Church Growth and Evangelism

 trevor-16Revd Trevor Hahn - Advocate       E-mail:   Trevor

My name is Trevor Hahn and I am the minister of Christ Church URC, Clacton-on-Sea and Dovercourt Central LEP and I have been appointed as the Synod Representative for Church Growth and Evangelism. I am excited about partnering with God in building His kingdom, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and making disciples. God has a plan to use us, His church, in fulfilling His mission, to make God and His love known in the church, in our communities and beyond.  

I have always received encouragement from hearing good news stories of evangelism, growth and new life so do please contact me and let me know what is happening in your communities and do get in touch if you would like to share or ask anything.

Church Growth and Evangelism- May 2017 Synod Newsletter introduction

Just to let you know I have written an article reflecting on sharing the good news.  Do check it out and please do get in touch if you would like to share or comment on anything.

Download: Full Version of Church Growth and Evangelism Newsletter - May 2017

Church Growth and Evangelism - March 2017 Synod Newsletter introduction

Just to let you know I have written an article reflecting on Lententide. Do check it out and please do get in touch if you would like to share or comment on anything.

Download: Full Version of Church Growth and Evangelism Newsletter - March 2017

Church Growth and Evangelism  January 2017 Synod Newsletter introduction

Just to let you know I have written an article reflecting on Donald Trump's inauguration and what I think is a godly response to those in power, with whom we might not always agree. Do check it out and please do get in touch if you would like to share or comment on anything.

Download: Full Version of Church Growth and Evangelism Newsletter - January 2017

Church Growth and Evangelism November 2016 Synod Newsletter

As I write the country is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster where a coal slag heap collapsed on a primary school killing 144 people, 116 of them children. Apparently concerns were raised previously which were ignored. Download the article I have written reflecting on love, God’s agape love, in the context of some current events and this month’s Armistice Day. Do check it out and please do get in touch if you would like to share or comment on anything.

Download: Full Version of Church Growth and Evangelism Newsletter - November 2016

Church Growth and Evangelism September 2016 Synod Newsletter

Following the success on many levels of the recent Olympic Games in Rio in August, this month sees the Paralympic Games take centre stage.   What a treat, and as someone who had the privilege and pleasure of taking their daughter to see some of the Paralympic Games in London in 2012 I would heartily recommend it.  I was astounded by the all the athletes skill, speed, dexterity and in some cases certainly would not catch me playing murder ball (wheelchair rugby) for all the tea in China or perhaps as I do not drink tea, for all the chocolate in Bournville.

Let us not underestimate anyone but instead celebrate the wondrous diversity that exists in God's Kingdom and the world.  The Paralympics trailer refers to the para athletes as 'Superhumans' and in a Bob the Builderesque moment answers the implied question 'Can we do it?' with a resounding 'Yes we can!'   Perhaps Jesus would have said 'everything becomes possible when you believe.'

Download: Full Version of Church Growth and Evangelism Newsletter - September 2016 

Church Growth and Evangelism in the light of the recent EU Referendum vote.

We live in unprecedented times. After a generation of EU Membership Britain has voted to leave, to take back control, exert our own authority, and initiate our own ‘independence day’ as one politician has proclaimed. Precisely what that means at the time I write no-one yet seems to fully understand. There is tremendous fear, trepidation, uncertainty and, if media reports are to be believed, an increase in hostility and division, as foreign nationals are apparently being subjected to calls by certain members of the public to ‘go back home,’ ‘get out, we voted leave.’

But in these uncertain and for some unpleasant times perhaps we as Christians can remember our true identity and citizenship. Our identity is in Christ and we are citizens of heaven. Yes there is great diversity in the Kingdom of God, but we are all one in Christ, irrespective of language, ethnicity, skin colour, or nationality on our passport.

Download: In light of the EU Referendum Article

United Reformed Church’s Vision 2020


We proclaim that:We will be more confident to engage in evangelism, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God with friends, families and strangers, through story and action. We will be a growing church with an increasing membership.


Quite a challenge! Evangelism and Church Growth are a crucial part of our response to the good news of Jesus Christ. Jesus himself commands us: “Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20).

HOPE 2018  

hope-in-our-villages-2017We are writing to you to inform you about the HOPE project which could enhance the mission in your synod. You may well have come across HOPE before as many United Reformed churches have got involved in recent years beginning with HOPE08 in 2008. In 2018 the Archbishop of Canterbury and other church leaders are encouraging local churches to participate. HOPE seeks to unite churches of all denominations to use words and actions to make Jesus known. All the major denominations are involved, including the URC. What is hoped is that churches in towns, villages and cities will work together in new or existing projects using the HOPE logo and so portraying unity in Christ.

Towards 2018 HOPE’s dream is a growing church, showing Jesus’ love and telling the Jesus story, at the heart of every community – and there’s a sense, across the UK, that it’s time for a spiritual harvest. The HOPE 2018 vision is presented in a new 16-page brochure. We’d love you to be involved.

Visit the HOPE shop  You can also see the photos and video from the HOPE 2018 launch day (12th October 2016).

Website: HOPE 2018    HOPE 2018 Leaflet

Free  Evangelical Resources available to each church in the Synod from Billy Graham Evangelical Association

The Billy Graham Evangelical Association in the UK have produced some FREE hope-ukEVANGELICIAL DVD films which we want to put totally free of charge into the hands of churches to aid and equip them to evangelise. There are currently two films made - with a third due to be released in Nov 16. These films are approx. 25 minutes long and consist of very powerful testimonies. They are very well made and can be used with youth, men's and ladies groups, mother and toddler groups and older people.

For every church, organisation and household, don’t miss your free DVD of the new film coming this October. Pre-order now! View link below  to watch My Hope UK’s 2015 film, Second Chance, featuring Chris Llewellyn from Rend Collective. Christians can share the Gospel message with friends, family, colleagues and neighbours using one of several evangelistic films. They feature life-changing testimonies and powerful messages of hope from Billy Graham and Franklin Graham.

View: MY HOPE UK so that you can check out these films for yourself.

My Hope UK with Billy Graham is a national initiative to encourage and equip the local church to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ

This initiative, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Billy Graham preaching at Harringay, gives churches the opportunity to connect with people who may have attended a Billy Graham rally in the past. It involves a series of 30-minute films with testimonies, and a message from Billy Graham, that can be used by local churches.

"My Hope UK with Billy Graham is a nationwide effort to reach people across the United Kingdom with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through this outreach you can present others with powerful testimonies and a recent message from Billy Graham. Let's work together to share Jesus with a world desperate for hope.

Although the 60th anniversary has passed the material is still relevant and the initiative continues. The mission remains the same 'to reach people across the United Kingdom with the gospel of Jesus Christ. No matter how you use this resource, remember that My Hope begins and ends with prayer. View website for some practical steps your church can start today.          Website:  My Hope UK

Church Growth & Evangelism Resources

Alpha is a ten-week course, usually including a meal, for churches to run that introduce people to the basics of the Christian faith in an open friendly and informal environment.
Website: Alpha

Christianity Explored has produced a number of courses and resources available to help people explore Christianity asking the question, 'One life. What's it all about?'  Further resources include a course on discipleship, an answer to the question 'What is Christianity?' and responses to some of the tough questions we face as Christians.

Website:  Christianity Explored  

Season-of-invitation-headerA Season of Invitation is a national ecumenical initiative. Not only is it a resource to help churches invite and encourage people back to church, for a special 'back to church' service in September, but also has resources to continue the 'season of invitation' through resources for Harvest, Remembrance, Advent, and Christmas.  There are even tailored resources to include children and help them engage in evangelism and invitation.

Website: A Season of Invitation 


Fresh Expressions is an ecumenical initiative to form new and changing church communities for a changing world.
Website: Fresh Expressions

gear-bannerGEAR, the Group for Evangelism and Renewal in the URC, provide resources and events to help churches and individuals engage with evangelism. In 2013, GEAR has produced two Vision 2020 booklets to unpack the themes of Church Growth and Evangelism. 
Website: GEAR    Website: Gear2020 Booklets

hope-together Hope Together  has a vision for churches to be working together in mission across the UK. Their website is packed with ideas and inspiration, including a 'season for invitation' resource to engage with people throughout the year and resources for all ages, children and young people.

Website: Hope Together


Hope is building towards 2018 and a massive year of mission in every village, town and city.

Website: Hope Building towards 2018 for more information

Hope 2014 is an ecumenical initiative to encourage churches to work together to transform communities with the good news of Jesus Christ.  Watch the promotional video which is still just as relevant for today.   What is HOPE towards 2014 Video Link


Greater Love - As part of HOPE's focus on 2014 as a year of mission, HOPE and HOPE's partners have prepared resources to help churches to mark the centenary of World War 1 at the heart of local communities.

Website: Greater Love


LICC, The London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, has a host of resources to help churches make ‘whole-life disciples’.

Website: LICC


messychurchMessy Church  is 'a way of being church for families involving fun.' It's 'values are about being Christ-centred, for all ages, based on creativity, hospitality and celebration'.

Website: Messy Church


Scripture Union provides resources to help churches share the good news of the gospel with children and young people, including Children's Holiday and Midweek Clubs, Sunday school materials, schools work and much more.

Website: Scripture Union


Vision 2020 was adopted by the URC’s General Assembly in 2020 and is a framework to inspire and support mission across the denomination.

Website: Vision 2020

National Assembly

National Assembly Agrees Environmental Policy

October Synod gave space to a presentation of the United Reformed Church's new Environment Policy agreed at the July 2016 Assembly.   The Policy recommends that each Synod consider an Environmental Charter, like that of the North Western Synod.

Our Synod has not yet considered a charter but I will be advocating that it might adopt something like this in the future.  This Charter, initiated by the Westbury Gardens church, reads:

Environmental Charter.

We believe that creation reveals the glory of God. That we are called to be stewards of God’s creation working with all people of good will to make sure that His earth remains a beautiful place full of wonder, worship, love, justice and peace by respecting the environment and all creatures.

We challenge ourselves to live simply and in solidarity with the poor not taking unfair amounts of the world’s resources or creating waste and pollution.

We commit ourselves to safeguarding life and living sustainably by taking our environmental impact fully into account.


Website: Environmental Policy


Environmental Stewardship: A United Reformed Church Perspective

The United Reformed Church (URC) believes that 'the changing climate and its consequences for all life on planet earth cannot be over emphasised as the most significant underlying issue of our time'. (Vision 20/20).

These words were agreed just a few weeks ago, on 10th July at the URC 2016 National Assembly, as part of the URC's new Environment Policy. The preamble in the document presented to Assembly assets that 'it is the cornerstone of our intent as a body of people committed to caring for God's Creation': this includes reducing our carbon footprint, improving recycling, minimising waste and improving efficiencies on finite natural resources in all of our operations.

Download: Environmental Stewardship Flyer


The Church & New Communities

the church new communitie copyHow can the Church respond to planned developments in their local community?

All across the six counties of the East of England new communities are being planned and under construction to meet the need for housing. In villages, towns and cities new developments are under way, sometimes consisting of thousands of new dwellings or in many cases just a handful. Whilst many people acknowledge the need for new homes for the young, for workers and for the homeless, large new communities are not universally popular. Whilst this guide has been prepared with the larger developments of 3000+ homes in mind, some of the principles can be applied to all new housing areas.

Revd Dr Tony Barker has produced this guide to help churches to engage with planned new housing developments in their area:

Download: The Church and New Communities Booklet

Eastern Synod Environmental News

URC Feasts and Festivals - Big Day OutFeasts-and-festivals-save-t

Feasts and Festivals - 10th June 2017   - Suffolk Showground, Trinity Park, Suffolk, IP3 8UH

At our URC Feasts and Festivals Big Day Out in 2017, I will be inviting churches from around the Synod to contribute their work towards a sustainable future for our planet, as part of our Stewardship of God's gift of creation. Please let me know if you would like to contribute to this. We will have a marquee set up for the purpose.


Good stewardship of the resources God has given us must be dear to all our hearts

How can we manage this in our churches?

  • Start by raising awareness within the congregation.
  • Within the property and without any expenditure; consider switching off some lights and the correct level of heating; reuse, reduce and recycle whenever possible; reduce waste and consumption.
  • With minimal expenditure; carry out regular maintenance; install low energy lights;
  • When planning building improvements; improve the insulation; change the type of heating; look for greener energy suppliers; consider solar power (already planned for two churches in the Synod.
  • Ask the congregation to consider their personal life styles.
    • Walking to Church saves fuel and is better for you. 
    • Switching off  when not in use (includes your car engine). 
    • Sharing lifts, driving more fuel efficient cars and flying less will make a very positive impact. 
  • Use the phone and consider conference calls rather than having meetings. Consider food miles.

Download: Cut Your Carbon - 50 Ways To Take Action

Website : Eco Congregation

Website: Operation Noah

Synod Churches News

Emmanuel Church Bungay Going Green Environmental Project Awardseco-bungay-3-2016

With the aim of trying to encourage others to follow our lead, we have entered ourselves for a few awards and the heating engineers, R A Browns, have done likewise as we were their first Community based project. 

This year we entered the Eco-church Award which has recently replaced Eco-congregation and not only have we received a Silver but we are the first Church to achieve this level. As the remit of Eco-Church covers Service content and church and individual lifestyle in addition to the buildings, this is the first award which recognises our overall commitment to the issues of Climate change and our responsibilities as stewards of God’s creation. An important aspect of this award for us at Emmanuel is that we have committed ourselves to strive for Gold. RA Browns entered our project for the East of England Energy Efficiency and Retrofit Awards in April 2016 and at a lovely ceremony and lunch at The Hilton Hotel at Stanstead, we won the Community Project Award. Again, we were the only Church represented at these awards.

eco-bungay-4-2016An award-winning Suffolk congregation has just added Eco Church to its growing list of accolades. Emmanuel Church, Bungay, has snatched the first ever Silver Award in A Rocha UK’s environmental scheme.  On Tuesday 3rd May, the award was presented to Revd Jacquie Evans by Mr Alex Verwater, a long standing member and friend from our Dutch Exchange. This was closely followed by another award, The East of England Energy Efficiency & Retrofit Award in the category of ‘Regional Small Scale Project Of The Year’. R A Brown’s Heating Services earned this award for its innovative work on our project. This second award was presented to Revd Jacquie by Mrs Margaret Shepherd, a founder member of Sustainable Bungay.

Download: ECO Church A Rocha UK's Award Scheme Bungay Report     Download:  Going Green Environmental Project Awards Newsletter

Other Environmental Project Awards

With the aim of trying to encourage others to follow our lead:-

  • March 24th 2011 Came second in the Suffolk Greenest County Awards
  • March 21st 2012 Came second in the Suffolk Greenest County Awards
  • March 28th 2014 Won the Suffolk Greenest County Award - Greenest building category
  • November 6th 2014 Second in the EDP Business Awards 2015 H&V National News Awards – RA Browns Won the Retrofit Project of the Year – judges comment was "This project has set the greenest possible standard for others to follow"
  • However, this year we entered the Eco-church Award and not only have we received a Silver but we are the first Church to achieve this level

Mission and Pioneering Ministries

Mission across the Synod happens through a number of initiatives and in a variety of ways.  This section offers the mission of: Faith in Action through our Synod Advocate; our Ecumenical Mission through the Synod Ecumenical Officer; the mission through each of our local churches; offers support and encouragement to our many rural churches through our Rural Life and Mission Advocate; and the Pioneer Minister; and the initiatives that help local churches to engage with mission - Vision4Life, Vision2020 and Fresh Expressions. 

To find out more about any of these aspects of our mission and ministry, click on the links on the left.

Questions about this section? Please contact the Mission and Training Officer:

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Season of Creation

The Season of Creation

season-of-creation-green-envThe Season of Creation offers worshipers an opportunity to turn their full attention toward God the creator and toward their relationship with the whole creation.

See below for history and description of the Season of Creation.

When is the Season of Creation celebrated? Multiple resources for celebrating a Season of Creation Scripture Readings, Lectionary lessons for the three years of the Season of Creation. See lessons for Season C (2016). Sermons and Commentaries on the Season of Creation Themes Liturgies for Series C (2016) are available to download and to adapt to your worship Contributions from Congregations and Denominations. Liturgical elements and sermons from those who have celebrated the Season of Creation.

Here is a link to a feature article published in the August 2014 volume of The Lutheran magazine by David Rhoads, A Season of Creation:  Focusing Worship on God as Creator. ????

What is the Season of Creation?

The Season of Creation is an optional season for the church year. For the most part, the seasons of the church year follow the life of Jesus: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, and Easter. The remainder of the church year encompasses Pentecost Season, which celebrates life in the Holy Spirit. Of course, there are many special days and occasional services throughout the calendar of the church year, such as Christ the King Sunday and Rogation Day. God is celebrated throughout the entire church year. And God the creator, Christ the redeemer of creation, and the Holy Spirit as sustainer of life are integral to worship throughout the church year. We hope that caring for creation is a vital dimension of every worship service.

Website: Season of Creation

Local Mission and Ministry Review

Local Mission & Ministry Review Vision 2020 Mission Pledges

Download: Local Mission and Ministry Review (LMMR) Introduction

Download: Local Mission and Ministry Mission Manifesto
Download: Mission Manifesto 'Property Tool'

Download: Local Mission and Ministry Review Resources

Download: Statements of Mission Purpose and Local Indicators

E-mail  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  - Coordinator or contact her on 01449 774792 for Information.

Mission Tools


Vision Initiatives

Find out more about 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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Find out who's who on the Synod Office Team.  If you are unsure who to get in touch with, use the Contact Us form and your query will be routed to the right person!

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