Leeds URC Partnership

What is the Leeds United Reformed Church Partnership?

The Leeds United Reformed Church Partnership officially came into being, (after several years of discussions), on 7th May 2022, when a service of inauguration was held at St Andrew’s Roundhay United Reformed Church, led by the Yorkshire Synod Moderator, Revd Jamie Kissack. During the service, the members of the Ministry Team were inducted into the Partnership.

The churches

The Partnership comprises the following churches of the Leeds Mission and Care Group:

Beeston Hill United Free Church (LEP: Baptist, Methodist, URC)
Christ Church Halton (LEP: Methodist, URC)
Headingley St Columba URC
St Andrew’s Roundhay URC
Stainbeck URC
The URC in South Leeds
West Park URC
Wigton Moor URC

The churches which chose not to join the Partnership are welcome to do so at a later stage should they so wish and, as members of the Leeds Mission and Care Group, they will continue to be invited to take part in all shared events.

The ministry team

The ministry team currently comprises:

Revd Geoff Ellis – Non-stipendiary Minister
Revd Angela Hughes – Non-stipendiary Minister
Revd Tim Lowe – Stipendiary Minister
Revd Dr Nicola Robinson – Stipendiary Minister
Mr Alex Walker – Elder in Local leadership (unpaid)

The vision

The vision and opportunity of the Leeds URC Partnership is to enable each member church to fulfil God’s vision and mission within its own local community, enabled by the ministry team. Although some activities may involve some or all of the member churches, many will be for churches on their own. Through the Partnership, the churches will continue to co-operate, encourage each other and make the best use of limited resources.

How it works

All Partnership churches have a named minister as their first point of contact. Currently, the pairings are as given below but this is subject to change (with the approval of ministers and churches) as the Partnership develops and / or ministers leave or retire:

Beeston Hill United Free Church: Revd Peter Brazier (Methodist)
Christ Church Halton: Revd Helen White (Methodist) & Revd Dr Nicola Robinson
Headingley St Columba URC: Revd Dr Nicola Robinson
St Andrew’s Roundhay URC: Revd Tim Lowe
Stainbeck URC: Revd Dr Nicola Robinson

The URC in South Leeds: Mr Alex Walker, Elder in Local Leadership
West Park URC: Revd Geoff Ellis
Wigton Moor URC: Revd Tim Lowe

Revd Angela Hughes is a member of the team but not the named minister for a church.

The ministers are normally expected to lead worship at least once a month in the churches for which they are the named minister and also occasionally in the other Partnership churches so that they are known throughout the Partnership,

The ministers work collaboratively in a way that best utilises their skills and abilities and enables elders and members to work for the benefit of all the churches in the Partnership. As the Partnership is so new to both the churches and the ministry team, ways of operating are still being worked out and it is expected that they will continually evolve as situations change.

The ministry team is accountable to the collective churches of the Leeds URC Partnership through a steering group, which includes one lay person from each of the member churches.

The Partnership finances are shared between the churches based on membership numbers.

In the future, funding may be sought to finance an administrator for the Partnership, who would also manage the expenses of the ministry team.

Funding may also be sought to support other ministries within the ministry team to work across a number of churches or the whole Partnership eg CRCW, youth and children / family worker.

A review of the Partnership will take place when the shared ministry at Christ Church is reviewed in 2025, judging its success on how well the churches are being enabled to worship, fulfil their mission and have pastoral care. Appropriate adjustments will then be made to the Partnership and / or team.