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Phil Wall Brecon Beacons walkToday (5 July 2018), marks the 70th anniversary that Labour MP Aneurin (Nye) Bevan established the National Health Service and to celebrate the achievement, the United Reformed Church National Synod of Wales is hosting a series of activities and events as part of its ‘God Bless the NHS’ campaign which aims to show its appreciation to the thousands of women and men who dedicate their lives to ensuring our health and well-being.

The Revd Phil Wall, Minister of St David’s Uniting Church, in Pontypridd, has spearheaded the campaign and will begin a trek across Wales with Bethan Walkling, daughter of the Revd Simon Walkling, Moderator of the National Synod of Wales, on 7 July 2018 in Rhyl as part of the festivities. They both hope to complete the trek on 17 July 2018 ending with a reception at the National Assembly in Cardiff Bay.

Read more: Help National Synod of Wales celebrate the NHS’ 70th birthday

Reverend Pugh GC credit Fiona Duakes Pugh familyThis week marks the 77th anniversary of an act of faith that led the Revd Herbert Cecil Pugh to become the only church minister awarded the George Cross.

RAF Chaplain, Squadron Leader Cecil Pugh, was aboard a troopship, the SS Anselm, sailing for West Africa when it was torpedoed by the Germans on 5 July 1941. Mr Pugh did his best to help the injured but, hearing that many men were trapped in the hold, insisted on being lowered into it, despite it already being below the water line. Mr Pugh insisted that he needed to be with his men and that his love of God was greater than his fear of death. According to the citation made in 1947, Mr Pugh knelt with the men in prayer as the ship went down. He was never seen again.

Read more: Remembering a George Cross hero

General AssemblyThe General Assembly of the United Reformed Church (URC), the denomination’s key decision-making body, is scheduled to meet, from 6 to 9 July 2018 at The Albert Hall, Nottingham.

The General Assembly meets every two years to celebrate, discuss, and make decisions on, the life and work of the denomination.

Items on the agenda for this meeting include: the induction of the Revd Nigel Uden and Mr Derek Estill as Moderators of the General Assembly (2018-20); the role of Elders within the URC, the future of General Assembly, and a discussion on deployment of URC Ministers of Word and Sacraments, and a new model of non-stipendiary ministry of Word and Sacraments; also the Church’s concerns over a set of policies known as the ‘hostile environment’ and its impact on individuals.

Read more: General Assembly to meet in Nottingham

news bannerYoung people at GreenbeltSix youth ambassadors have been recruited from across United Reformed Church synods to work as full members of the URC’s Greenbelt team and help raise the profile of the festival among the denomination’s youth.

Working with the URC’s children’s and youth work department, the youth ambassadors will be part of the URC team and camp at the event – which takes place over the August bank holiday weekend (24-27 August).

They will take shifts in the take-away tent, help run the Cake and Debate sessions, and work together to produce a vlog (video blog) of the event.

Read more: United Reformed Church young people recruited to promote Greenbelt