What is the United Reformed Church?
We belong to the Christian denomination of the URC which is the acronym for the United Reformed Church.
We are United
We are Reformed
And we are Church.
United firstly because of our history. English Presbyterians joined with English and Welsh Congregationalists. In the 80’s the Churches of Christ united with the Presbyterian’s and Congregationalists and and finally the Scottish Congregationalists became part of the tradition. We depend on the whole church and are committed to each other.
We are reformed because we believe in the ‘priesthood of all believers’, that God works through every Christian and that we are all allowed to read the Bible as it has been translated for all. We are reformed because we all shape Church together and we do not fear change. We are a Church reformed that is always being reformed.
Church because we as Christians depend on one another. We are many local churches, part of one big family the United Reformed Church. We are Church because we share resources, make decisions together through Church Meeting and know God more deeply through what we do together.
If you feel that the United Reformed Church is for you, please come and visit us or for more information please visit the URC website http://www.urc.org.uk/
The demographics of Ilford have changed dramatically over the years and Vine is committed to embracing the changes with an active programme of outreach into the community.
The focus is to reach out to people in the local area with a warm welcome to a wide variety of groups encompassing communities from Ghana, the Caribbean, Uganda, Romania, South Asia, the Congo, along with the indigenous population. Over 500 people pass through Vine’s buildings each week.
As part of Vine’s own spiritual journey, there is an active programme of worship for all ages and this includes regular church services, bible study and a modern creative approach to learning with younger people and children.
There is a focus on hospitality, caring for others locally, nationally and internationally.
We are concerned for those on the edge of society – marginalised because of dementia, homelessness, mental health problems and poverty.
Midweek events include...
Wednesday@11 – open to all but attracts mainly retired peoples and is a time of fellowship, occasional jobs, worship and lunch
Ad hoc events – exhibitions, displays, concerts and many more
The church can be accessed from Riches Road and the halls from Holstock Road.
The property consists of a large church, meeting rooms, a large and small hall with separate facilities, and a Community House with room rented by various local charities.
Vine’s young people are closely linked with the wider URC Youth programmes and Grange Park URC Leytonstone
We also have ecumenical links with Ilford Lane Methodist Church and St Luke’s Church of England.
Vine has a loyal following of groups that have met at the premises for many years including a multi faith playgroup who provide a valuable local service; an award-winning Asian group, with a mission to empower women with activities such as health advice, yoga and actively challenge community issues such as knife and gun crime amongst the young. There are groups focussing on health and fitness, social hobbies such as model car racing and a local Government/Police initiative in the One Stop Shop to help those in need.
To see more about the groups that meet…
Currently we are awaiting the appointment of a new minister and are working through the process. In the meantime, we are well served by an interim moderator, visiting and lay preachers and Elders.
As part of its vision for the future, Vine Church regularly re-assesses its mission and vision, its programmes, people strengths and resources – including the buildings. This is called the Church Life Review. It involves church members in thinking more deeply about its future and present life and work and looking forwards into the next 5 to 10 years.
Vine Church has also carried out a ‘Removing Barriers’ survey that examined disability access issues within the church. This was linked to the ‘Through the Roof Trust’.
A building Energy Audit has helped the church to consider how the buildings are used and provides us with more energy efficient aspects of the vision. We are working towards a silver award for being an eco friendly Church having received a bronze award.
Refurbishment of various aspects of the buildings is ongoing. The hall side kitchen and toilets have recently been upgraded.