2016 and beyond

Reformed is a word that that implies a past event, something that has been improved, accomplished and concluded, but this is not a sentiment that applies to the Kendal United Reformed Church (KURC). For the KURC change is afoot and it would like to engage the interest and help of its local community, in Kendal and its environs, as it begins making plans for their future.

The KURC is already deeply involved in the fabric of this town’s society, for example providing winter shelter for the homeless in conjunction with Manna House, but for many people it remains an unknown organisation. This article will therefore aim to answer the following broad questions:

  • Who exactly are the Kendal United Reformed Church and what do they believe?
  • What is changing and what are the reasons behind it?
  • Why does the KURC want to interact with you and how can you respond with your ideas and views?

The KURC is part of the wider United Reformed Church, which itself is a UK based community of Christians known for their inclusive and tolerant views. ‘United’ refers to the historical merging of several different churches (Presbyterians, English and Welsh Congregationalists, Churches of Christ and Scottish Congregationalists) which formed the URC which exists today. ‘Reformed’ relates to the Reformation period, which began in the fifteenth century, when great significance was placed by Christians on the study of the Bible texts. The URC continues to see the bible as being central to its faith and turn to it above all else for guidance. This differs from other forms of Christianity where religious leaders (for example the Pope in the case of Roman Catholics) are also looked to for this insight. Finally the use of the word ‘Church’ is important to the URC members as they strongly believe that they are part of one whole Christian church and not a fragment within it.

The Kendal branch of the United Reformed Church is currently housed in a relatively large site, including the beautiful Zion Chapel, located through an archway off Highgate in the centre of Kendal. The site has become impractical for the current congregation to occupy alone and they are therefore exploring the options open to them to address this. As part of this process, KURC has engaged advisors to carry out a feasibility study in order to fully explore all the possibilities for how the site could be used in the future before any decision is made. It could be that members of KURC remain on part of the site within a mixed use capacity or it could be that the entire site is redeveloped into something entirely new.

Although the plans for the physical site in Kendal are important, of equal significance is the evolving journey for the church’s members that is unfolding concurrently. A theme central to the KURC’s beliefs is that it must adapt and develop in response to our constantly changing society; whilst history and traditions are important, faith is for today.

This is where KURC would like your help. This project is an emergent, ongoing story and KURC would like as many of you as possible to be involved in its telling and unfolding. Do you have an idea for something that is missing within your town? Would you like to understand more about the KURC and their vision for the future of Kendal? Do you have ideas about how the Church could become more involved in your own family or group? Perhaps you have a question that you have always wanted to ask a Minister?

The KURC welcomes all ideas, questions and comments and would like to invite you to interact with them through their Facebook page, email, website or even better by coming to visit in person.

KURC will be holding a Pancake Party on the afternoon of Sunday the 7th of February 2016, between 3 and 5p.m. The party will be an opportunity to try out your skills in creating (and feasting on) the perfect pancake as well as games and races. The event is open to everyone and families are encouraged to involve all generations, young and old, to come and celebrate together.