The Regional Consultative Group (RCG) consists of representatives from all the United Reformed Churches in the North Wales Region. They meet to discuss and plan the future for the region as a whole. A shortage of ministers has forced churches to accept major changes in their future in order to continue to bring God’s word to the people of Wales. Acceptance of technology was to form a part and the Covid pandemic brought the introduction of Zoom and YouTube to the forefront as a means of continuing to meet and share in worship online from our homes when it was not possible to meet in church buildings.
There is currently only one full time minister in the Region. The Revd. Paul Robinson is based at the United Church in Rhyl which includes Christchurch and Tynewydd Road. The only other resident minister is the Revd. Julia Bartholomew at Rhos-on-Sea. She is now semi-retired and only counts as a “half minister” on paper. Between these two ministers, lay preachers, retired ministers and worship groups the church in this region continues to remain active and positive towards its future role. Julia has agreed to make herself available to assist Horeb if needed as they have no full-time minister. Horeb is fortunate that they have Trefor Suddick and Revd. Colin Richards as well as a good worship group in the congregation.
The ten churches in the RCG have agreed to share their resources and Synod will provide finance for equipment to enable services to be shared on YouTube and Zoom where necessary. Some churches, including Dyserth, already stream their services live and the idea is to provide equipment so that any church could use this facility. A small group led by Paul Robinson is assessing the individual church requirements as a matter of urgency so that equipment can be purchased. Not everyone welcomes technology, but the younger generation have grown up in a technological age and the future of the church lies with the youth of today not, sadly, with the majority of the congregations who are in the older and more traditionalist group. We have to combine the best of the past with modern trends to meet the needs of the future and attempt to make all generations welcome and at home in their family church.