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 Welcome to Issue 98

5 August 2022
A slightly shorter edition for August, as people take time away for some well earned rest and relaxation.  The venue for Synod meeting in October is to be St Andrew's URC in Monkseaton.  Further details will follow in due course.  There is an important Safeguarding update from Matt Knowles.  We have the regular round up of news from the Synod and beyond and details of vacancies at Northern College, Northumbria NHS and the Methodist Circuit based at Trinity Gosforth.  The ordination service for Lisa Wilson took place at Carlisle Cathedral recently and you can watch the service by clicking the link in the article.

If you are planning to attend the URC 50th Anniversary celebrations in London on 1st October, tickets need to be booked for the Service of Thanksgiving, Open Church House and Walk to Westminster.  Further details and how to book can be found in the newsletter.

We are always looking for news of interest and your events so, if you have any items that you would like to be included in the newsletter, please send them to or  Please remember that if you are including photographs, you need to gain the permission of the people in them for it to be shared.  If you have anything that you would like to be included, the next issue of the newsletter will be published on Friday 19 August.  Until next time ...

Lisa and Wendy
Important Update in relation to Safeguarding Foundation Training
from Matt Knowles, Safeguarding Officer

In line with other denominations and private and public sector bodies, the foundation training package in relation to safeguarding is now (as of Friday 5th August 2022) available to be completed online via an e-learning package.
Some of you may ask what e-learning is?
Well, e-learning is a type of learning conducted digitally via electronic media, typically involving the internet.  It can be accessed via most electronic devices including a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone, making it a versatile and easy way for people within the local churches to learn whenever and wherever they are.
What this means for local churches is that everyone can access the training wherever and whenever they are want to do so.  You don’t have to make yourself available for a specific time and date, you don’t even have to complete it in one go.  The package allows you to take as much or as little time as you need and allows you to learn at your own speed.
The training has been completed by URC training and development officers including Matt, the Synod's Safeguarding Officer. The package is easy to follow and understand and at the end of the training you are given the option of obtaining a certificate as well as ensuring you wont need to attend any other URC foundation training for a further three years.  The package is very simple to access.  All you need is a connection to the internet and a device of your choice.  It works best with something that has as large as screen as possible, but please use whichever device is available to you and best suited to how you want to view the information.  The package is accessed by the URC Learning Hub which you can get to by copying and pasting the following into your browser -
Once there you will be asked to sign in and create a username and password, exactly like you would anywhere else and then you can access the training package.  The package autosaves so when you feel you have had enough training for one day, you can stop and it will save your progress where you finished – so you don’t have to start all over again!!!
We appreciate this is a new way of learning for many within our local churches – but please embrace it and make best use of the resources available to you.  We also understand that people within our local churches may have questions and queries about this new training package.  All queries should be directed to Paula Kitson, the new synod safeguarding support officer.  Paula will do her best to answer your questions and she can be contacted via her email address at 
There will no longer be regular Zoom or face to face safeguarding foundation training at a local church level as it is anticipated that people will use the above option to access the training.  Again, if you have any queries please direct them to Paula.
Intermediate and other training will continue to be delivered utilising the same methods as we have done over the past 3 years, delivered directly by the Synod Safeguarding Officer.
­­Elders Safeguarding Resources

The Safeguarding for Elders webinar gives Elders information about their legal responsibilities regarding safeguarding.  The webinar lasts between 60 and 90 minutes so please allow 90 minutes, which gives time for questions at the end.
Book your place by contacting Carrie Kaunda, Safeguarding Training Co-ordinator, via her email address -
Next sessions:
Monday 5th September 2022 at 7 pm
Wednesday 5th October 2022 at 2 pm
Northern Synod News
Venue for October Synod Meeting on Saturday 15th October

The Synod meeting in October will be held at St Andrew's URC, Monkseaton.  Further details will follow.
Could you help ?

The Synod is always keen to hear from friends who would like to be involved in the running of the Synod or a particular aspect of Synod life…so, if you are interested in developing new skills, or meeting people or perhaps helping with an area of Synod business, pastoral support, mission or outreach, drop us an email, ring or dm us on Facebook, we would love to hear from you.
Signposting for support & information for local churches

Information to support churches with church finance, employment, record keeping and GDPR matters can be found on the URC National website by clicking here.

For any legal matters, Sintons LLP, based in Newcastle, are able to offer support and advice to local churches and have a wealth of experience in dealing with faith based institutions, including the URC.  More information can be found here.  Particular areas of specialist advice and guidance can be found by clicking here.

** Please note that any legal costs incurred will be payable by the individual church concerned and not the Synod**
Training Opportunity for Worship Teams
From Ministries and Development Committee, Northern Synod
This will be held on Saturday 3rd September 2022 10.00 AM - 3.00 PM at St James’s URC, Northumberland Road, Newcastle, NE1 8JF

Further details can be found by clicking here.  Applications to Dr Ann Sinclair:  via email by clicking
Mobile: 07932 732 531 or via Synod Office
Morning Prayers    

Everyone is invited to join the Northern Synod morning prayers. Join at 9 am for 15-20 minutes, Monday to Friday, through Zoom or by phone.
More details and joining instructions here.

person sitting while reading book
Northern Synod 2022 Prayer Diary Available Here
News of Churches around the Synod
St Cuthbert's Centre, Holy Island, Saturday 3rd September

St Cuthbert's Centre, Holy Island, are holding a Gift Day on Saturday 3rd September between 2 and 4.30 pm.  Click here for more details including the safe crossing times.
‘Seeking the Ancient Paths’     Keld Resource Centre Study Day

The next study day being held at the Keld Resource Centre will be on
Saturday, 6 August.

The theme is: ‘Seeking the Ancient Paths: Old Testament Spirituality for Today’ and the study day will be led by Revd David Wood.
The programme for the day is:
10-30 – 11.00 : Arrivals and refreshments
11.00 - 12.30 : Session One : The Good Life
12.30 - 13.30 : Lunch
13.30 - 15.00 : Session Two : All Change
15.00 - 15.30 : Refreshments and departure.
You are invited to bring a Bible and a picnic.  Drinks will be provided  The cost of the day is £10. We would love to see you!
If you are interested in attending, please contact David Wood by clicking here 
Zion URC Northallerton’s 50th Anniversary Celebratory Service and Lunch

Please click here to read an article from Northallerton about their 50th anniversay celebrations
Communion Trays plea from St James's URC, Newcastle

Do you have any communion trays going spare ?  St James's URC in Newcastle have a requirement for some communion trays (not the glasses, just the trays).  If you have any trays, St James's would welcome any donations.
If anyone has any to offer can they please contact Alan Wong, Church Manager by clicking here
Widdrington URC, 
50th anniversary chair

Widdrington URC are commemorating the United Reformed Church's 50th Anniversary with something specifically for the church.  After discussion with the Elders and Minister, the Children and Youth Elder, Liv Walden, got a basic design drawn up (created by Darin Walden).

The design was forwarded to Northgate Hospital carpentry department as a commission.  Northgate is a day service unit helping individuals assigned to the directorate with their rehabilitation.

The chair is set to be placed in Church grounds in early Autumn, where it is hoped there will be an unveiling ceremony.
 National URC News
Hybrid Church, Wednesday 7th September 7.30 - 9.00 pm


50th Jubilee Events - Saturday 1st October

Various events are taking place in London on Saturday 1st October.  If you are planning to attend, tickets need to be booked for the Service of Thanksgiving, Open Church House and Walk to Westminster.  Further information and details of how to book can be found here.

Help is needed at Open Church House to welcome visitors, guide them around the building and help manage safety and security.  Support is also needed at the Worship Service, especially with serving Communion, which will, in many cases, involve carrying trays of bread and wine up flights of stairs.
If these are things you, or anyone you know, might be able to help with, please email as soon as possible.

Help reflect the URC’s diversity through photos

The URC is requesting photographs (with permission of course) reflecting the Church’s diversity, and has also published a leaflet aimed at encouraging us to think on these issues in our own communications.

You can find further information and the leaflet from the national URC website by clicking

 News from other places
Ordination of Lisa Wilson

Lisa Wilson, one of Nothern Synod's former student Ministers, was ordained on Saturday 30th  July at Carlisle Cathedral.  Lisa will serve several churches in North Western Synod.  You can watch the service by clicking here and look out for some familiar faces from Northern Synod taking part in the ordination service.

Image - Carlisle Cathedral East window
Christian Aid’s East Africa Hunger Crisis Appeal

You can find out more about Christian Aid's East Africa Hunger Crisis Appeal by clicking here.  Information is also available on the Christian Aid website which you can find by clicking here.

Tutor in Ministerial Formation
Northern College is seeking to recruit a full-time tutor in this role which focusses on the personal and practical formational development of students.  Further details can be found here.

Part-time Youth Worker

The Newcastle Central and East Circuit of the Methodist Church is seeking to appoint a part-time Youth Worker who will be based at Trinity Church, Gosforth.  More details can be found here.

Part-time Chaplaincy vacancy for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Further details can be found here and here.
Click here for the Latest URC News
URC 50th Anniversary
Click here for URC 50th Anniversary News
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