What is the United Reformed Church?
The URC’s national website says: We are a family of Christians, worshipping in the name of Jesus in about 1500 local churches from Orkney to Cornwall.
‘Reformed’ means that we delight in the Bible, we do not fear change, and we try to run our churches in ways that take everyone’s insight and contribution seriously.
‘United’ is an important part of our story. We started when English Presbyterians merged with English and Welsh Congregationalists in 1972. Churches of Christ joined in 1981 and Scottish Congregationalists in 2000. We still work as closely as we can with Christians of all traditions and styles.
And we are one ‘Church’. We aim to grow through supporting one another and taking decisions together.
All our tasks and posts are open to women as fully as to men. We are an intercultural church, where people with varied ethnic roots enrich each other’s Christian living. Our people hold a range of opinions about theology and church life. In the words of the denominations Statement of Nature, Faith and Order (1990) together we are firmly committed to ‘God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The living God, the only God, ever to be praised.’
Our church at Holyhead Road
The church is now part of the North Coventry Group of United Reformed Churches, together with Foleshill Road, Keresley and Potters Green URCs.
Community and other groups use the church hall and rooms when they are not in use for worship. Please contact Bob Spicer by phone on 024 7659 3187 or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on lettings.
Rev’d Debbie Brown
Rev’d Debbie Brown has been a Minister since 2009. Debbie comes to our group after ten and a half years of ministry on the Wirral where, over the years, she had pastoral oversight for five churches. Debbie’s employment before her call to ministry was in nursing and social care. Her interests and hobbies are reading, aqua aerobics and trips to the theatre. Debbie and her husband Clive enjoy travelling to places of interest, going out for meals and occasional trips to the cinema. They are both originally from the East Midlands.
Revd Bill Young has been a minister associated with the life of Holyhead Road URC since his ordination in 1996, and has had a formal share in pastoral oversight of the church for ten of those years. He has also held a number of posts in the regional and national church structure. As a non-stipendiary minister he was also a full-time professional engineer until his retirement in October 2019. Bill and his wife Erica have two grown-up children and enjoy travel, especially in the Highlands and Islands of Bill’s native Scotland. They are both Associate Members of the Iona Community.
Sue has been associated with HHR since 1956 when her parents and sister moved to live in Coundon. She was a member of both the choir and ChiRho group (youth group) for several years. In 1964 when the 7th Coventry Girls’ Brigade Company was formed Sue was one of the founder members and later became Captain. She is still involved with the Company over 50 years later.
Sue has been an elder since 2008 and became Church Secretary in 2014.
Sue worked for Coventry city council for 28 years in payroll and later HR. She retired in 2012 and now helps in a local primary school library and is an invigilator at a secondary school.
Sue enjoys gardening and helps to keep the church gardens looking tidy, planting the flower beds in memory of her husband who passed away in 2007. Her other interests include swimming, walking and knitting. She formed the Knit and Natter group in 2018.
Sue has two children, Karen and Richard who are both Elders, and enjoys spending time with them and her daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.
Margaret arrived at Holyhead Rd church in 1980 and has been there ever since both as a member and Elder, enjoying the friends made in the community, the pastoral care and all aspects of worship. She is one of the church’s safeguarding officers and also liaises with groups who use our church buildings.
Margaret is a retired Civil Servant, married to Des and they have 2 grown up daughters and 5 much loved grandchildren. They enjoy holidays, gardening and most of all being with their family.
Karen was brought to Holyhead Road URC as a baby by her parents and has been worshipping at the church ever since.
She took on the role of Team Leader of the Girls’ Brigade Company when her Mum, Sue (pictured here with her), retired from the role.
Karen undertook the TLS course in 2001/2 under Bill Young’s tutelage and little did she know then that this along with encouragement from a number of Ministers and friends in the congregation would lead to her becoming a locally accredited lay preacher regularly leading worship.
She loves the fellowship at Holyhead Road United Reformed and always has a desire to create what she terms ‘oomphh’ – enthusiasm and energy for all aspects of our Christian life.
Karen works as a Risk Manager for NFU Mutual and is undertaking the challenge of an MBA through Edinburgh Business School.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, sitting in the garden (cared for by her Mum!) and spending time on holiday!
Jon has been associated with Holyhead Road since he was a child and has been a member and Elder for a good many years.
He works as a Programme Manager within the world of Sheet Metal and Prototype / Car Restoration in Coventry.
Jon has been married to Lynn (an NHS Community Nurse) for over 32 years, has three grown up children and a wonderful grandson whom he adores.
Along with one of the other Elders (Rich Adams), Jon and the catering team provide kitchen support for church bazaars and fayres and, where possible, offer a fellowship Church meal on the second Sunday of most months.
Outside of Church, Jon enjoys making wooden toys for his grandson, working on a shared allotment plot and cooking in general.
His other interest lies in steam trains and he is currently in the early stages of preparing a train set layout in the loft room – all for his grandson of course!
Richard has been attending Holyhead Road all his life and has been a church member for 30 years and an Elder for around 10 years. In addition to being an Elder, Richard, along with Elder Jon and the Catering Team, enjoys cooking regular Sunday lunches at the church and providing catering for various church events which has been a rewarding source of fun and fellowship for many years.
As a day job he works as a Senior Finance Business Partner at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford.
In his spare time Richard enjoys cooking, gardening, cycling, running and spending as much time as possible in the Peak District enjoying the great outdoors with his family. The photo shows Richard with wife Sam.
Carol has been a member of the URC, and Holyhead Road URC, for 25 years. This is her second year as a serving Elder.
She has been married to Paul for 42 going on 43 years and has a son Darren, who is 39. He is a railway signalman. No grandchildren as yet!
Carol’s interests include reading books, watching films and meeting friends. She also loves going to London theatres to see musicals. And foreign travel, (although there’s not much of that going on at the moment}!
Jill has been worshipping at Holyhead Rd for the last 45 years and is one of the current Elders. Little did she know but her faith journey began as a small child at our sister church at Foleshill Rd, where she enjoyed Sunday school, pantomime performances and was an active member of the Christian Endeavour Group until her teenage years. She is married to Dave and has 2 children and 3 grandchildren. She has recently retired and now enjoy swimming, walking, reading and meeting friends for coffee (and loves holidays too!).
Steve is the Church Treasurer, having been an Elder for around 40 years. He is also responsible for the church magazine, the Holyhead Herald. He retired from his career in local government finance in 2019, having worked in Coventry and Birmingham. His interests include various sports, classical music and cycling. Steve is also the Synod Treasurer for the United Reformed Church in the West Midlands. He is married to Janet (see below).
Janet has been part of this church since 1988 when she moved from Manchester having married Steve. They have two grown-up children.
She has oversight of the church website and Facebook page, and produces the Sunday Link.
A retired secondary school English teacher, she used to really enjoy dressing up for World Book Day (she was dared to include a picture to prove this), and still supports students with dyslexia. Janet is also one of Coventry’s team of Street Pastors, keeping an eye on the vulnerable who access the night-time economy on Friday and Saturday nights.
She is an avid reader (of course) but enjoys being in the garden (especially if it’s sunny!), making and listening to music and she loves historical sites and buildings.
John has attended Holyhead Road since 1997 following the closure of Radford URC which he had attended since childhood. He was an elder and church secretary there for some 15 years. John joined the elder’s team at Holyhead road in 1998 and has served on the eldership with breaks for sabbaticals since then.
John retired from the Civil Service in 2006 having worked in Coventry, Birmingham and West Bromwich offices. After retirement he served on the West Midlands Synod Listed Buildings advisory committee as secretary from 2006 to 2013.
John’s interests include motor cycle speedway, rambling, and classic car shows, where his Rover 400 often appears amongst the club displays at summer events.