News from around the URC

Hope at St AndrewsHere’s a selection of news from the United Reformed Church (URC) that took place over the summer.

Church reminds community there’s always hope

St Andrew’s Church – a local ecumenical project including the URC in Skipton, North Yorkshire – installed a six-foot-high, rainbow-coloured artwork outside its building over the summer.

Created using wood, the installation spells out the word “hope”, and remained in front of the building while the community planned how to safely reopen for worship.

The Revd Andrew Webb, the church’s Minister, said: “The rainbow has become a powerful message of hope during these last months. We decided to display it in this way, in our church grounds, as a reminder that despite all the difficulties we face, there is always hope. Our church’s hope is that when people see our artwork, they will know that wherever they are, the God of hope is with them.”

Naomi Young RodasMinister writes poetry to support her churches

URC Minister, the Revd Naomi Young-Rodas has produced a booklet of poetry that she’s been selling to support the churches she serves.

Proceeds from “The Corona Poems” are going to her two Essex-based churches: Christ Church Rayleigh URC and the Bridgwater Drive Church, Westcliff-on-Sea. The initiative has raised £200 so far.

“Reflecting on the sadness, injustices and emotions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, I turned to poetry,” Naomi explained. “As local church finances have taken a hit since buildings had to close in March, it seemed fitting to offer my poems in support of the communities I serve.”

The Corona Poems costs £5 for the paper version and £3 for the digital PDF version. To buy a copy, please email

Baptised on Zoom

The United Reformed congregations of Andover, Hampshire, and Salisbury, Wiltshire, gathered online for Ryan Fai’s baptism service on 12 July.

Using Zoom, a video conferencing platform, the Revds Ana and Tod Gobledale, Ministers of Andover, Broad Chalke and Salisbury URCs, led the service, having delivered the church font to the Fai family’s home beforehand.

“Nine-year-old Ryan was at home, as were we all, sharing together,” explained Mrs Gobledale.

“Ryan’s parents and elder sister repeated sacramental words, and later lifted a scallop shell and poured the waters of new life upon him. Truly, our ‘cup’ overflowed with the palpable presence of God! Family and godparents from Sweden, America and Cameroon were in good supply, creating a fantastic circle of faith surrounding Ryan. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Not even a pandemic lockdown!”

Minister on charity board

URC minister the Revd Rob Weston was elected to the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FoR)’s board of trustees this summer, adding a second URC-affiliated board member.

Anne Parker, who attends South Leeds URC, is the charity’s vice-chair. FoR is an international and ecumenical charity equipping Christians to promote nonviolence.

If you would like to share your news, please email the Communications team.

Published: 21 September 2020

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