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children playingNew data revealed last week by an anti-poverty charity shows that there was an increase in demand for emergency food for children during the summer holidays last year.

The figures, published on Friday 3 August by the Trussell Trust, Britain’s largest foodbank network, show that the level of support needed for children was markedly higher during the summer months.

Between July and August 2017, the Trussell Trust’s nationwide network of more than 420 foodbanks provided 204,525 three-day emergency supplies, 74,011 of which went to children. In comparison, between May and June 2017, 70,510 supplies went to children.

Read more: Rise in emergency food for children during school summer holidays

Phil and Bethan and crowd news bannerIt’s been nearly three weeks since the Revd Phil Wall, Minister of St David’s Uniting Church, in Pontypridd, and Bethan Walkling, daughter of the Revd Simon Walkling, Moderator of the National Synod of Wales, trekked across Wales to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the NHS.

Having walked 180-miles between 7-17 July and with worn feet now rested, Mr Wall reflects on their achievement with a specially written poem. Here is an excerpt:

Read more: Duo complete trek across Wales to celebrate NHS’ 70 birthday

Emmerson Mnangagwa news bannerChristians are calling for calm, and for prayers of peace, amid rising tensions in Zimbabwe after Emmerson Mnangagwa of the Zanu-PF party was declared the winner of the country’s national elections.

Six anti-Mnangagwa demonstrators were killed, and many others injured after MDC Alliance supporters – who backed the opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa – clashed troops in the days that followed the election on 30 July.

Zimbabwe has long established links with the United Reformed Church through Commitment for Life and the global partnership between the Eastern Synod and the Presbytery of Zimbabwe within the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa.

Read more: Churches call for prayers of peace amid rising tensions in Zimbabwe

post fun staff day outStaff from the United Reformed Church House, in London, enjoyed a fun day out at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, on Tuesday 31 July.

Internationally famous for its diverse number of flora, fauna, trees and plants, the group had a fun and challenging time running around Kew Gardens as part of a scavenger hunt created by Farrah Folami-Carrer, Repairs and Maintenance Co-ordinator.

Divided into five teams – the Japanese Knotweeds, Venus Flytraps, Lilies of the Valley, Bonsai, and Cherry Blossoms – each group had to: find a rock big enough to stand on, something South African, a bird’s nest, a spiderweb, a plant specimen in a jar, a Madagascan banana, a waterlily, a kangeroo's paw, and take a photo of all members of a team in front of the Pagoda and outside Kew Palace.

Read more: Church House team spend fun day out at Kew Gardens