Other News

Welcoming the Stranger Conference

As more Asylum Seekers and Refugees are dispersed in to our area, the need to share and develop good supportive practice grows so Asylum Link Merseyside are holding a “Welcoming the Stranger” conference.

This free conference will gather an overview, celebrate existing work and further develop networks of support in the region. In addition, the Council of Europe has just produced, in seven European languages, an excellent, practical folder entitled “Language Support for Adult Refugees”; this has been designed to meet the growing need to help volunteers provide practical language support throughout Europe. Asylum Link Merseyside and one other centre, in the London area, will be disseminating the English version of this very useful “toolkit”. 

Jimmy Mc Govern and Frank Cottrell-Boyce, both friends of Asylum Link Merseyside, will be speaking at the conference at LACE, Sefton Park,  Liverpool  L17 1AA, on Tuesday 13 November , 10am to 3.30pm.

Please register your interest as soon as possible, preferably by Friday 5 October. The conference is open to anyone. They anticipate a high level of interest from many varied groups and sectors across the region, so email your interest to sarah.asylumlink@gmail.com 

Extract from posterJoin the Women, Peace and the Church 100th anniversary of the end of WW1 on 24 November at Liverpool Hope University.

More information here

General Data Protection Regulation

Further to Help & Advice Bulletin 63 on the General Data Protection Regulation 2016, which will become law on 25 May 2018, Church House has now produced some basic advice and some template documents:

  • Hints and Tips – Good Data Protection Practice
  • Establishing Good Data Protection Practice in Your Church – Checklist
  • A template Consent Form
  • A template Data Privacy Statement

These are all available to download from: https://urc.org.uk/GDPR.html.

Mersey has adapted the URC Consent Policy to include tick boxes.  You can download the Mersey one from our website.  I would add that if a church finds it is processing personal data for several different purposes (eg, membership records, giving them news and information, sharing pastoral news about them, publicity, fundraising, etc), it would be preferable to provide separate boxes to tick to enable people to consent to some processing but not others.

The Directory for Social Change provides a useful brief overview here: https://www.dsc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Paul-Ticher-GDPR-2.pdf.

The Church of England has provided further resources, which may be of some help, although the terminology will differ in places: http://www.parishresources.org.uk/gdpr/.

The Methodist Church has provided a helpful list of dos and don’ts: https://www.tmcp.org.uk/about/data-protection/resources/guidenotes/data-protection-dos-and-donts.

http://www.gdprforchurches.org.uk/- Free advice

The Mersey Consent Template, can be VIEWED HERE

A Church Data Audit Form can be viewed HERE

Dear all,

In the Autumn it is planned to create a video which will be online and help take forward Walking the Way.

At the request of the Walking the Way steering group, I am forwarding to you the information that you need to encourage people far and wide to create a “vox pop” on their smart phones which will contribute to this video. The “Notes to Help us get started” explain what this is all about. The other two documents are consent forms for interviews with people under 16.

If you have any questions about this please forward them to Tracey Hardingham for passing on to the steering group.

Best wishes,


Revd Fiona Thomas

Secretary for Education & Learning| The United Reformed Church 

86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT

020 7916 8635 


Consent Form A5


Consent Form A4


Notes to get some good Vox Pop



General Assembly Youth Intern Opportunity Are you aged between 18-26 years old?

Are you looking for an internship or looking to further your work experience?

The United Reformed Church is looking for two Youth Interns to make a real impact on its most significant council meeting by assisting and supporting the General Assembly Arrangements Committee (AAC) plan and run the July 2018 General Assembly in Nottingham.

But what does that mean for you?

Experience! You will be involved in all aspects of the event planning, from attending committee meetings to working out of the main office at the event. This is a great chance to develop your current talents and build up some brand-new skills along the way.

It is also an opportunity to feed a youth perspective into the planning and management of the decision-making council of the Church.

What will it cost me?

The answer is NOTHING but your time. The two positions will be fully paid for! From travel to and from meetings to food and staying at the event… we pay it all!

So… let’s look at the role in more detail!

As part of the planning of the Assembly, the Youth Interns will be taking part in AAC meetings. Contributions and observations in the meetings are always met with appreciation.

At the Assembly itself, you will be involved in any and/ or all of the following: GA Office support (inc. Admin); Session Timekeeping; Accommodation management; Drafting of Assembly documents; GA Representative Liaison and any other jobs that arise during the event.

We promise you will have fun during General Assembly. Just ask our last Intern, Katy Ollerenshaw.

“Being an intern in the office was great. I got to see Assembly from a whole other side, there was always someone to answer my questions and everyone was welcoming. It was never boring and there was always something happening, it was honestly a lot of fun. I would recommend to anyone new to Assembly or who has been many times before.”

To find out more or apply, please contact:

Ann Barton, Secretary to the Assembly Arrangement Committee Email: ann.barton@urc.org.uk  


Dear friends


The Merseyside Council of Faiths met yesterday and made a statement on the Westminster Atrocities.


This has gone to the RC and CofE Communications Officers already.


If the idea of using the Universal Prayer for Peace in Sunday Services could be promoted then that would be a meaningful follow-up


A few other matters from the meeting:


The Archdiocese has kindly agreed to look after the Council of Faiths small money which will save sorting out a new ban account. The Diocese and the Free Churches have promised to pay contributions and the Treasurer will be sending reminders


With the rise of such current issues like Westminster and to streamline the work a Council of Faiths Standing Committee has been formed of the Joint Chairs Dr Shiv Pande MBE DL (Hindu) and the Revd Dr Sheryl Anderson with Revd Dr Crispin Pailing (Christian) and Carlo Shroder (Ba’hai) plus the Secretary.


The excellent initiative on Resettlement of Syrian Refugees spearheaded by the Archdiocese via Steve Atherton has been promoted by the Anglican Interfaith Adviser Nadine Daniel and a meeting with the Home Office to discuss the situation in and around Merseyside is scheduled for 3.00 p.m. at LACE. The Churches are very fortunate to have Steve and Nadine who have undertaken this work with energy, tenacity and sensitivity.


We had a very interesting presenting on Faith in the Media and if anyone would like the Powerpoint please let me know.


Best wishes


Ultan Russell






Dear Colleagues,
The URC Past Case Review launched on Tuesday 4th October 2016, and anyone who wishes to make a complaint against anyone in the URC since 1972 will be invited to do so.
It may be that your office or college is contacted directly by someone wishing to make a complaint, or that you, in dialogue with churches and church members, are asked about the PCR. There is information on our website here: www.urc.org.uk/past-case-review .
Should you be contacted, please re-direct people to the PCR team at Church House. There is an approved process of managing complaints that come into the PCR and it is important that this process is followed to ensure the complainant receive a consistent and timely response. If the concern is current and ongoing however, please revert to your usual method of managing complaints.
We have produced two scripts for your use in responding to anyone wishing to raise a complaint with the PCR team or who wishes for more information regarding the PCR process.
“The Past Case Review is being undertaken by the Church House PCR team, with an agreed process in place for receiving complaints. For that reason, we are not able to take your complaint and it needs to go to the PCR team. There are three ways of contacting the PCR team; by telephone on 0207 916 8682, by email to pastcase.review@urc.org.uk or via the website www.urc.org.uk/past-case-review. We are sorry that we have to pass you onto someone else, but it really is important that the agreed process is followed, in order to appropriately manage your complaint/concerns. Further information is available on the website.
If your concern is current however, then we can take more details and will pass the matter to the appropriate person within your synod.”
“Thank you for calling the United Reformed Church regarding the Past Case Review. Unfortunately, you have come through to the wrong number. Please re-dial on 0207 916 8682 and leave your name and contact number or email address on the automated answer-phone. The PCR Team aims to contact you within 3 working days of receiving your message and will explain the process from here.
If you require further information, you can access the PCR webpage www.urc.org.uk/past-case-review
Thank you.”
Many thanks,
Rev Richard Church
Deputy General Secretary (Discipleship) | The United Reformed Church,
86 Tavistock Place
London WC1H 9RT
020 7916 2020 | 07575 121 331 | richard.church@urc.org.uk | www.urc.org.uk





New Logo for the URC
As of 1st June, the United Reformed Church has a new Logo. Please can this image now be used in place of the previous Logo.

Dear Friends
Hopefully you’ll be aware that, in 2017, the URC will be celebrating the theme of ‘Feasts and Festivals’ in recognition of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation and 100 years since the ordination of Constance Coltman. This will be a year of celebration for the whole denomination and so we hope everyone in the URC will be able to explore and enjoy the theme in their own way.
As part of this, we will be creating a number of resources, including a poster to advertise events taking place across the URC relating, in any way, to the theme of ‘Feasts and Festivals’. In order to allow this to happen, we need to know what’s going to be taking place across the denomination.
We would be most grateful, then, if you could send us the details and dates of any events which you feel might be relevant for inclusion.
Please send any details to me, using to contact details below, by Wednesday 3 August 2016.
If you need any more information, please do not hesitate to ask.
Many Thanks and Best Wishes
Carole Sired
Carole Sired, Pilots 80th Badge
PA to Karen Morrison, Head of Children's and Youth Work and the Pilots Desk | United Reformed Church
86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT
020 7916 8637  |  pilots@urc.org.uk |  www.urc.org.uk


Churches Together in the Merseyside Region publish guide to welcoming asylum seekers

A ground-breaking document written by the Justice and Peace Commission in conjunction with other church leaders has been published this week. 


Wirral is not a large place but there is a difference in life expectancy of 11 years between those who live on the Mersey side to
those who live on the Dee side.
There is a church project called Life Expectancy Wirral which has been seeking to understand the reasons for this and take action as appropriate.
It is an initiative of the Bishop of Birkenhead.

Click here to read a churches pledge for action report


Registering Local Church Buildings For the Marriage of Same-Sex Couples

Click on this link to view the .pdf