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BDO image 554x415Organisers of the United Reformed Church’s Big Day Out have thanked the hundreds of URC visitors, and all contributors, for making the most of the event at Warwick Castle on Saturday (20 May) – and smiling their way through the sunshine and showers!

Visitors from across the United Reformed Church joined Pilots’ companies to take part in the festivities which, this year, were designed not only for children and young people but also for Church members of all ages. In a break from tradition, the Big Day Out included a festival on the Castle’s Pageant Field and many activities, talks, games and workshops took place in gazebos dotted around the impressive site.

Read more: Celebration time at Warwick for Big Day Out 2017

geograph 3188709 by Paul GillettThe Revd Andrew Mills, Moderator of North Western Synod, reflects on the Manchester bombing, and offers a prayer for us all

We woke this morning to the tragic news of the bomb blast at the Manchester Arena last night, at the end of the concert by Ariana Grande. With 22 dead and more than 50 being treated in hospital, the police are treating this as a terrorist incident. The pain felt for all caught up in this terrible ending to an evening filled with music goes beyond those of us who live in the North Western Synod, affecting our nation as an act of evil has once again destroyed lives and broken the peace of a city community.

And, in the words of a tweet sent by Ariana Grande, on hearing the news:

Read more: A prayer for Manchester

constance c News images 554x415On 17 September 2017, the United Reformed Church and the Congregational Federation in the UK will mark the centenary of the ordination of Constance Coltman as a Congregational minister. She was the first woman to be ordained in a mainstream British denomination – and she continued her pioneering role by remaining active in ministry as a married woman and mother. Her courage showed from the start in the sacrificial ministry she shared with her husband in London Docklands. A committed pacifist and suffragist, she was also an early supporter of birth control. With clear views on women’s history and role in the Church, Constance Coltman did much to promote women’s ordination across the churches, at home and abroad.

Read more: Constance Coltman centenary celebrations