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URC Mersey Synod News

Mersey News


The thought of the summer holidays approaching fills me with much excitement and anticipation. Whether travelling abroad or in the UK, visiting new and familiar places with family and friends is such a wonderful feeling; enjoying quality time with those we love is so important.  When the sun is out, I instantly feel grateful to be able to spend more time outside! The impact it has on people’s mood is massive and should be bottled! People smile more and say “hello!” to each other, even to strangers!

The Greek Philosopher, Aristotle identified four levels of happiness:

            Level 1: Laetus, is happiness from material objects.

Level 2: Felix, is happiness from Ego gratification.

Level 3: Beatitudo is the happiness from doing good for others and making the world a better place Level 4: Sublime Beatitudo.


Life itself is a gift which we are given, so what level of happiness do you strive for?

Enjoy the summer months, Julie Rafferty – Synod Safeguarding Advisor


MersEyNews is taking a break after this bumper issue – enjoy the summer!




Mersey Synod Treasurer – equivalent around 50 days per year, voluntary position 
                        Further details at


Church Community Worker - Elmwood and St John’s URCs (part of the Warrington Pastorate)

15 hours per week  Salary: £10,668 per annum  
Further details at


Trust Officer  West Midlands Synod Office - 17.5 hours per week  Salary: £18,500 per annum  
                        Further details at


More information on the following jobs at


  • General Secretary - United Reformed Church  Full time, 7-year term from June 2020
  • Deputy General Secretary – United Reformed Church  Full time
  • Principal – Westminster College, Cambridge  7-year term from August 2020
  • Moderator – Yorkshire Synod  Full time, 7-year term
  • Moderator – North Western Synod  Full time, 7-year term







Summer Evening Synod    2nd July at Trinity URC, Wigan meeting from 7.00 – 9.00 pm with a light buffet tea which will be provided from 6.15 pm.  All are welcome to attend.


Experience the Bible’  Join in any of the ‘dip-in / dip-out’ activities, fun for all ages including games, stories, craft, all-age colouring, a quiet corner, ‘Geek’-space etc with light refreshments available on Saturday 
6th July from 10.00 am – 12 noon at St James’ Church, Church Road South, Woolton, Liverpool L25 7RJ. 


‘All creatures great and small’  Pets service at Parkgate & Neston URC, Moorside Lane, Parkgate CH64 6UZ at 3.00 pm on Sunday 7th July - outside if the weather’s nice!  BRING YOUR PETS and come and celebrate the gift of our animals, past and present.  Owners are to accept full responsibility for their pets


Are you 18+ and a young adult?  -  The Churches Together in the Merseyside Region (CTMR) 18+ group invite young adults on Merseyside to join them for a ‘bring and share meal’ on Monday 8th July at 22 School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BT from 6:30pm-8:30pm.  All are welcome.


How do you stop a church from sliding down the hill? Tuesday 9th July  from 10.00 am to 12.30 pm at St Paul’s,Compstall Rd, Compstall, Stockport SK6 5HU.  St Paul’s major repair and re-ordering project.  What started off as some pointing work that was required by the quinquennial report, suddenly turned into a £500,000 roller coaster of a journey. Renovation, restoration, re-ordering, exhumations, underpinning, and much more – all part of the ride. Book at -


Music for a Summer’s Evening - A Fundraising Concert for Motor Neurone Disease Association. The WMC Chorale and Guests present a fun musical evening featuring a varied programme of popular songs, both old and new on Friday 12thJuly, at 7.30pm at St George’s URC, Thornton Hough CH63 5EF.

Tickets £7 including a glass of wine or juice from Tony Swarbrick – 0151 378 7872 or 07478 726650


Sea Sunday – 14th July resources can be found at:  

Charity Cricket Match -  Andrew Page (St John's URC, Warrington) is putting together a cricket team to take on Rainhill on the afternoon of Sunday 21st July. The idea is to enjoy some friendly cricket and raise money for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). Players of all abilities are needed, and spectators will be very welcome!  For further info contact Andrew on 01744 452558 or


Lift the Ban – Currently, people seeking asylum in the UK are effectively banned from working.  The Lift the Ban coalition are calling for asylum seekers to have the right to work after six months.  Postcards to post off in support of the campaign were made available.  To find out more about this issue and to get postcards / resources for churches visit:


Worldwide Eco Sewing Group  -  Chifundo has set up a ladies’ sewing group and we invite ladies from any part of the world who would like to come and explore different ideas for sewing.  To know more please ring 01244 381490.  We meet the last Friday of the month at 2.00 pm with no meetings in August and December at 1 St Christopher’s Close, Upton Chester CH2 1EJ (No 1 bus stops nearby)


See the Synod Calendar at



DATES FOR YOUR DIARY  (some events may need booking prior to the date of the event)


Mersey Synod Festival of Worship ‘Holy Encounters’ on Saturday 3rd August from 10.00 am – 4.30 pm at Caldy Valley Neighbourhood Church, Caldy Valley Road, Great Boughton, Chester CH3 5PR.  Take part in our first ever Festival of Worship - meet friends and enjoy taster worship sessions in five different creative ways plus closing worship with the Café Jam Band. It's free, it's fun and it's family friendly. Most of the sessions will be open to children but for any which aren't appropriate we'll be running activity sessions for the youngsters.  Free lunch and refreshments provided.  Places are limited and booking is essential.  For more information and booking form visit


The Knitted Bible Exhibition – will be on display at the St Nicholas’ Centre, Church Road, Halewood, Liverpool L26 6LB from Tues 13th – Sat 24th August.  Entry free, donations welcome.  Refreshments available to purchase.  Wed 14th – Sat 17th August 10.00 am – 2.00 pm daily; Sun 18th Aug 2.00 – 4.00 pm; Mon 19th – Sat 24th Aug 10.00 am – 2.00 pm daily; Thurs 22 Aug also open 6.00 – 7.30 pm.  The Knitted Bible Exhibition is on loan from St George’s URC, Hartlepool.


URC Holiday Forum: ‘A story waiting to be told…’  17th – 23rd August at Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 1AU.  Theme Leader: Revd Richard Becher.

We can’t change history but there are many untold stories which can change the future through how history is remembered.  Telling the story is what Jesus did so well and new stories can be told through fiction and non-fiction; gospel and testimony; song and poetry so come and write a new story or, as the Psalmist says, sing a new song to the Lord!  Behind every story written and heard there are many more waiting to be told and YOUR story is what the Lord wants you to tell. This is a week to be inspired and inspire with visions and dreams knowing that if you can imagine something it is possible with God.  There is a bursary fund available to help support those who may be in need of respite, fellowship and worship but may not be able to afford the break. Bookings are also available for those who wish to visit only for the day or a couple of nights. 
More information and to book visit the 
Forum 2019 link


Managing events in your church on Saturday 7th September 10.00 am- 3.30 pm at St John’s Centre, Hartford.  Join us for one day training event exploring how to successfully plan and run different types of events. Delivered by Revd Ruth Dowson, Senior Lecturer, UK Centre for Events Management, University of Leeds.  Book at -


Free to Believe Reading Party: Life, Death and Everything  9th – 12th September at Bishop Woodford House, Ely led by Anne Lewitt, URC minister at Petworth, Pulborough and Billingsworth, and Free to Believe chair, Martin Camroux. 

Richard Holloway Waiting for the Last Bus: Reflections on Life and Death

Dale Allison Night comes: Death, Imagination and the last things

The reading party offers a chance to think about the meaning of our lives from two different perspectives, both open-minded and critical and reflective, but one mostly no longer believing in God the other still believing.  A chance to look at questions more deeply than is often the case in our churches.  Cost: £255 ensuite, £235 non-ensuite rooms. For more information or to book contact Martin Camroux, 4 Sorrel Close, Colchester, CO4 5Ul. Deposit of £50 cheques made out to ‘Free to Believe’.


Bid Writing Workshops:   We are conscious that several churches are seeking to obtain grants from various sources to support their work and projects.  If you are, it may be useful to send a representative to one of the  ‘Bid Writing Workshops’  that are run by commercial organisations with experience of how to put together applications that have a good chance of success.   NFP Workshops are running training sessions on bid writing in Manchester on the 12th September this year.   More information can be found on their website:


You are also reminded that the Synod has in its library an up to date directory of organisations and trusts which provide grants for charitable activities.   This may be consulted at the Synod Office but may not be taken away.


Youth Work Sunday 2019  -  There will be two all-age services to celebrate, pray and commission those working with children and young people:  22nd September at 10.30 am at Wallasey Village URC, Wallasey CH45 3LP and 29thSeptember at 10.00 am at Allerton URC, Mather Avenue, Liverpool L18 7HD.


Assembly-organised Enquirers’ Event for people interested in a range of ministries in the church on Saturday 26thOctober 2019 from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm at Westminster College, Cambridge.   Book this date in your diary – further information to follow. 


Easy First Steps… in meeting your neighbours of other faiths on Saturday 2nd November at The London Interfaith Centre, 125 Salusbury Road, Queen’s Park, London NW6 6RG  OR

Saturday 14th March at The Blackley Centre, West Yorkshire, Prospect View, Elland HX5 0TD

from 11.00 am – 3.30 pm (free lunch provided) open to anyone who is interested in discovering what we hold in common with our neighbours from across the faiths.  This event will include stories of working projects and practical workshops on:  Finding ways to work together; How to offer hospitality; Challenging evangelism; First steps in meeting our neighbour, exploring common ground; Where to find practical resources; Local stories of interfaith working; Overcoming prejudice and countering populism

If you are interested in attending one of these free events, please email



Being a Church Treasurer: The Basics

Saturday 2nd November from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm at Bridge Chapel Centre, Heath Road, Liverpool L19 4XR

The cost of £50 per person includes all materials, lunch and refreshments. All ACAT events are open to members and non-members.   Grants are available for lay folk who are interested in doing the course – contact Synod Office for more information.

The Association of Church Accountants and Treasurers (ACAT) run helpful courses for church treasurers new and old.  The ‘Being a Church Treasurer: The Basics’ course has been freshly updated for 2019 and looks set to continue being extremely popular with new and experienced treasurers alike. With a very practical approach, “The Basics” will equip today’s treasurer with the knowledge needed to carry out their multifaceted role. Subjects covered include:

     Treasurer as Trustee: Churches as Charities; Responsibilities of Trustees

     Treasurer as Bookkeeper: Managing Finance Operations; Keeping Accounting Records; Fund Accounting

     Treasurer as Planner: Budgeting; Risk Management

     Treasurer as Optimiser: Gift Aid; GASDS; VAT

     Treasurer as Communicator: Trustees’ Annual Report; Financial Statements; Independent Examination

These are full-day sessions, with registration at the venue from 9.30am and the course itself running from 10am to 4pm. Refreshment and lunch breaks throughout the day are built into the programme and are always a great opportunity to interact with fellow treasurers.

To secure your place at this training event please apply through the this website:  or contact ACAT, 125 Coney Green Business Centre, Wingfield View, Clay Cross CHESTERFIELD S45 9JW  Telephone number: 0845 564 2280

All URC Church Treasurers are automatically members of ACAT.   Its website has lots of useful information: .   To check the procedure for logging onto it please contact the Synod Office.



Inter Faith Week - 10th – 17th November visit


Cliff College Short Course in Social Activism  Designed for those interested in making the world a better place, the Certificate in Social Activism is an exciting week-long course looking at this important and developing subject. 11th – 15thNovember Find out more here.  Grants are available for lay folk who are interested in doing the course – contact Synod Office for more information.

Westminster College Courses

For information on the following courses, visit

   - Supporting Elders – Leadership and Spirituality 
   - Lens, Pens and Paintbrush
   - Blue Planet – Blue God (with The Faraday Institute & Wesley House)

Save the date!  Ministers’ Refresher Week March 16th – 20th 2020 ‘Living in a World of Faiths’ Keynote speaker: Dr Ed Kessler

Journey of the Magi – A festive, light-hearted, joyful event with a moving and profound message. Share the joy and wonder of Christmas with your church and local community through this exhilarating, critically acclaimed performance. The show offers a bridge between contemporary life and Jesus’s birth, comparing our own personal journey to Christmas day with the journey that the wise men took. With sparkle and songs to keep the children engrossed and bags of good humour for the grown-ups, Journey of the Magi delights audiences of all ages and offers a chance to reflect and refocus.  Springs is inviting churches to host a performance of Journey of the Magi, which will be available nationally from 22nd November to 23rd December 2019. Further information can be found on the Springs Dance Company website page  by calling 07876 752 910 or by


‘News from the Pews’ is broadcast around 7.30 am every Sunday morning.  It is the ‘what’s on’ feature for the Daybreak programme on Radio Merseyside.  Get in touch with presenter, Helen Jones, to publicise your ecumenical events giving plenty of notice.  Email: or to Helen Jones, Daybreak, BBC Radio Merseyside, P.O. Box 95.8, Liverpool L69 1ZJ.


Recycling – there is a recycling box at Synod Office for used batteries, ink cartridges and stamps.  Visitors to Synod Office are very welcome to make use of this facility.


URC Daily Devotions  -  these can be found at  If you would like to be on the list of people who produce them, please contact Synod Office.


United Reformed Church News can be found at  You can also sign up for the monthly News Update.


Joint Public Issues Calendar



Please forward or print this e-newsletter for members of your congregation or anyone who would like to receive it.  You are also welcome to re-print items in your church magazine.  If you would like a paper copy posted direct to you, or a direct email copy, please contact Synod Office (address below).

If you would prefer not to receive paper copies of Synod mailings, but would like electronic copies where possible, please let Synod Office know.


GDPR  If you have received this e-newsletter direct from Synod Office, we will continue to send it to you unless you opt out.  If you would no longer like to receive it, please email 

The Mersey Synod General Data Privacy Notice can be found on the Mersey Synod website.

The United Reformed Church, Mersey Synod, 1 Fingall Road, Wavertree, Liverpool, L15 9JE
Tel: 0151 722 6590