2021

COVID-19 current situation

February 2022:

  • Our church is open for public worship on Sunday mornings
    • In line with Government advice and guidance, those attending worship are no longer required by law to wear face-masks.
      • We recognise that, in the current circumstances, some members feel more comfortable wearing a mask and sitting with others who are also doing so, while others prefer to worship without wearing a face-covering. In view of this, we are suggesting that those who wish to wear a face-covering to sit on the “organ” side of the church and that those who do not wish to wear a mask sit on the “font” side of the church.
      • We are also asking all those attending to respect the personal choice of others and to be sensitive towards those who are cautious with regard to social distancing.
    • We will be serving tea/coffee in the Fellowship Room after worship from Sunday 27th February.
      • Members are invited to consider whether they feel able to join us for coffee. All are welcome.
      • For the time-being, the external doors will be open to provide adequate ventilation.
  • We live stream our Sunday morning services on our YouTube channel and our Recordings of Worship page.
  • Wednesday Afternoon Tea (a time to chat for an hour or so over a cup of tea or coffee from about 3.15 pm) is available for members and the link is circulated each week to all on our members mailing list.
  • We are keeping the use of our halls for meetings under review.
  • We will endeavour to keep this website updated as often as possible. Do visit frequently to check for updates, and also check our Facebook page. We would be glad to receive feedback that you think may be helpful.
  • Latest URC advice is HERE.
  • For further information, follow the link below to read our Covid-19 page, which includes advice from the URC nationally and links to Government and Local Government advice.

Covid-19 (last updated on 24th February 2022)

We wish to continue offering pastoral support to all members of the congregation. Any member of the congregation may contact their Elder if they, or someone they know, may need help in connection with a pastoral need or a practical need – we are here to support each other and do what we can for our communities. Any member of the Secretarial Team may be contacted if your Pastoral Elder is not available.

DO LET US KNOW IF YOU NEED ANY HELP.

We continue to pray for those who are having health difficulties or who have responsibility for taking decisions in relation to this difficult situation.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2020, 2021, 2022, Current
Christmas Services 2021

Christmas Services 2021

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in preparing and leading our special festival services this Christmas.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2021
Christmas charity 2021

Christmas charity 2021

Our Church Christmas charity appeal this year is in aid of Emmanuel House.

Emmanuel House is re-opening of its Winter Shelter offering accommodation for up to 22 people per night This will ensure that there are fewer people on the streets of Nottingham during these winter months. Our special Christmas collections will given to support this project.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2021, charity, Christmas
Carols in the Courtyard 2021

Carols in the Courtyard 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our outdoor carol singing in our courtyard on Sunday. It was good to see so many there.

We are grateful to Richard G for leading us, to all the musicians and to everyone who supllied and distributed the refreshments.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2021, Outreach Activity

Shoebox appeal 2021

The Junior Church was able to fill almost sixty shoeboxes for distribution through Teams4U and these were dedicated in our service on Sunday 21st November.

Thank you to all those who contributed items for the Shoebox appeal this year.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2021

Equal Marriage – discussion service

Report on Equal Marriage Evening Discussion Service

Worship and Education Group

The latest in our series of successful evening discussion services was held on 31 October 2021.  Despite it being All Hallows Eve, we did not scare away our worship leader and speaker – Rev Dr Carla Grosch-Miller, even though she was not feeling very well.  Carla is a greatly respected theologian, educator and writer in the URC and beyond and we were very honoured to have her speak to us. 

The service was held on our Zoom channel and there were 27 people taking part.  The whole congregation is really encouraged to join these services which are hosted by the Worship and Education Group on hot topics which are aimed at developing our knowledge and understanding of God’s intention for us and the world. 

Carla led an act of worship with hymns and readings, and an address introducing this potentially controversial theme, yet encouraging us to listen to each other’s views without judgement and with Christian understanding.  She presented her deep research and lengthy experience on this topic and gave us insight into the four poles of our knowledge of God – Scripture; Tradition; Reason; Experience – identifying that many of us value some or all of those in differing degrees. 

The full transcript of the service (setting aside some of Carla’s asides!) is available to anyone who is interested.  Please email markgoodwillhodgson@gmail.com if you would like a copy. 

Worship was followed by a series of seven questions from a wide variety of people holding a wide variety of views, all of which helped the discussion move positively.  Carla’s responses have not been recorded, though the questions are.  She maintained her thoughtful and caring approach and answered all the questions with rigour and respect. 

At the following Worship and Education Group meeting, the service was logged as being very worthwhile and we noted our gratitude to Carla.  We acknowledged that a return to a Church Meeting discussion on our Church’s response to this issue was very much overdue.  The matter would be raised at the next Elder’s Council meeting, recognising that the Church already has a very full agenda at this time. 

Posted by gdjjennings in 2021, Christian Education
Remembrance Sunday 2021

Remembrance Sunday 2021

Thank you to our Craft Club for the display they created for Remembrance Sunday this year.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2021, Worship
Harvest Festival 2021

Harvest Festival 2021

The members of our Junior Church and Youth Group lead a thought-provoking service today and we thank them for all their hard work and careful preparation.

Thanks, too, are due to everyone who made donations of flowers and food and to all those who decorated the church for this special service. Gifts of food are begin taken to be used or distributed by The Friary.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2021, Harvest, Junior Church, Worship, Youth Group
150th Anniversary Service

150th Anniversary Service

Our special Anniversary Service took place on Sunday, 5th September 2021 to mark the end of our anniversary year, celebrating the 150 years since our building opened on the corner of Goldsmith Street and Chaucer Street in Nottingham.

Worship on 5th September was led by our minister, Rev’d Chris Ford, and the preacher was Rev’d Geoffrey Clarke, Moderator of the East Midlands Synod of the URC.

A year ago, our service to mark the beginning of our anniversary year had to be a video because of government restrictions consequent on the Covid-19 pandemic so it was good to be able to celebrate this occasion “in person”, in our building… and with cake!

 

 

 

Posted by gdjjennings in 2021, Report, Worship
Virtual pilgrimage UPDATE

Virtual pilgrimage UPDATE

DAY 24

 

We have accomplished 191.13 miles today, which is more than enough to complete our journey back to Nottingham a week early! We have covered 4000 miles, travelled through a variety of places, and raised £1585 so far on Justgiving (and as I know there are donations coming in, I think we can be confident that the church has raised somewhere in the region of £2000 for Christian Aid this year).

 

The first stge of our journey today takes us from Hunstanton to Walsingham (19.7 miles) and completes another leg of our pilgrimage.

 

 

Walsingham has been a place of pilgrimage since the 11th C, since Richeldis de Faverches had a vision in which the Virgin Mary instructed her to build a replica of the house of the Holy Family in Nazareth in honour of the Annunciation. It was an important place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages, with relics including a vial of the Virgin’s milk. Even into the Tudor period it was significant: Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn both made pilgrimages there, as did Erasmus. The shrine was dismantled in 1537, with the connivance of its prior, who received a pension for his collusion. The shrine was then in abeyance until the 20th C, when a new statue arrived with papal blessing. Since then, the shrine has grown, and now has both Catholic and Anglican shrines, and even an Orthodox presence.

Graham and Catherine visited today:

 

At the Slipper Chapel…

they elected not to walk the last mile barefoot.

At the Anglican Shrine Church, they were surprised not to find any of you – so assumed you all made an earlier start than them!

 

Inside the elaborately decorated Shrine Church is the reconstruction of the Holy House…

and, within that, is the image of Our Lady of Walsingham. For more details on the shrines see here: https://www.walsinghamanglican.org.uk and here: https://www.walsingham.org.uk/light-a-candle/

 

Outside, the garden with the Stations of the Cross is very peaceful.

 

From Walsingham to Ely, via Swaffham (50.2 miles):
Swaffham is one of the many locations for The Man Who Became Rich through a Dream folk tale (Aarne-Thompson type 1645). In this version,  a pedlar from Swaffham who dreamed for several consecutive nights that if he waited on London Bridge he would eventually hear good news. He travelled to London, and waited for several days on the bridge. Eventually a shopkeeper asked him why he was waiting, and the man told of his dream. The shopkeeper laughed, and replied that he often dreamed that if he went to a certain orchard in Swaffham and started digging, he would find buried treasure. The pedlar returned to Swaffham, and found the treasure. The church is also very elegant, with late medieval carvings and a chestnut roof. However, shareable photos are hard to find, so if you’d like to know more, follow this link: http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/swaffham/swaffham.htm

 

On to Ely, another cathedral city: here the cathedral arrived before the town. It was founded by Etheldreda (also known as Audrey), daughter of Anna, king of East Anglia in 673, after two celibate marriages. When her second husband Egfrith wished to consummate their marriage, she left him and became a nun under her aunt Ebbe at Coldingham, and then went on to found a double monastery (men and women) on the Isle of Ely, which was her dowry. Etheldreda’s foundation was destroyed by the Danes some 200 years later, and refounded as a Benedictine house in 970. Etheldreda had a shrine in Ely, destroyed in 1541, when the Benedictine house was disbanded and the church refounded as an Anglican cathedral. The current building took 116 years to complete – not even William the Conqueror could make it go faster. Like so many other buildings we’ve visited, George GIlbert Scott helped restore it in the 19th C. If you’d like to join worship here remotely, the services can be found on the cathedral’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/ElyCathedralCambridge. The poet Wendy Cope is among Ely’s current inhabitants: here is her poem celebrating the first decade of women priests in the Church of England: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=42492

 

Here are Jim W’s photos from a recent visit:

 

 

Ely to Cambridge (21.2 miles).
From Ely we need to travel to Cambridge, it seems only fair having been to Oxford (it was easier for Cromwell to have the monarch executed than it was to found a third university at Durham). The area around Cambridge has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and appears in Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Viking accounts. The oldest surviving college is Peterhouse (founded 1284) but some of the best known colleges are later foundations, notably Kings College, whose chapel was started by Henry VI, finished in the reign of Henry VIII and now features on Cambridge City Council’s logo.

 

Photo by Jose Llamas on Unsplash.

 

If you’d like to listen to King’s College Choir, try here: https://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/chapel/attending-chapel-services. Cambridge University Library is a copyright library, which also has open shelves: this is a swots’ paradise. Most elegant is the Wren Library in Trinity College, although the urgent instruction for readers not to lick their fingers was slightly alarming.

 

Cambridge is also the location of Westminster College, the training college for the URC: https://www.westminster.cam.ac.uk

 

From Cambridge on to Rutland Water (55.9 miles) – an opportunity for water sports and walking. This is the reservoir in England with the largest surface area, although Kielder Water has a larger capacity. It was first flooded in 1976.

Here is Normanton church, which survived the flooding of the reservoir:

Photo by Karen Cann on Unsplash

 

Rutland Water to Oakham (6 miles) is a small distance:
Oakham is the county town for Rutland, which has yet another church renovated by George Gilbert Scott (All Saints). The town also has a curious custom with horseshoes:  members of royalty and peers of the realm who visited or passed through the town had to pay a forfeit in the form of a horseshoe. This unique custom has been enforced for over 500 years, but nowadays it only happens on special occasions (such as royal visits), when an outsize ceremonial horseshoe, specially made and decorated, is hung in the great hall of the castle. There are now over 200 of these commemorative shoes on its walls. Not all are dated and some of the earliest (which would doubtless have been ordinary horseshoes given without ceremony by exasperated noblemen) may not have survived. The earliest datable one is an outsize example commemorating a visit by King Edward IV in about 1470. The horseshoes hang with the ends pointing down; while this is generally held to be unlucky, in Rutland this was thought to stop the Devil from sitting in the hollow. The horseshoe motif appears in the county council’s arms and on Ruddles beer labels. Recent horseshoes commemorate visits by Princess Anne (1999), Prince Charles (2003) and Princess Alexandra (2005).[8]

 

Oakham to Nottingham (31.7 miles) This is our final destination! Well done everyone!

 

Here is Christian Aid’s prayer for this week:

God of Pentecost,
renew your spirit within us
so we may show your love to one another
and see your kingdom come. Amen.

 

 

Thank you for your commitment and contributions!

 

 

 

 

Read about our whole journey so far on our Vitual Pilgrims’ Progress pages.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2021, Christian Aid