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, Current, 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, Current, Report, Worship

COVID-19 current situation

September 2021:

  • Our church is open for public worship on Sunday mornings and, following the removal of Government restrictions on social distancing indoors, there is no longer a requirement for those attending to book a place in advance.
    • We recognise that some members are more vulnerable or more cautious than others and are also aware that the infection rate in and around Nottingham fluctuates. We are therefore suggesting that those who would prefer to wear a mask (and sit among others wearing masks) to sit on the right-hand side of the church (as you look towards the communion table) and, if you prefer not to wear a mask, to sit on the left-hand side.
    • Tea/coffee is being served in the Fellowship Room after the service. We are opening the doors to the courtyard to maximise ventilation and there is seating outside in the courtyard for those who prefer to socialise in the fresh air.
  • We live stream our Sunday morning services on our YouTube channel and our Recordings of Worship page.
  • Our email newsletter (now fortnightly) is continuing for the next few weeks.
  • Participation at Zoom “after worship coffee time” has dwindled and this session seems to have reached a natural end but 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.
  • Our church halls are opening for meetings, step-by-step, but we are currently limiting concurrent bookings.
  • 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.
  • 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 21st September 2021)

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.


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, Current
Video for Sunday Worship

Video for Sunday Worship

We intend to live stream worship again this week, and this will begin by about 10:55 am on Sunday.

The link to our YouTube channel is HERE.

N.B. Please click “refresh” if the live stream does not start automatically before 10:45 am. Until the live stream does start, this link will list previous weeks’ services. From about 10:30 to soon after 10:55 am, the stream has been set up to show a countdown timer and there will be no sound until just before the service commences.




Posted by gdjjennings in 2021, Current, 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
Virtual Pilgrimage for Christian Aid 2021

Virtual Pilgrimage for Christian Aid 2021

Virtual Pilgrimage in aid of Christian Aid

Members have completed their collective virtual pilgrimage, travelling around the British Isles visiting places of religious significance.

Thanks to Nicola R for organising this and for researching the route and creating our journal entries and to Derek G for producing the maps.

Over £3000 was raised for Christian Aid and you can read about the journey HERE.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2021, Christian Aid, Current, World Church

The death of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

The United Reformed Church has expressed its sadness at the passing of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and, on its website, has shared a reflection and prayer along with Bible passages chosen for this time in the life of our nation.

This page on the URC website may be found HERE.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2021, news

Video of our Good Friday service of Reflections and Music

Our video service of Reflections and Music for Good Friday, may be found on YouTube HERE.

N.B. This recording will not be available until shortly before 7:30 pm on Good Friday – prior to this, it will show the video as being unavailable and “private”.

Order of Service: HERE

The video and those of previous weeks’ services may be found on the Recordings of Services page of this website.


Posted by gdjjennings in 2021, Easter, Worship
Holy Week and Easter services 2021

Holy Week and Easter services 2021

All our Holy Week and Easter services were held virtually this year.

Worship for Palm Sunday was led by our drama group, the Goldsmith Players, the members of which videoed monologues/dramatised readings in which characters who witnessed the passion of Jesus Christ reflected on the events and their responses; the minister shared a series of meditations for Holy Week which were distributed using our members mailing system; on Maundy Thursday evening, Ron K led our Tenebrae service live on Zoom; our Zoom channel was also used for our Service of the Nails, led by Mark H at noon on Good Friday; the church choir led a service of Reflections and Music for Good Friday taking The Lamb of God as its theme and on Easter Sunday, our service of worship with Holy Communion was led by our minister.

We are very grateful to all those who planned and prepared worship for us, to all those who took part and to everyone who shared with us on YouTube and Zoom.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2021, Easter, events, Worship

URC pandemic prayers

The URC is sharing prayers each week during this time of pandemic.

You may read the prayers by opening the links on THIS PAGE.

Posted by gdjjennings in 2021, Current, Prayer