Part of the URC and the wider church
The United Reformed Church
“Called to be God’s people, transformed by the Gospel, making a difference in today’s world. This is the United Reformed Church.
Although one of the smaller mainstream denominations, the United Reformed Church plays a dynamic and challenging part in the British Christian community. It has brought together English Presbyterians, English, Welsh and Scottish Congregationalists, and members of the Churches of Christ, through unions in 1972, 1981 and 2000. One hundred thousand people make up 1600 congregations, with nearly 800 ministers, paid and unpaid.
The United Reformed Church combines its commitment to the Reformed tradition with a passionate belief that all God’s people should be one. It seeks to work with Christians of all traditions, and rejoices in being part of more than 400 Local Ecumenical Partnerships, with the Methodist Church and others. It is also committed to theological and cultural diversity. It has declared itself a multi-cultural church, rejoicing in the gifts of members from across the world and seeks to hold together a wide variety of theological understandings; valuing different insights helps the church understand the wonder of God.
Worldwide, more than 70 million Christians are members of the Reformed family of churches. They uphold the historic Trinitarian creeds of the church universal, find the supreme authority for their lives in the Word of God in the Bible, discerned under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They order their lives through councils of the church, where ministers and lay people together seek the mind of Christ.”
Downing Place Church is part of the Eastern Synod of the United Reformed Church. In Great Britain there are 13 Synods, and Downing Place is one of 138 Churches in the Eastern Synod.
Downing Place and Fulbourn are a joint pastorate of the United Reformed Church – Revd Nigel Uden is Minister of both churches. Nigel takes services twice a month in Fulbourn and shares the leadership and care of Fulbourn with four elders.
Centre for Cambridge Churches Forum
Downing Place is a member of the Centre of Cambridge Churches Forum, which holds in fellowship Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Quaker, Unitarian and United Reformed Christians in the city. Whilst collaborating in various outreach work in the community, they also meet together for worship in January’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and on Good Friday.
Over recent years there has been an increasing openness in society at large to raising concerns formally about people whose behaviour is felt to be inappropriate. This has been especially true of sexual misconduct, though not exclusively so. Cases like that of Jimmy Saville brought all this to a very high profile.
The churches, including the United Reformed Church, have also recognised the need to treat this matter with the utmost importance. It is committed to listening to people’s experiences, taking each complaint seriously and responding appropriately. That is what the URC’s Past Cases Review is all about. From October this year until 31 March 2017 the review process is creating opportunity for people – from within the URC or amongst the general public – to raise concerns or complaints that they have about anyone affiliated to the URC since its formation in 1972.
If you would like to register such a concern you can do so by using any of the following contact details:
Telephone: 020 7916 8682
Having made contact complainants will then be allocated a listener who, either through telephone call, email dialogue, or face-to-face meeting (as the complainant wishes) will be enabled to give an account of the concern. At every step, complainants can let the URC know if they want to stop or continue the process. The URC, in turn, will keep the complainant informed of what is happening.
There is a leaflet at the back of church, near where the hymn books are kept, entitled ‘Past Case Review’. For any who would like some more information and contact details for helplines, etc, this should be very useful. Although it is not in any way necessary to tell The Minister that you have initiated a complaint, please feel free to speak with him in absolute confidence if you would like to do so.