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Jo Patterson news bannerJo Patterson, a newly qualified United Reformed Church Related Community Worker (CRCW) based at Copleston Church and Community Centre in Peckham, explores what it takes to make changes, not only within her local church but also within the wider community.

Jo’s parish is in an area that has become an attractive location for both professional and highly skilled people. Yet Peckham is listed as one of the worst-affected areas in the country for personal debt and, within areas of local authority housing, there continues to be a high number of people suffering deprivation.

Within this context, the church seeks to find ways of establishing meaningful connections and engagement across all sections of the area. Jo explains:

Read more: Newly qualified CRCW hopes to make a change

BSO group news bannerMembers of URC Youth from around the UK took part in the second Big Speak Out residential weekend organised by the URC’s children’s and youth work team (CYW).

The event is an opportunity for 11-18-year-olds connected in any way with the United Reformed Church (URC), to explore putting their faith into action. It took place in Derbyshire in early July and was themed ‘Making Your Mark’.

Hollywood film Up! – about a 78-year-old widower who ties thousands of balloons to his house in order to travel to South America and complete a promise made to his late wife, Ellie, but inadvertently takes a young stowaway with him – was used by the group in conjunction with readings from the Bible to explore issues such as identity, unexpected heroes, standing up and making your mark, and what God may be calling us to next.

Read more: Young URC members make their mark at second Big Speak Out event

Crossfire camp group 1More than 40 young people from across the United Reformed Church (URC) gathered for a weekend of worship, camping and fun at Crossfire Camp in Leicestershire.

The Christian youth camp is organised by the Group for Evangelism and Renewal (GEAR) and the URC and is where young people aged 12+ explore faith through small groups, teaching, worship and a range of fun activities.

This year’s camp explored the theme ‘lost and found’ and the group studied the account of Jesus healing the bleeding woman and the parables of the lost coin, the lost sheep and the prodigal son.

Read more: Young people gather for exciting weekend of camping and worship

Ghana visit news bannerMembers of the Presbyterian Church in Ghana (PCG) recently met with senior URC staff at Church House as part of their mission to learn from partner churches, grow their denomination and create a sense of 'home' for Ghanaians living in the UK.

The Revd Prof Joseph Obiri Yeboah Monte, Moderator of the PCG, said the partnership between the URC and the PCG was important so that Ghanaians living the UK could access a ‘home from home church’.

He said: ‘The PCG’s theme for 2018-19 is “go and make disciples of all nations” and this makes us take discipleship seriously and we want to see how best we can work with our traditional partners and seek their advice.’

The Revd John Proctor, General Secretary of the URC, added: 'The URC has a strong and long-standing friendship with the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. So, when the Moderator and Clerk of their General Assembly came to visit Ghanaian congregations in the UK, it was a pleasure to welcome them to URC Church House, along with some of their UK-based ministers, whom we know well.

‘Our two churches have insight and experience to share. We can encourage one another and learn from one another. We value our friendship highly and were glad of this opportunity to refresh and strengthen it.'