News from Shipdham URC

mary-woodcock-shipdham-2016Organist at Shipdham URC

Mary Woodcock has served as organist at Shipdham URC since she was a teenager at the end of WWll. Some almost 70 years of faithful service!

We thank God for her faithfulness and pray her time will now be free to enjoy her extended family. She received framed certificate as thanksgiving.

Christ Church Wickford Carnival

christ-church-wickford-news - CopyNews from Christ Church Wickford - Carnival Saturday 17th September 2016

Every person in our church took part in the carnival day in one way or another, if they were unable to walk or help in the tent; they inflated balloons or loaded and transported the materials needed for the tent or gave money for prizes etc. It was a wonderful event. The Love of Jesus Christ was definitely shown to the people of Wickford on Saturday 17th September.

Download: News from Christ Church Wickford

Castle Hedingham Closing Service

Castle Hedingham URC Closing Service

Castle-Hedingham-URCThe closing service for Castle Hedingham URC was held on Saturday, 4th June 2016 at 2:30pm approximately 90 people gathered at Castle Hedingham United Reformed Church to celebrate the life of a dear old church that was the spiritual home of so many over the centuries.  Led by Revd Joshua Norris and with some moving words by Mrs. Mary Stanhope, a valued and long serving member, the beautiful building was full with attendees.  The Moderator spoke a few words and the Revd Paul Corson, formerly of the Baptist church in Sible Hedingham led Payers of intercession and the Lord's Prayer.  Joshua encouraged all to take hope in the fact that while the building itself might close, the church goes on.

The origins of Castle Hedingham URC stretch way back beyond the beginnings of the United Reformed Church to the early days of the 17th century when Castle Hedingham Congregational Church was established in this location. Following the church's beginning the church grew at a rapid rate and the building required expansion to accommodate the rise in numbers. So in 1842 the building was rebuilt and could seat, at the time, 750 members. People would travel from far and wide to meet at the church to worship God and give Him praise, journeying through fields and all manner of weather to do so. And it was in this rebuilt structure that we gathered on Saturday 4th June.              Download: Castle Hedingham URC Closing Service

Emmanuel Bungay Green Project Awards

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

Into the 21st Century and Beyond!

 Christ Church Needham Market - Into the 21st Century and Beyond!

1837 christchurch frontage Following 19 weeks building and alteration work from March to May 2015, Christchurch, Needham Market is transformed from a 1837 frontage with obscure entrance doors and narrow corridors to one which embraces today, its High Street scene, the passers by and community.

christchurch needham marketThere are now automatic, fully glazed, entrance doors; a welcome area with kitchenette and accessible toilet; another set of glazed central doors within a glazed screen into the Sanctuary. The sound system has been updated with a portable sound desk and added microphone outlet points with a loop system installed in the main hall too; the floor has had an irritating slope made level, been checked, strengthened, infestation treated and carpeted; the external stonework has been repaired or replaced as necessary and finally the external paving has been slightly raised and new slabs laid.

Download: Report and Pictures -  Into the 21st Century and Beyond

Archaeology Event Hadleigh Essex

hadleigh3An Archaeology Event organised on 13th - 14th May 2015 at Hadleigh URC (Essex)

The Church hosted a 'dig', organised by the Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA), unit, currently headed by Dr. Carenza Lewis, formerly of Channel 4 'Time Team'. It was the third visit to the area over three years, involving 'test pits', (1 metre square, aiming for 1 metre deep) dug under the supervision of the team by local sixth form students  with the aim of  generating interest in study at Cambridge for a career in Archaeology.

Download: Archaeology Event Report and pictures.

France Honours Retired Minister

leslieivory3jpgRetired United Reformed Church minister the Revd. Leslie Ivory has been knighted by the French government his role in the liberation of France during the Second World War.

Mr Ivory – who lives in Stowmarket, Suffolk, and was for many years the minister Of Whiting Street URC in Bury St Edmunds – was informed by the French Ambassador that the President of the Republic had appointed him to the rank of chevalier (knight) in the Order national de la Legion d' honneur. 

The official letter offered him 'warmest congratulations' stating: 'As we contemplate this Europe of peace, we must never forget heroes like you.... We owe our freedom and security to your dedication, because you were ready to risk your life.'

View more: France Honours Retired Minister

St Ives Celebrating 150 Years

St Ives Free Church - 150 Years in its Current Building

st Ives urcThe Free Church in St Ives traces its origins back to the 17th century and September 2014 marked 150 years in our current building. The splendid building of 1864 was described as "bringing dissent from out of the shadows". In other words the non-conformist "cathedral" took a proud place at the heart of the market town, no longer meeting discreetly but stating our right to be seen and heard by all!

On the weekend of the 150th anniversary we opened our doors to more than 500 people who visited our "Floral Timeline", or came to our celebration supper or our "Songs of Praise". The floral timeline depicted events in the life of the church, town and further afield for each decade from 1864 to now. A beautiful video captures tyhe timeline and can be seen by visiting our website.

Watch the video produced by Robin Bletsoe and see reports in the October 2014 Inspire

Wrentham Chapel Labyrinth

Wrentham Chapel Labyrinth

wrentham-labyrinthAt Wrentham Chapel we have a labyrinth mown into the front lawn with a suitable explanation fixed onto an adjacent wall. This piece of lawnmower art in the grounds of Wrentham Chapel, Suffolk is ecologically sound, spiritually enlightening and fun!

View Youtube link for a short film of the labyrinth which includes a poem written about it by Suffolk Quaker, Kaaren Whitney.

View: Wrentham Chapel Labyrinth Youtube Link

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