Vicars Cross United Reformed Church

Bringing the Message of Gods Love to our Community

  • Oldfield Drive
  • Vicars Cross
  • Chester
  • Cheshire
  • CH3 5LL

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Message from the Manse

Due to Covid I had to attend URC General Assembly 2022 from 8th – 11th July via zoom rather than in person. 

I was delighted that General Assembly voted in favour of taking urgent action “to reduce carbon emissions across the whole of church life, with the aim of reaching net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2030.”

As the world is experiencing ever more extreme weather, this has to be a good thing.

I was saddened to hear that people were wanting to delay taking action as they felt 2030 was too soon for these changes to take place. 

Many spoke in favour highlighting their concern to care for the needs of our children and grandchildren but only one person spoke about the care of others! 

If we are only concerned with looking after our own, we are not living the gospel.  Think about those who are already suffering due to selfish human behaviour.  Those who are living in drought-stricken parts of the world; and those for whom flooding has become an all too regular experience.

As people of faith, we are called to care for all God’s children.  Scripture tells us so:

             36 ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’

37 Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’ (Matt 22)


          35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you

          gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,

  36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me,

                I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

         37 ‘Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry

           and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we

                 see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes an clothe you? 

         39 When did we see you ill or in prison and go to visit you?”

          40 ‘The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least

           of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matt 25)


So as many of us open the fridge to enjoy a cool drink, remember those who have to walk miles for access to dirty and untreated water.  As we put on our sun cream to keep us safe from sunburn, think about those living in camps for displaced people, where safety is something they can only dream of.

In the URCs Jubilee year let us serve God, protect the land and all that lives upon it so we can all return to living in Eden as He intended.

Blessings and peace.



All in the month of AUGUST

It was:


200 years ago, on 25th August 1822 that William Herschel, German-born British astronomer died. He discovered the planet Uranus and infrared radiation, conducted the first deep sky surveys, and was the first president of the Royal Astronomical Society.


125 years ago, on 11th August 1897 that Enid Blyton was born. This enormously popular British children’s writer created Noddy, the Famous Five, and the Secret Seven. She is among the world’s bestselling writers, selling more than 600 million copies of her books.  She sometimes wrote 50 books a year.


100 years ago, on 2nd August 1922 that Alexander Graham Bell died. This Scottish-born American audiologist and inventor is credited with developing the first practical telephone.


Also 100 years ago, on 6th August 1922 that Sir Freddie Laker, British entrepreneur, was born. He pioneered budget airlines. Best known as the founder of Laker Airways. (Died 2006)


Also 100 years ago, on 9th August 1922 that Philip Larkin, one of Britain’s most famous post-war poets, was born. One of his most famous poems is ‘MCMXIV'. Larkin was often called ‘England's other Poet Laureate’. (Died 1985)


Also 100 years ago, from 28th- 29th August 1922 that the first Walker Cup golf match was held in Southampton, New York. The match is held every two years between the USA and UK and Ireland.


90 years ago, on 31st August 1932 that Roy Castle, TV presenter, singer, dancer, comedian, actor and musician was born. Best known for presenting the children’s TV series Record Breakers, he broke nine world records himself while presenting it. (Died 1994.)


80 years ago, on 8th August 1942 that the world premiere of Walt Disney’s animated film Bambi was held in London.


Also 80 years ago, from 23rd August 1942 to 2nd February 1943 that the Battle of Stalingrad took place. Soviet victory, and the turning point of the war in Europe. Regarded as the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare.


75 years ago, on 14th and 15th August 1947 that first Pakistan and then India gained their independence from the UK.


Also 75 years ago, from 22nd August to 11th September 1947 that the first Edinburgh Festival was held in Scotland.


60 years ago, on 4th August 1962 that Alexander Litvinenko, Russian security agent, writer and journalist, was born. He was killed (probably assassinated) by radioactive polonium in London in November 2006.


50 years ago, on 1st August 1972 that the Washington Post newspaper published the first article that exposed US President Richard Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate scandal. 


30 years ago, on 30th August 1992 that the German racing driver Michael Schumacher won the Belgian Grand Prix – the first of his record 91 Formula One wins.


25 years ago, on 31st August 1997 that Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Fayed and their driver, died in a car crash in the Place de l’Alma underpass in Paris.


10 years ago, on 25th August 2012 that Neil Armstrong, American astronaut (Apollo 11) died.  He was the first person to walk on the Moon.





Smile lines


As you enjoy your children during the holidays, remember …


You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk.

Then you spend the next 16 telling them to sit down and be quiet.

Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.

Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.

The main purpose of holding children’s parties is to remind yourself that there are children even more awful than your own.


Sign at a mountain holiday resort

Be careful not to fall here. It’s dangerous. But if you do fall, remember to look to the left on your way down. You get a wonderful view on that side.



Quick route

Tourist:  Officer, what is the quickest way to the hospital?

Officer:  Close your eyes, try to cross this street, and you’ll be there in 15 minutes.







The story of the yellow ribbons


One of the greatest doctrines in the Bible is the love of God for His people. Both Old Testament and New Testament tell us what God said to His people through Jeremiah: “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (31:3). 


It was that love that moved the Father to send His Son into the world (John 3:16). Paul writes glowingly of “that great love with which He loved us” (Ephesians 2:4). John emphasises the same great truth in a magnificent creed of just three words: ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8). Quite simply there is nothing in all creation more reassuring, more comforting, more encouraging, more uplifting than to know that God loves us. And we can even put it in personal terms as Paul did. ‘He loved me and gave Himself for me’ (Galatians 2:21).


The following true story, from the life and ministry of John Wilbur Chapman, is a good illustration of such love.


Back in 1893, Chapman was a Presbyterian minister from Richmond, Indiana, who had moved into full-time evangelistic ministry. Chapman told of how one evening he was travelling by train in a rural part of the state of Kansas. The only other passenger in the carriage was a young man and Chapman noticed that he was becoming very agitated. He kept glancing out of the window and then covering his face with his hands. Finally, Chapman asked if he could help. 


The young man was a bit reluctant, but finally opened up. Many years before he had run away from home and ‘sown his wild oats.’ He had not contacted his parents for many years and now he was afraid they wouldn’t want him back. He had written home some weeks before and told them he would be travelling on this train. At a certain point it passed very close to his home. In the letter he had begged his parents’ forgiveness and asked if they wanted him to come home. If so, they were to tie a yellow ribbon on the old apple tree that grew right beside the railway lines.


“Sir,” he said to Chapman, “the train will soon pass my home but I’m afraid to look. If there’s a yellow ribbon on the tree, I’ll get off at the next station and go home. If there’s no ribbon, I’ll just travel on. But I’m too afraid to look out for the tree.” So Chapman offered to look for him. The young man hid his eyes and Chapman kept watch. 


“You can open your eyes now,” he said a few minutes later. The returning prodigal looked at Chapman with tears and quivering lips. “All is well,” said the evangelist. “There is a yellow ribbon on the apple tree. In fact, there’s far more than one. Every branch is hanging with yellow ribbons, scores and scores of them. Your parents love you so much and want you to come home.”


If parents can love their wayward children like that, how much greater is the love of God!  Truly, we are loved with everlasting love.


Prayer for August


Dear Heavenly Father, In this month of August, thank you for your presence. Whether we’re at home or on holiday, in one place or travelling, working or resting, happy or sad, young, middle-aged or elderly, you are with us.
As we journey through the different stages of this life on earth, help us to know that wonderful assurance of your presence, by putting our trust in Jesus now. No matter what ups and downs come our way, we will never be alone. You are with us, sharing it all day by day – and leading us home.
Thank you, Lord of all our journeys, In Jesus’ name. Amen.


By Daphne Kitching