Come and Join Us at Fareham United Reformed Church

The United Reformed Church, Osborn Road South, Fareham PO16 7DG
The United Reformed Church, Osborn Road South, Fareham PO16 7DG

We hope that you will find much to interest you here and will want to join with us as Christians in Fareham. Our church mission statement is "Sharing Jesus' love with the world today". This means we, all ages, come together each week for Sunday worship to listen for God's word for us. The rest of the week we try our best to act on what we have heard both in church and through our own prayers. We try to care for each other to the very best, and this love and care then flows out through all of us in our work, leisure and home lives. Wherever you are as regards faith in God, come among us and help us together, to grow closer to him day by day.

You may or may not be aware that there are now daily reflections, written by all kinds of contributors, made available by the United Reformed Church as emails. You can subscribe here to receive them: http://devotions.urc.org.uk/ You can also find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/URCDailyDevotions/.

 

Prayers for our nation as the UK leaves the European Union

On Friday 24th January 2020, Church Leaders released a joint statement regarding the UK’s imminent exit from the European Union. This was accompanied by a letter from Church Leaders addressed to partner Churches and Church organisations in Europe.

STATEMENT FROM BRITISH CHURCH LEADERS AND REPRESENTATIVES AS THE UK PREPARES TO LEAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION

We, the leaders and representatives of ten British Church denominations and networks, speak together as the UK prepares to leave the European Union on Friday 31 January 2020.

Three and a half years after the UK voted to leave the European Union, the point of departure has now been reached. The process of arriving at this point has been bruising and divisive. For some this date will mark the realisation of a long-held ambition and a moment of celebration. For others, however, it will be an occasion of great loss, marking the moment when deeply held desires for the nations of the UK are placed beyond reach.

Church members in good conscience continue to hold a wide range of views about Brexit. As Church leaders and representatives, we are united in wishing to seek God’s guidance and a sense of common purpose as we move from this chapter of the Brexit process into the next.

As the UK leaves the EU there are important choices to be made about the values that we as a country live out. As Christians, we affirm our belief that all people are equally created in God’s image. Our country should be one that offers sanctuary to refugees and is intolerant of those who hate because of a person’s race or nationality. Both Leave and Remain campaigns agreed on this – we must now make it a reality.

The continuing challenges of the climate crisis, global inequality and conflict will require both resolve and close international cooperation to be addressed effectively.

We greatly value the love and friendship of our sisters and brothers in other European churches, and a group of us are writing to them publicly today to assure them that these relationships will continue. We also recognise that 31 January will bring uncertainty and anxiety to many EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in the EU. Leaving the EU cannot mean abandoning our responsibilities towards these families.

Brexit exposed and exacerbated divisions in British society. The deeply held convictions that fuelled the Brexit debate will not simply go away, but our Christian faith urges us to be people of peace and reconciliation. If the bitterness of the last four years is not to persist in polluting our national life, we will all need to resist the temptation to hold on onto the hurts of the past, or to act in ways which will be perceived as triumphalist.

We will only be able to move towards having a sense of common purpose, despite our differences, when we choose to act with kindness, humility and respect towards those with whom we disagree. We call on our political leaders to set an example over the next weeks and months as we move towards negotiations which will require further decisions about priorities for the nations of the UK.

For our part, our Churches will be working and praying for:

  • a society where the poorest and most marginalised are at the centre
  • a society that welcomes the stranger
  • a just economy that enables the flourishing of all life
  • a planet where the environment is renewed
  • a world which actively works for peace
  • a politics characterised by listening, kindness and truthfulness.

We pray for the people of the UK, for our leaders, and for the whole of Europe, as we mark this significant moment together.

Revd Dr Barbara Glasson and Professor Clive Marsh, President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference
Revd David Mayne, Moderator of Council, Baptist Union of Great Britain
The Right Revd Colin Sinclair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
Revd Nigel Uden and Mr Derek Estill, Moderators of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church
Most Revd Father Olu Abiola OBE and Archbishop Fidelia Onyuku-Opukiri, Council of African and Caribbean Churches UK
Yvonne Campbell, General Secretary, on behalf of the Council of the Congregational Federation
Revd Dr Noel A Davies, Chair, Cytûn: Churches Together in Wales’ Working Party on Wales and Europe
Bishop Simon Iheanacho, Overseer, UK World Evangelism Churches
Paul Parker, Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain
Most Revd Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church

24 January 2020

Paddington's pilgrimage to Fareham is a sparkling success...

Paddington Bear came to visit Fareham United Reformed Church for a few days over the Christmas and New Year period as part of his pilgrimage around the Wessex Synod. He has been very busy visiting churches since November 2017 and is nearing the end of his travels. The URC is encouraging churches to consider how we are 'Walking the Way' of Jesus and Paddington has been an important in helping us to consider how we welcome strangers whether they are children, families, the elderly or bears. Here is an account of his visit as recorded in his Travel Journal.

Fareham United Reformed Church

‘Bearly’ had I finished the Christmas celebrations at Sarisbury Green then I ventured to the east, arriving in Fareham just in time to be introduced to the congregation on Sunday 29th December by a visiting preacher Revd Nicky Gilbert. I was made most welcome and marvelled at the massive Christmas tree, the Advent candles, and an amazing 'Star of Bethlehem' banner made out of different coloured bottle tops. The place was full of colour and I met people of all ages, shapes and sizes – from 8 months to 8 years to 88 years old.

I had a well-deserved rest on the Monday and then returned to the church on Tuesday night for a late night feast and service of worship at the church to see in the New Year – I was sad to leave 2019 but relieved that 2020 was just as good.

This church certainly likes to have fun and provide time and space for its members, families and visitors to meet each other. On the afternoon of Saturday 4th January, lots of people gathered for a ‘Sparkle’ Party! Some people dressed up with shiny, glittery, sparkly clothes and I managed to make a few more friends.  We had a ‘Star’ quiz and games of ‘Pass the Parcel’ (with funny forfeits!), ‘Articulate’ and ‘Christmas Card Jigsaw’. Of course, my team won!

I was looking forward to some marmalade sandwiches after all this excitement – the members forgot to make some for me, so I had to eat ham, cheese and egg ones instead. The crisps, sausages, pork pies, biscuits, mince pies and cakes were lovely too.  At the end of the party we sang some old songs, which my Aunt Lucy would have loved if she was with me, danced the ‘Hokey Cokey’ and then watched in awe as sparklers on the New Year cake were lit…..they were fabulous and everyone cheered.  This was closely followed by the Church fire alarm going off……how I laughed as it is normally me who causes confusion and mishaps! At the end of the party I was presented with a gold ‘Star’ badge for my coat as a reminder of all the stars I spotted in Fareham.

I kept a low profile at the Church serviceon the Sunday as there were lots of visitors for the dedication of a small child, and it was not my turn to be centre of attention. I also needed to plan my escape to Gosport as I noticed in the notices that there were lots of meetings taking place and the decorations were coming down.

Love P.B.

Epiphany prayer for world leaders

God Merciful and Mighty, at the start of a new year,
we pray for our world and for those who lead the nations.

May your justice be in their heads and hearts.
May your concern for the poor guide their consciences.
May your love of peace shape their agendas.

We long for a world where justice and peace reign.
We long for the end of exploitation of human life,
which enriches the few at the expense of the many.
We long to learn to live on this earth in ways
that will ensure life for generations to come.

You have given us the vision.
We cannot fulfil it without you.

As we pray for our leaders, we pray for ourselves.
Show us your own power.
Equip us to choose, to speak and to act.
Be the ground on which we stand
and the love which drives us on.
Bring to us the day when all shall live in peace
and earth itself shall sigh with relief.

Amen. So be it. Amen.

Prayer based on Psalm 72 verses 1-7, 10-14, written by Carla A Grosch-Miller, and taken from 'seasons of the spirit' prayer handbook published by the United Reformed Church