This week the Ministers of the Synod met together at Barton Grange Hotel for a day looking at “Future Patterns of Ministry within North Western Synod”. At the March Synod this year we recognised that the issues of deployment that face the URC have implications for what ordained stipendiary ministry is available, but that this is not the only ministry we have available. The Synod has a very rich resource of ministry within every local congregation and we spent part of the day considering how we can as a Synod resource that local ministry. The Learning and Ministries Committee has already begun doing the work necessary for bringing a proposal to the October Synod about providing a Synod development team who will work to support local patterns of ministry across our congregations. The ministers also considered the support that they might be able to offer in the short term in order to provide some transitional forms of ministry in specific ways to other congregations, and those present were both willing to explore this but also recognised how this is something which will only happen through a spirit of grace where both ministers and congregations respond with a generosity to see ministry shared within the Synod. ROADSHOWS will be happening around the Synod in June and July for Elders and ministers to attend together. Please see the dates in the newsletter and book one of these in your diary. These roadshows will both provide vital information for Elders as well as helping us to develop together the future patterns of ministry for our congregations.