Eastern Synod Mission & Training Team Dates for 2020


  • Lay Preachers' Gift Days  - 3rd October - Westminster College, Cambridge
  • Synod Big Day Out - Cancelled to be rescheduled 
  • Worship Roadshows introductory evenings, followed by a day event, supporting churches leading worship

Worship Roadshows

The Worship Roadshows or as they have become, mini 'stay-at-home' sessions have now begun with the first posted on the Synod YouTube channel and the second due to be there on Thursday 7th May. The advantage of doing it this way is that it stays and you can catch up. In the first Paul offered an introduction and the second Lindsey is helping us to consider how to structure an act of Worship. To find them go to the Synod YouTube channel and look for the video you want. If you would like the written emailed script, please e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request it. 

All-day workshop: 10am for 10.30am - 4pm   -  Saturday 19th September -  Whittlesford URC

For more information on Worship Roadshows  please E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. E:mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  regarding any of the above events   

Rural Ministry Course is Back

The highly-regarded Rural Ministry Course is back! - 8th - 10th June 2020

germinate-2020CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: The Rural Ministry Course scheduled for June 2020 has been cancelled. If you are booked onto this course, please email Deb Soesan Over the coming weeks we will be working on a programme of dates for Rural Ministry Courses in 2021. Please check this page for updates, or register your interest by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Rural Ministry Course is designed for lay and ordained church leaders across the denominations entering a rural appointment for the first time, and those already in rural ministry who feel the need for a 'refresher'. The three-day residential programme employs a variety of approaches including practical sessions, group work and workshops led by practitioners, and includes sessions on understanding rural contexts, mission and growth, leadership, farming and work with children and young people in the countryside. This is a really good course for those new to rural areas.

Delegates can book the course by going to  Germinate Website and follow the links to our online booking form, or by e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. our office administrator, or phone (020 7685 3066) for further enquiries.

Eastern Synod Big Day Out 2020


Unfortunately has now been Postponed.
We are currently exploring dates for a re-scheduled event in 2021

Venue: Trinity Park, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, IP3 8UH

A Fun Day for all the family  - Come and  - Relax  -  Create  -Reflect  -  Have Fun  -  Celebrate 

Clare Priory Retreat 2020

CANCELLED due to Coronavirus  Clare Priory Retreat 3rd July - 5th July 2020  


We are hoping  for a further date in the Autumn when this epidemic passes and becomes safer.

STILL WATERS RUN DEEP - This retreat will be led by Revd Mary Irish and Sister Karen Knight.

Friday 3rd July - Sunday 5th July 2020 - Clare Priory, Ashen Road, Clare, Suffolk, CO10 8NX 

This retreat offers the opportunity to slow down and find rest. A time for prayer, refreshment and individual spiritual accompaniment will be available.  Clare Priory has been a place of prayer for many centuries. The monastery, new church and beautiful grounds offer peaceful surroundings, inviting us into the presence of God.  

The weekend will start late Friday afternoon and finish after lunch on Sunday. The accommodation is full board and most rooms are en-suite. The charge for this retreat is £140 per person. This includes all meals. The cost of the retreat can be met from EM or Lay Preachers allowances if applicable. 

The Closing date for booking is 1st June 2020, please book early as the numbers are strictly limited.         

Download: Clare Priory Booking Form when available. Further Information from  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  - Synod Office  01223 830770    Website: Clare Priory 

The Gathering New Expressions of Church-2020

The Gathering for all New Expressions of Church - 17th-18th July - 12th-13th October 2020

gathering-2019"Fresh expressions are new forms of church that emerge within contemporary culture and engage primarily with those who don't go to church"

An invitation to apply for an extraordinary gift from United Reformed Church Mission and Westminster College Cambridge. The Gathering will be a network of prayerful mutual encouragement which will convene for three 24-hour meetings in 2020 (plus in-between via a social media) and meetings thereafter to be arranged. 

July 17th-18th - October 12th-13th 2020

The URC is committed to supporting people who have set up new types of church and are now exploring the way forward in faith. Together with URC Westminster College Cambridge, we are delighted to invite applications to join The Gathering of teams who are intentionally developing and nurturing new types of worshipping communities and fresh expressions of church alongside our more traditional churches.  All fresh expressions of church share similar values, though they vary as to their position on the journey. The values are:

  • Missional - serving those outside church 
  • Contextual - listening to people and entering their culture
  • Formational - making discipleship a priority
  • Ecclesial - forming 'church'
  • Download: The Gathering Information Sheet

    Free to Believe National Conference 2020

    Free to Believe National Conference - 30th July - 1st August 2020

    free-to-believe-2020High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Herts, EN11 8SG

    Liberal Theology: What is liberal faith and what does it offer to the world? 

    The liberal option is of a faith that changes and develops to meet the needs of the contemporary world. It stands for a faith that is open, inclusive and socially radical. In our time it has been championed among others by John Robinson, Paul Tillich, Jack Spong and Martin Luther King. Without it theology too easily becomes a shrivelled, narrow, bigoted discourse. Instead it looks for a liberating faith. 

    Speakers: Gary Dorrien, Peter Brain, Alex Clare-Young and Alison Micklem

    Download: Free to Believe Booking Form or contact Mrs Linda Harrison, Conference Bookings, 60 Muirhead Crescent. Bo'ness, West Lothian, EH51 9TH 

    Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.        Website:  Free to Believe

    URC Holiday Forum 2020

    URC Holiday Forum 22nd  - 28th August 2020 - "What shall we tell the Children?"

    Holiday-forum-2020 copySaturday 22nd to Friday 28th August,2020 The Hayes Christian Conference, Centre Swanwick Derbyshire.

    That’s the question John Bell is putting to the 2020 Holiday Forum. What were we told as children about God, the Bible, and heaven? Are these the right things to be passing on to our own children? We’ll focus, too, on some of the big issues they face, growing up in the 21st century. What should we tell them about money, technology, and dealing with people who are different? John Bell is the theme and worship leader at the forthcoming Holiday Forum – a week of faith, fun and fellowship for individuals and families of all ages and walks of life. Many Forumites come back, year after year. Then they grow up, and bring their own children! Book soon places are going quickly!

    The Hayes Conference Centre, at Swanwick in Derbyshire, is set in beautiful grounds and run by the Christian Conference Trust. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included and the meals are generous. In addition to morning coffee and afternoon tea, there is also a well-stocked gift shop and bar.

    To book Holiday Forum, please use the Booking Form  or contact our Bookings Secretary Alison Foxwell on?? Payment can be made by cheque, BACS or standing order.  This information about Forum 2020 is also available as a PDF  to print and distribute it to your church community.

    Website: URC Holiday Forum 

    In the Spirit's Power

    The East Anglia Dunamis Project - In the Spirits Power 21st - 25th September 2020

    In-the-spirits-power-eventDunamis Project - In the Spirit's Power -  21st - 25th September  2020 - Monday evening meal until Friday lunch time (included) Belsey Bridge Conference Centre, Ditchingham, Bungay, Suffolk NR35 2DZ 

    In the Spirit’s Power Jesus gave his followers a mission and promised the Holy Spirit to equip them for the task. Yet many Christians today have little first-hand experience of how to cooperate with the Spirit.

    Our understanding and expectations may be limited by a lack of teaching. Perhaps past experiences and hurts make us cautious about exploring the various spiritual gifts that Jesus offers through his Holy Spirit. In the Spirit’s Power looks at how Christians today can know the presence and power of the Holy Spirit for themselves. The events are 4/5 days, living in community with very careful Biblical teaching and practical application, all soaked in an atmosphere of prayer. The Dunamis project consists of 6 such events over 3 years in East Anglia!                 Download - Booking Details from the Dunamis website

    Lay Preachers & Worship Leaders

     A Gift to our lay Preachers & Worship Leaders  - Saturday 3rd October 2020


    Theme: 'Passover' Led by Alison Gray - Saturday 3rd October 2020

    Eastern Synod and Westminster College A gift for our Lay-Preachers and Worship Leaders” - Join us at Westminster College for a day that will resource and refresh you for the gift of worship leading that you offer to our Synod, and end with sharing of communion. 

    Leaders: 3rd October - Alison Gray Westminster College - Old Testament tutor. Alongside Liz Bird (Synod Lay Preachers Advocate), Lindsey Brown (Synod Mission and Training Officer), and Nicola Grieves (Children and Youth Development Officer), who will be offering their experience in particular areas of knowledge.

    Eastern Synod, along with the whole United Reformed Church, is deeply indebted to the many lay people who freely give of their time to lead worship in our churches week by week. We would therefore like to offer something back. where up to thirty people can come together at Westminster College to be fed rather than to be those who feed others. The intention is to offer both spiritual and physical food. The day will start with coffee on arrival and include lunch. The rest of our time will be spent with input and discussion led by those leading the day.  

    Download:  Lay Preachers Gift Day Booking Form (available shortly)

    Crossfire Camp 2021

    Crossfire is a United Reformed Camp - 28th - 31st May 2021


    Crossfire Christian Camp which is run by GEAR (Group for Evangelism and Renewal in the United Reformed Church in conjunction with URC Youth. It has been running for over 35 years. Venue: Stathern Lodge Farm, Nr Melton Mowbray LE14 4EX  

    Crossfire Camp 2020 - We are sorry to have to let you know that Crossfire 2020 is now canceled.  What happens next? If you've placed a booking for Crossfire 2020 we'll be issuing a full refund.

    Save the dates for 2021!

    Plans for next year are already underway and we'll be in contact with more information later this year. In the meantime why not save the dates. Friday 28th - Monday 31st May 2021.  If you have any concerns or questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Our prayers are with you and your family at this challenging time.       Website:  Crossfire for more information and booking details.   

    Church Leadership Programme 2020-2021

    Church Leadership Programme - Transforming leadership from the inside out 2020-2021

    Education-learning-logo-2020Strengthening personal qualities, insights and skills for effective Christian leadership 2020 to 2021 The residential elements of the programme are to be held from the 5th to 9th of October 2020 and from 26th to 30th of April 2021, at Wydale Hall, Yorkshire.

    What does it seek to achieve?

    • to continue to place Christian leadership within the context of vocation and ministry within the United Reformed Church
    • to enable growth in personal formation for participants, and extend the knowledge and skills necessary for effective Christian leadership
    • reflection on personal leadership experience, alongside new ways of leadership discernment
    • to develop leaders who enable United Reformed Churches to become communities of more faithful disciples, better equipped to share in the Mission of God - Walking the Way of Jesus Today.

    To be accepted on the programme you will need a recommendation from an authorised person in your synod, usually the Training and Development Officer.    The deadline for initial expressions of interest is Friday 26th June 2020.

    View:  YouTube link:  Church Leadership Programme video  - URC website, for further details download - Programme Education for Ministry-Phase3. 

    Please register your interest to PA to the Secretary for Education & Learning, The United Reformed Church, 86 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9RT General office number: 020 7916 2020 Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Westminster College Training Events 2020


    Welcome to Westminster, where
    imagination inspires faith and living


    There are a range of events at Westminster College, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0AA  throughout the year. Click on the link below for further information and to book a place. 

    Training Events Westminster College 2020 

    Supporting Lay Preachers and Worship Leaders - A word for our times 
    Monday 10th - Wednesday 12th August  - Friday 11th - Sunday 13th September 2020

    Website:    Westminster College Resource Center for Learning   Website:    Westminster College Windows of opportunity          Westminster College Facebook

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