Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum paid his visit to the United Reformed Church (URC)’s Church House as the Council for World Mission (CWM) General Secretary on 4 October, where he was warmly welcomed and received by URC General Secretary Rev. Dr John Bradbury; Deputy General Secretary, Mission Rev. Philip Brooks; and Secretary for Global and Intercultural Ministries Ms Karen Campbell.

The member church celebrates 50 years since its inception as a United Church this year, following the theme “commemorate the past, celebrate the now and create the future”.  A series of celebratory events had been in the pipeline for close to three years, including local ecumenical projects, and missional partnerships. In fact, one third of its local churches are Local Ecumenical Partnerships (LEP), and URC sees its vocation as bearing witness to the impossible things that God has done, such as uniting two churches with vastly different traditions in 1972, and sustaining an ecumenical vision of something far beyond who it is.

Among the Jubilee celebrations were a North-Western Synod-wide initiative to plant 500 trees across the jubilee year and participating URC churches which made a weekly pilgrimage to fellow URC churches along the North Wales coast.

Dr Keum presented Dr Bradbury with an engraved silver plaque to congratulate URC on its 50th anniversary

URC and CWM share historical ties* and have collaborated on several events such as hosting a CWM Board meeting (2017) and much more. Unfortunately, URC’s Jubilee events were postponed due to unexpected rail strikes. Dr Keum, accompanied by CWM Mission Secretary Rev. Dr Michael Jagessar, encouraged the church leadership considering this postponement, and presented them with a specially crafted 50th Anniversary memento on behalf of CWM. The General Secretaries and colleagues exchanged greetings, shared updates on current pieces of key work, exchanged insights on missional and ecumenical challenges and developments, and affirmed the importance of the work of CWM, its member churches and ecumenical partners towards full and flourishing life for all.

*URC was formed in 1972 when the Presbyterian Church of England joined with the Congregational Church of England and Wales (a constituent body of CCWM). In the following year, CCWM became Council for World Mission (Congregational and Reformed), and in 1977, CWM in its present form was inaugurated at a service in City Temple, London.

Dated 5 October 2022