Last Updated on 2 November 2023 by Ann-Marie Nye
A round-up of news from around the United Reformed Church (URC) over the past seven days, 2-8 November 2023.
A Bake-Off style competition and charity cake sale was held at United Reformed Church House this week.
Alongside cakes made and donated by staff, and sold raising £120 for First Step, a charity supporting families of babies and young children with special needs and/or disabilities, a few members of staff craved a Hollywood handshake by putting forward their baking for judgement by their colleagues.
After a lot of tasting and voting, a Sweet Potato and Ginger cake, made by Carole Sired, was declared the deliciously worthy winner.
The Church House Bake-Off finalists were, pictured left to right, Helen Bird, HR Officer; Yvonne Sired, Finance Administrator; Andy Jackson, Head of Communications; Carole Sired, Administrator; and Mary Fallah, Compliance Officer.
The other entries were a lemon drizzle cake, an orange and cranberry loaf, bread pudding and millionaire-bit filled chocolate brownies.
The recipe for the sweet potato and ginger cake, by former Bake Off contestant Benjamina Ebuehi, can be found on The Guardian’s website. Learn how to bake the sweet potato and ginger cake.
yoURChurch also had fun recently raising money for international Christian relief and development agency, Tearfund.
Seventeen members and friends of yoURChurch gathered to take part in the charity’s The Big Quiz Night to raise funds for the charity’s anti-poverty campaign, and raised £310 in the process.
Ashton-on-Mersey URC’s bug hotel is officially open for business!
During a Messy Church service, Paul and Lewis, husband and son of Caroline, of one the church’s members, together with two sisters who also attended, constructed and installed a bug hotel that was fixed to the side of the garage in the church grounds.
The project is part of the church’s efforts towards a silver Eco Church award.
GraceWorks Community Garden, nestled behind Wycliffe United Reformed Church in Leicester, was honoured with the prestigious title of “Most Inspiring Entry” at the East Midlands in Bloom Awards.
This accolade serves as a testament to the members’ unwavering dedication to fostering community engagement, environmental responsibility, and remarkable gardening achievements.
Open every Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10:30am, Place of Welcome and GraceWorks Community Garden have become a cherished sanctuary for the local community, providing a warm and inviting space, especially for those who are socially isolated.
This thriving oasis is a result of the tireless efforts of leaders Diane Bell, Shanti Chauhan, Ben Brown, and a team of passionate volunteers from Grow Together and Wycliffe URC.
Judith Boston, RHS Assessor, who was captivated by the garden, said: “GraceWorks is an oasis of regenerative gardening, where each leaf tells a story of nurture and renewal. It’s a testament to the power of community and nature working hand in hand, creating a haven of hope.”
The garden has achieved an outstanding rating of 96 out of 100, highlighting its unwavering commitment to regenerative gardening, community engagement, and inclusivity.
Expressing his delight, the Revd David Howlett, Minister of Wycliffe URC, said: “GraceWorks is not just a garden, it’s a symphony of life and love, where every seed sown carries a message of welcome. In its embrace, strangers become friends, and the earth and its people find healing.”
FoodCycle Sunderland Ashbrooke, based at Stockton Road URC, is growing from strength to strength. Within its first two weeks of opening, six volunteers welcomed and fed 10 people from its community and eight from the church. It then went on to feed 25 people and counting.