United Reformed Church LogoShrove Tuesday seems to be a popular day in our calendar in communities and in family homes. If it is remembered in churches or religious schools little explanation is usually added to it. Shrove Tuesday is the day of preparation for Lent, that is, the day before Ash Wednesday. The name shrove is derived from the word “shrive”, meaning to hear someone's acknowledgement of their sins, to assure him or her of God's forgiveness, and to give appropriate spiritual advice. The term survives today in ordinary usage in the expression "short shrift". To give someone short shrift is to pay very little attention to his excuses or problems. The longer expression is, "to give him short shrift and a long rope," which formerly meant to hang a criminal with a minimum of delay.

Shrovetide is primarily religious and aligns with Fastnacht (the eve of the fast) although in contemporary society may be more associated with Pancake Day, Carnival (meaning without meat) or Fasching in German (as in Germany and Austria it is celebrated in a big way). Shrove Tuesday is also called Fat Tuesday: Mardi Gras (in French Mardi means Tuesday; gras means fat, as we know the phrase if we like "foie gras"), because on that day a thrifty housewife uses up the fats that she has kept around for cooking, but that she will not be using during Lent. Since pancakes are a standard way of using up fat.

Sharing God's Love in a practical way has always been our aim, whether that be overseas or in our local community. We support overseas mission projects via Commitment for Life and Nailsea Water Project. We also support Samaritan's Purse, Children's Hospice South West and local community projects by raising funds through special events and offerings.

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Induction Rev.d Janos Nagy

Dear Friends,
I am John, a Hungarian and British national who moved to England with my family 12 years ago. In 2002 I had a transfer from the UCC, Calvin Synod, USA to the British URC. Prior to that, I served in the Hungarian Reformed Church as a local church minister, a part time teacher and an editor for a church publishing house.

Since May 2002, I have served at Horfield and Argyle Morley URCs in Bristol, and I am still their minister, so they must be a very patient people!

What's it all about?

Church Membership is the way in which Christians who have made their home in the local church are encouraged to express their commitment to that congregation of God’s people.

Who are they?

Well Church Members are not Super-Christians, just ordinary people who meet regularly to try and make sure that the continued life and witness of the church is in line with how God wants it to be. You can still be effective within the life of the church without being a member, but only members have a vote at Church Meeting, and are therefore the people who, as a body, make decisions.