Eastern Synod Mission & Training Team Dates for 2020-2021


  • Lay Preachers' Gift Days  - 3rd October - Westminster College, Cambridge
  • Synod Big Day Out - Re-scheduled Saturday 26th June 2021
  • Worship Roadshows introductory evenings, followed by a day event, supporting churches leading worship

Worship Roadshows

The Worship Roadshows or as they have become, mini 'stay-at-home' sessions have now begun with the first posted on the Synod YouTube channel and the second due to be there on Thursday 7th May. The advantage of doing it this way is that it stays and you can catch up. In the first Paul offered an introduction and the second Lindsey is helping us to consider how to structure an act of Worship. To find them go to the Synod YouTube channel and look for the video you want. If you would like the written emailed script, please e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request it. 

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. 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   

The Gathering New Expressions of Church-2020

The Gathering for all New Expressions of Church - 17th-18th July - 12th-13th October 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

    The Big Speak Out (In) 2020

    The Big Speak Out 2020 - Now the Big Speak IN - 24th - 26th July 2020


    It will come as no surprise to anyone, I’m sure, that our residential event for 11 to 18 year olds has had to be postponed until next year. However, this does not mean that there will be no Big Speak Out. Instead it will be a new venture - a Big Speak Out Online.

    Where: IN YOUR OWN HOME, VIA VIDEO LINK                                     
    When: 7 pm Fri 24th to 12.15 pm Sun 26th July 2020 (with breaks)

    Including: Inter-generational Worship on our YouTube channel at 10.30 am on Sunday.

    Book on our events and opportunities page or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to find out more. 
    Download: Big Speak Out  2020 booking form.

    The programme has lots of opportunities for being together on line and lots of breaks. There is also time, on Friday and Saturday evening, to have a social event together virtually.

    Free to Believe National Conference 2020

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


    The future of the Free to Believe National Conference 2020 30th July - 1st August at the High Leigh Conference Centre Hoddesdon, Herts EN11 8SG

    As you may imagine, everything is up in the air at the moment! High Leigh is cancelling all conferences in the period up to May and will be in touch concerning later bookings once this has been sorted out. No immediate decision therefore is being taken but we shall clearly not be asking for balances to be paid at ​the moment. It is quite unlikely the conference will be able to go ahead but we are concerned to limit the financial loss as much as possible, as no doubt is High Leigh.     This information will be updated as news becomes available.

    High 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

     Holiday-forum-2020 copy



    Very happy to announce Virtual Holiday Forum will be running from 21st - 23rd August on the theme Global Pandemic, Global Church!
    You can find out more and book via our website - all are welcome! Website: Virtual holiday-forum-2020 …   

    URC Holiday Forum



    Unfortunately due to the ongoing covid19 situation, URCHolidayForum2020 at the Hayes Conference Centre has been cancelled. Please read  statement from our Chair Cathryn and look out for details of VirtualForum2020 coming soon!

    • Faith, fun and fellowship! Grow as a disciple of Jesus as we explore the theme and worship and pray together. Have loads of fun. Enjoy spending time together.
    • Make new connections Forum is a great place to meet new people that can quickly become friends for life! Come and bring your friends and family.
    • Be part of something new! Virtual Forum is a first! We’ve been meeting at the Hayes every year for 70 years; this time, we’re meeting in cyberspace! Come and join us.
    • Come ... and pay what you can! We’re serious about paying what you can. We’re asking people for a donation of £25 to help us cover costs. Pay more if you can, less if you can’t – just come!

     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

    Lay Preachers & Worship Leaders

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


    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 (available shortly)

    Church Leadership Programme 2020-2021

    Church Leadership Programme - Transforming leadership from the inside out 2020-2021

    Education-learning-logo-2020Strengthening personal qualities, insights and skills for effective Christian leadership 2020 to 2021 The residential elements of the programme are to be held from the 5th to 9th of October 2020 and from 26th to 30th of April 2021, 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.

    To be accepted on the programme you will need a recommendation from an authorised person in your synod, usually the Training and Development Officer.    The deadline for initial expressions of interest is Friday 26th June 2020.

    View:  YouTube link:  Church Leadership Programme video  - URC website, for further details download - Programme Education for Ministry-Phase3. 

    Please register your interest to PA to the Secretary for Education & Learning, The United Reformed Church, 86 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9RT General office number: 020 7916 2020 Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Westminster College Training Events 2020


    Welcome to Westminster, where
    imagination inspires faith and living


    There are a range of events at Westminster College, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0AA  throughout the year. Click on the link below for further information and to book a place. 

    Training Events Westminster College 2020 

    Supporting Lay Preachers and Worship Leaders - A word for our times 
    Monday 10th - Wednesday 12th August  - Friday 11th - Sunday 13th September 2020

    Website:    Westminster College Resource Center for Learning   Website:    Westminster College Windows of opportunity          Westminster College Facebook

    How Can We Keep From Singing?

    How Can We Keep From Singing? - 14th November 2020

    A vibrant workshop day on music for worship - Saturday 14th November 2020 - 10.00 am - 4.00 pm - Stowmarket United Reformed Church, IP14 1AD

    God’s people have always worshipped in music and song. Music has lifted singing-2020our hearts, given space for lamentation, strengthened us in hardship, bound us together, and given us a voice to praise the living God. This is a day for worshippers, writers, musicians and worship leaders to engage with three practical aspects of music in worship. Come and learn from expert practitioners in their fields. Bring your own experience in worship and song.

    If the COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, which I suspect is more than possible, we will simply move the event to the spring. If people interested let me know I will then keep them informed.

    Admission: £15 (under 18s free)  to book a place, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Further details View The Hymn Society 

    Youth Assembly 2021

    Youth Assembly  29th - 31st January 2021 

    youth-assembly-21-2Year 10/S3 students up to and including 25 year olds this is your chance to get in quick and sign up for Youth Assembly 2021

    At a cost of £110 on or before 11th November 2020, rising to just £140 after that date, you can enjoy a whole weekend from 29th to 31st January 2021 in the company of other young people and adults from URC Youth, full board, at the wonderful Whitemoor Lakes centre.

    The theme of Heroes and Villains – is there a difference? launches the Heroes and Villains theme for URC Children's and Youth Work for 2021 and promises a weekend which offers something for everyone in its packed and varied programme. 

    If cost is a problem, your church or synod may be able to help, so why not talk to a youth leader or your synod CYDO or equivalent? (Find your synod contacts here). You can also apply for a small grant to help – read here, or contact the Children's and Youth Work office at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    Crossfire Camp 2021

    Crossfire is a United Reformed Camp - 28th - 31st May 2021


    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. Venue: Stathern Lodge Farm, Nr Melton Mowbray LE14 4EX  

    Crossfire Camp 2020 - We are sorry to have to let you know that Crossfire 2020 is now canceled.  What happens next? If you've placed a booking for Crossfire 2020 we'll be issuing a full refund.

    Save the dates for 2021!

    Plans for next year are already underway and we'll be in contact with more information later this year. In the meantime why not save the dates. Friday 28th - Monday 31st May 2021.  If you have any concerns or questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Our prayers are with you and your family at this challenging time.       Website:  Crossfire for more information and booking details.   

    Eastern Synod Big Day Out 2021


    A Fun Day for all the family Come and  - Relax  - CreateReflectHave Fun Celebrate

    Venue: Trinity Park, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, IP3 8UH

    Mission Tools

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    Vision Initiatives

    Find out more about:  Walking the Way Vision4Life Vision2020 and Fresh Expressions

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    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?

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    Find out who's who on the Synod Office Team.  If you are unsure who to get in touch with, use the Contact Us 

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