General Assembly is the annual meeting of representatives from the United Reformed Church's 13 Synods (regions) which makes decisions for the church on a national level. In 2022, David North was one of the representatives for our Synod (Wessex). His report is below, and you can read more on the URC website.
I was one of the Wessex Synod’s representatives at URC General Assembly in Derbyshire in early July 2022.
We had a heavy schedule of business to discuss, and there were some difficult discussions, but overall I came away quite hopeful about the future of the URC and the good we might be able to do in the world in the coming years.
A few highlights which we will need to give prayerful consideration to as a church:
Responding to climate change – Assembly set an ambition for the URC to reach net zero emissions by the year 2030. It was fully understood that this is an ambitious target, but as a relatively well off church we here should be giving very careful consideration to what more we can do. And asking the same questions of our Synod.
The Korea Peace Appeal – I was surprised and shocked to learn that the Korean War never officially ended and that skirmishes and violence continue to this day. Korea also pays $1 billion annually to host US troops. The appeal calls for a lasting peace and Assembly called on local churches to add their support. We can also consider writing to our MP as individuals.
The legacies of the transatlantic slave trade – a very difficult topic which Assembly actioned a task group to come back in 2023 with concrete proposals to try and address
We also welcomed this year’s newly ordained ministers and some ecumenical guests from around the world and heard from the URC’s children and youth.
I will be pushing both St Columba’s and the Wessex Synod to take several of these matters forward over the coming months; meanwhile, I would be very happy to tell anyone interested more.