Around the URC in seven days: 8-16 August

Last Updated on 9 August 2022 by Ann-Marie Nye

Here’s a round-up of news from around the United Reformed Church (URC) from the past seven days.

Mersey Synod
More than 100 people met on a very hot and sunny day at Parkgate and Neston URC to celebrate 50 years of the denomination with an all-age jubilee jamboree.


The Synod’s worship band, Café Jam, provided music and a music workshop where people got to play a variety of instruments including ukuleles and drums.

The Revd Dr John Bradbury, URC General Secretary, gave the address.


Activities also included a Muddy Church workshop where participants were given the opportunity to reflect on the wonders of nature; Coverdale Puppets provided fun, energetic, and manic entertainment with covers of pop classics rewritten with the gospel message; a prayer labyrinth and a bouncy castle.

A great day was had by all.

National Synod of Wales
Schoolchildren have marked a new chapter in the history of the site of Northop United Reformed Church.

A 90-year-old time capsule containing photographs and documents relating to church in Flintshire, was found by Wales & West Housing’s contractors’ Beech Developments as they were demolishing the building to make way for six new eco-homes.


The church has existed on the site since 1879. The then English Congregational Church Northop opened a new building on the site and a time capsule was buried in the grounds on Thursday 31 March 1932.

The church which eventually became Northop URC sadly closed in 2017 and was sold to Wales & West Housing in 2018 as part of Faith in Affordable Housing, a Housing Justice Cymru initiative designed to release surplus land for much-needed affordable housing.

With the old time capsule being stored in the church’s archives, children from Ysgol Owen Jones primary school in Northop set about creating a new one.


Claire Boot, Property Officer for the URC National Synod of Wales, said: “The discovery of a time capsule behind the foundation stone of the chapel shows that the congregation felt they were doing something significant for their time and the development of affordable housing on the site continues their legacy.”


Eastern Synod
The Reverend Mark Hayes has been ordained and inducted as Minister of Thaxted United Reformed Church.

More than 100 church members, friends and family, and representatives from other local churches gathered to support Mark, who has been a Lay Preacher for 40 years.

The service, held at the end of July, was conducted by the Revd Lythan Nevard, Moderator of Eastern Synod, and the Revd Dr Rick Mearkle, from Westminster College in Cambridge, delivered the sermon.

Mark said: “I have been very well supported in my training by everybody at Westminster College, and members at Thaxted URC have made [my wife] Janet and myself very welcome.

“We look forward to continuing our work together.”

Image: Dunmow Broadcast.

Wessex Synod
Bridport United Church in Dorset have held a party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Reformed Church.

The free party was held on 30 July and was open as freely to the community as it was to the congregation.

A delicious spread included free hot dogs and burgers, teas and cake, and activities included fairground stalls, games, music, songs and puppets.

Image: @marktizzardime/Facebook.


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