions have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation; to consider the steps which it is necessary for State and non-State institutions to take in order to protect children from such abuse in future; and to publish a report with recommendations.

All the UK churches are reviewing their own files and past practices concerning all forms of abuse. A consistent finding is mistreatment is usually associated with abuse of power by people exercising authority. Examining these cases has therefore inevitably led churches to explore the ways in which power is used and abused within the church, in particular, the concept of spiritual abuse, meaning the use of spiritual authority or The Bible by an ordained or lay church leader to coerce, intimidate or ill-treat people, not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually.

The URC has established a formal process to receive, evaluate and respond to any allegations involving ordained ministers and also lay church leaders. All churches are being asked to draw this to the attention of congregations. To share the review with others, you may download:

A Brochure (explaining the process in detail) PCR Poster for local use. This PCR church magazine article may be placed in local magazines, used in full or edited. This clear statement to churches may be read at any church meeting. 

Contact us on 0207 916 8692 or email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.       Website: see more at: - Past Case Review  

In Word and Spirit Book

in-word-and-spirityIn Word and Spirit is a collection of discussion papers on the Theology of Worship by members of the United Reformed Church, previously presented to conferences and meetings of the Theology of Worship Group.

Sally Bateman - John Burgess  - Susan Durber  - Richard Goldring  - Brian Harley   - Michael Jagessar  - Peter Stevenson  - Julian Templeton - Elizabeth Welch 

The publication includes papers on the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures, preaching and worship in the post-colonial and contemporary contexts.

Available as a kindle book from Amazon  Available as a paperback (from John Burgess  email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )  £1.99  £5.75 incl p&p  For further information contact:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
Download: In Word and Spirit Poster   

Braintree Area Foodbank

Braintree Area Foodbank - Four years on - Still supporting people in crisisfioodbank-braintree-2

Braintree Shopping List for February 2018

Braintree Foodbank Items for "Warm' and 'Homeless Packs'

The warehouses remain well stocked but we are very short of some items.

Braintree Area Foodbank was set up four years ago in April 2012, under the auspices of The Trussell Trust to provide assistance for local people in crisis. The Foodbank has expanded to four centres, now including Christ Church, Braintree; Braintree Baptist Church; St Andrews Church, Halstead; and Witham Methodist Church. Since opening, the four centres have provided emergency food to over 10,020 people of whom 47% were children, and has distributed over 100 tonnes of food.

Latest statistics published by Trussell Trust foodbank network show UK-wide foodbank figures for 2015-16 remain at record levels; national need is still not decreasing. Early findings in new data analysis of Trussell Trust figures by University of Hull suggests foodbank use is highest in areas where many people are unable to work due to illness or disability, are skilled manual workers, or are deprived.

The Trussell Trust won the Overall Award at the Charity Awards 2016, as well as the Social Care and Welfare Award.  It is an honour that our work to tackle UK poverty and hunger has been recognised, with this achievement celebrating the incredible work of our staff and volunteers who change lives in communities across the UK and make what we do possible. We accept this award on behalf of the 40,000 volunteers who give their time so we can provide the most effective service to people thrown into crisis every day.    Website: Charity Awards for more information

Download: Braintree Foodbank Details and Newsletter     Website Braintree Area Foodbank

Praxis Newsletters

praxis-newsletter-0315-2016Praxis Newsletters

The public issues newsletter of The Baptist Union of Great Britain, The Methodist Church, The United Reformed Church and The Church of Scotland

If you would like to publicise an event or project, please e-mail   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or contact her by Telephone - 020 7916 8632 Address - 86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT


Download: Praxis Newsletter - December 2017
Download: Praxis Newsletter - September 2017
Download: Praxis Newsletter - June 2017
Download: Praxis Newsletter - February 2017
Download: Praxis Newsletter - January 2017       Praxis Newsletter Item Correction January 2017 

A Season of Invitation

Back to Church Sunday/A Season of Invitation

michael-harvey1Michael Harvey suggests how we can create a culture of invitation in our churches with help from the Season of Invitation initiative. As I have travelled the world, I am yet to find an invitational church. - 'Is your congregation welcoming or... inviting? Welcoming! But how welcoming can we be if we are not inviting? We are welcoming as long as people can get themselves across the threshold of the church building, but we don't take our welcome out in the form of invitation. Something is going wrong at the threshold of our church buildings. I became fascinated as to why congregational members are not inviting. In fact I went on to find out that up to 95% of most congregational members are not going to be doing any inviting. "Why are we not inviting our friends to take a closer look at Christ and his church?" Here are some answers I receive regularly and some of my thoughts as I hear them.    

Download: A Culture of Invitation Flyer




Back to Church Sunday has now run for 12 years and Season of Invitation for 3. This will be the final year that Season of Invitation will run in its current form, while the organisers are reflecting on what the next stage will be. Mission Committee decided not to sign up centrally this year, but to leave it to each Synod to decide whether they wanted to take advantage of the training and resource packs that Season of Invitation will offer to the URC this year. Season of Invitation training events are great opportunities for people from any denomination to come and learn about how to make the most of A Season of Invitation in their church context.

 Across the 2 hour workshop, you will....

  • -        Learn how to produce a unique mission field for your church at any given time
  • -        Be given tools to identify distorted thinking in your church
  • -        Discover the creative power of fear
  • -        Receive a number of emotional mental and physical approaches for developing a culture of invitation
  • -        Learn best practice from Season of Invitation

Michael Harvey (co-founder of Back to Church Sunday) will provide interactive and relevant training, which will be useful for ministers and any churchgoers interested in making the most of opportunities to invite people to church.

View:  Season of Invitation Training Video   Website: A Season of Invitation   Download: A Season of Invitation Flyer    

Westminster College

To God be the glory and to you be the thanks! westminster college_3

The transformation of Westminster has humbled those of us most closely involved because of the generosity, support and goodwill of so many accross the URC and beyond. All of this has been blessed by God as we have sought God's will and known God's gracious provision. It is deep faithfulness that gives life to our buildings. We are delighted to be actively planning and promoting a growing range of events, courses and resources as we seek to serve the whole URC.

Sam White will teach alongside other Directors of Pastoral Studies in the Federation and on in-house programmes at Westminster. Part of her job will include continuing to build up and develop the wider training and opportunities for learning, refreshment and nurture that Westminster seeks to offer the whole United Reformed Church as one of the denomination's Resource Centres for Learning.

Website:    Westminster College News and Training Events      Download: To God be the glory and the thanks 

westminster in the company copy

In the company of…  is suitable for anyone, ordained or not, who wants to spend some time in the peace of Westminster exploring the work of someone they wish to learn from and discover.

Arrange a stay that suits your diary, enjoy great hospitality, and let us help you discover treasure! In whose company would you like to spend some time? Who would you like to learn from? Who would you like to discover? Take your pick: biblical character; gospel writer; theologian from long ago or today; musician; artist; cook; novelist; thinker; politician; liturgist; hymn-writer; leader; poet; film-maker; architect...? The idea is simple; book yourself in to stay at Westminster, or come as a day visitor. Stay for as long as you like. Tell us who you want to spend some time with; whose work might inspire you. We'll arrange a conversation at the beginning of your time to help you focus and to make sure you have some good resources, not least through our library. We’ll talk at the end to help you take things onwards.     Download:  In the Company of Leaflet      Download:  Booking Form

Friends of Westminster Collegewestmisnter-college5-copy

To join up with and be involved with the Friends of Westminster, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. the Friends Membership Secretary. If you would like to be added to the College News email circulation list (we send out around 1 to 2 emails a term), please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   View links below to keep up to date with college events.

Website: "LIFE@WN"                   View: Westminster College Facebook     

Sam will begin work in Westminster and the Cambridge Theological Federation from July, 2014. She will teach alongside other Directors of Pastoral Studies in the Federation and on in-house programmes at Westminster. Part of her job will include continuing to build up and develop the wider training and opportunities for learning, refreshment and nurture that Westminster seeks to offer the whole United Reformed Church as one of the denomination's Resource Centres for Learning

David Edwards Newsletters

David Edwards Insurance Brokers Newslettersdavid edwards 2015

Welcome to the very first edition of our URC Newsletter which we trust you will find interesting and informative.

We would very much appreciate your feedback and suggestions for future editions.

Download: August Newsletter - Covered

Mission Tools


Vision Initiatives

Find out more about Vision4Life; Vision2020 and Fresh Expressions.

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newsletter mod feb16

The aim of the Newsletter is to improve communication across the Synod, which will require your input and feedback to help in offering worthwhile information.

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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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Who's Who?

whos who

Find out who's who on the Synod Office Team.  If you are unsure who to get in touch with, use the Contact Us form and your query will be routed to the right person!

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