Moderator Revd Paul Whittle moving to National Synod of Scotland

Paul Whittle smilingSynod Moderator Paul Whittle is – somewhat unexpectedly - to leave his post at the end of 2020 in order to take up a three year appointment as Moderator of the National Synod of Scotland. Paul says – “This has come as a great surprise to me, as it may to you. I was fully expecting to remain as the Moderator of the Eastern Synod until retirement. However, I was asked to consider this short term role in Scotland and, after prayerful consideration, met with the discernment group on Monday (28th September). That was an extremely positive meeting and I felt a strong sense of call.”

Paul adds: “I have loved being the Moderator of the Eastern Synod and will be extremely sorry to leave earlier than planned. Of course, it has had its ups and downs but there have been far more good things than difficult ones. I have had some great people to work with –

Originally, and for some time, Peter Ball as Mission and Training Officer, and Henry Playle, as Children’s and Youth Development Officer, more recently Lindsey Brown and Nicola Grieves in those roles; great office staff, currently Jane Langford-Horder, Penelope Davies-Brown, Sue Drane, David Smith and Shannon Craig, and, previously, Linda Hack, Andrew Perkins and Gordon Heald. I have worked with three Synod Clerks, three Synod Treasurers, four Pastoral Convenors etc. etc. – some great ministers, elders and church members. I will miss you all, but feel, despite the challenges of Covid 19, that I leave the Synod in a good place. God’s blessings on you on all your doing.”

Though not a Scot, having been born in Nottingham, Paul spent most of his formative years in Scotland. His earliest memories are actually from Mundesley, where the family lived for a short while before moving to Greenock in the very early sixties. Paul went to school in Greenock and Paisley, the University of Glasgow, and the Scottish Congregational College, then in Edinburgh, before being ordained in Beith in North Ayrshire. Paul celebrated the 40th anniversary of his ordination, to the day, at the Synod Meeting in March 2019.

View: Paul Whittle returning to Scotland

Legacies of Slavery

Legacies of Slavery

Slavery-lecagiesYou are invited to explore how the Legacies of Slavery continue to affect all of life today. Resources on this site include Bible Studies, Films, Books, Papers, Prayers and Theology. These cover topics like the History of Slavery and Colonisation, White Privilege, Restorative Justice and how we can begin to build more conscious, just, and anti-racist communities.

The United Reformed Church is determined to explore the Legacies of Slavery. The transatlantic slave trade was one of the largest forced migrations of human beings across the globe. Race-based chattel slavery, as practiced in the Atlantic world, remains one of the ugliest forms of exploitation of other human beings ever invented. The legacy of that dismal history continues to impact enormously on people around the world today. 

View  Further Information - Legacies of Slavery 

Revd John Proctor Retires after 34 years in URC

Revd John Proctor Retires after serving the URC for 34 Years 

The Revd John Proctor, outgoing General Secretary of the United Reformed Church (URC), retired on 14 August having served the Church for 34 years.

John-Proctor-retires-2020Due to coronavirus, colleagues and friends gathered digitally for a virtual leaving do. In his own words, John reflects on his time in the role and offers thanks to those he has worked with: 

It was refreshing to read the interview in July’s Reform with our new General Secretary, John Bradbury. The Church has made a fine choice. John will get a grip on the job very quickly, and he will serve with great creativity and much good sense.

Meanwhile I am retiring. There are many people to thank. The General Secretary has a special vantage point across the life of the URC, and I’ve often been mightily impressed by the commitment, care, witness and energy in our local congregations. Our people make a difference in God’s world. There is much we should rejoice in and persist with, and I salute everyone who is a part of it – tens of thousands of you.

The team at Church House in London is an excellent bunch of people – gifted, committed, hard-working, helpful. I enjoy their company and have learned a lot from working among them. View the REFORM link above. 

Green Journey National Gas Contract

green-journeyThe URC Eastern Synod are delighted to share with you a new Green Energy scheme, called GREEN JOURNEY, which has been tailored to fit the needs of our Churches. The Green Journey is now the Synods consultant of choice for electricity and gas supplies.

A Christian firm called Green Energy Consulting is offering this service via the name Green Journey. They procure 100% renewable energy suppliers for both gas and electricity for churches, with no upfront costs. They also provide a totally free of charge energy survey of your buildings. A similar scheme has proved successful in the West Midlands and South West Synods, and churches utilising the scheme have saved an average of 12% against their existing renewal price.

The Synod commend individual churches to contact Green Energy Consulting to take advantage of this free and no obligation opportunity.           Download: URC Green Journey Brochure     

For churches who choose to enter into contract with Green Journey, they would then obtain the relevant, "Further Authority" to allow them to contract on behalf of the church.  See Standard Letter of Authority 

Please contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  at Green Journey or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Synod Finance Officer for further information.

Media Information Booklets

Media Information Booklets for Social Networking


Read new guides from the URC about Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, written for those who have never used them before but are thinking about doing so to stay in touch with their church or community.

Also available is guidance about podcasts, Facebook Live, YouTube and Zoom

Download: Information Guides   

Commitment For LIFE

CfL logo with straplineFaith in Action and Commitment for Life have appreciated the practice of encouraging the congregations by updating them on the activities and others aspects of Commitment for Life. It is felt that in so doing the congregations are encouraged to keep playing their part, and for others to add their names on the list of contributors. 

Download the article written on behalf of Commitment for Life 25 Years Report 

Life-Giving Faith, Defiant Hope & Generous Love

Commitment for Life is the United Reformed Church's global justice Commitment for Life is a way in which local congregations are enabled to participate in actions for justice around the world. Commitment for Life belongs to every congregation. Many choose to support a region in the world through prayer, learning, advocacy, and action for justice.

Our partners are Christian Aid and Global Justice Now. Our four partner regions are Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Central America (Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatamala).

Commitment for Life Moving Stories from our four partner countries

View Website for 2020 Commitment for Life Moving Stories for:

Bangladesh   -  Central America - Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories  -  Zimbabwe

To find out more about the programme, visit the resources page and look at the Intro Leaflet and resources order form for 2019 to 2020. Use the buttons to find Stories from Partner countriespartner countries resourcesvideosworship and much more.

Braintree Area Foodbank

Braintree Area Foodbank - Four years on - Still supporting people in crisisfioodbank-braintree-2

Braintree Foodbank Items for "Warm' and 'Homeless Packs'

The warehouses remain well stocked but we are very short of some items.

Braintree Area Foodbank was set up four years ago in April 2012, under the auspices of The Trussell Trust to provide assistance for local people in crisis. The Foodbank has expanded to four centres, now including Christ Church, Braintree; Braintree Baptist Church; St Andrews Church, Halstead; and Witham Methodist Church. Since opening, the four centres have provided emergency food to over 10,020 people of whom 47% were children, and has distributed over 100 tonnes of food.

Latest statistics published by Trussell Trust foodbank network show UK-wide foodbank figures for 2015-16 remain at record levels; national need is still not decreasing. Early findings in new data analysis of Trussell Trust figures by University of Hull suggests foodbank use is highest in areas where many people are unable to work due to illness or disability, are skilled manual workers, or are deprived.

The Trussell Trust won the Overall Award at the Charity Awards 2016, as well as the Social Care and Welfare Award.  It is an honour that our work to tackle UK poverty and hunger has been recognised, with this achievement celebrating the incredible work of our staff and volunteers who change lives in communities across the UK and make what we do possible. We accept this award on behalf of the 40,000 volunteers who give their time so we can provide the most effective service to people thrown into crisis every day.    Website: Charity Awards for more information

Download: Braintree Foodbank Details and Newsletter     Website Braintree Area Foodbank

General Data Protection Regulations

General-data-protection-regulatins-DPR-buttonThe documents in this section are offered to help churches comply with the General Data Protection Regulation which comes into force on 25 May 2018. It cannot cover comprehensively everything that any church might ever do with data but churches following this guidance should be well on their way to compliance.

You will have heard a lot of concern about the need to obtain consent from data subjects. There are legal bases for processing data, other than consent, which have been included in the template Data Privacy Statement, and wherever possible it is recommended that the need to obtain consent is avoided. However if you wish to collect or process Special Category Data you will need to obtain consent. A template consent form is included for this purpose.

Further guidance is still expected from the Information Commissioners Office and this guidance will be added to or amended as becomes necessary.

Explore Churches URC History Project

Explore Churches/URC History Project National Churches Trust

The Church Tourism manager at the National Churches Trust is seeking more churches from acroslogo2x copys the denominations, who would like to be included on their new website, designed to promote churches to visit, which is called ExploreChurches.

Valerie Jenkins who represents the URC on the Board of Trustees of the Churches Visitors and Tourism Association says: "to encourage visitors is part of the task of evangelism and by welcoming visitors we may be part of the first stage to transform those visitors into pilgrims". 

If you would like your church to be included, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to requet a form.

Multicultural Celebration

Multicultural Celebration  multicultural-2014

An opportunity for ALL United Reformed Church congregations to come to the feast to share ideas and celebrate the gifts of our rich cultural diversity in the church and society

Website: Multicultural Celebrations for more information

Mission Tools

walking -the-way-module

Vision Initiatives

Find out more about:  Walking the Way Vision4Life Vision2020 and Fresh Expressions

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Safeguarding Children and Adults at Risk. We work to the United Reformed Good Practice Policy and Procedures 

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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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Who's Who?

whos who

Find out who's who on the Synod Office Team.  If you are unsure who to get in touch with, use the Contact Us 

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