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jyoti sahi the dalit madonna credit from the Methodist Modern Art Collection TMCP used with permissionThe Revd Fiona Thomas, Secretary for Education and Learning for the United Reformed Church, reflects on Christmases spent in remote villages in South India.

Each year we construct Christmas, building it up from memories, rituals and expectations.

In the early 80s I celebrated four Christmases in remote villages in South India with a small team of international development volunteers. For the villagers, Christmas Day was a normal working day – they’d turn up at the office and expect us to be having meetings and working as usual on transforming society. So we did what we could to make the day special.

Read more: Constructing Christmas

Haiti hit by hurricane matthew credit creative commonsThe Moderators of the United Reformed Church (URC) General Assembly have joined Christian leaders from a number of denominations to urge the UK government to pay more attention to its international role on the impact of climate change.

In a letter to The Times, Derek Estill and the Revd Nigel Uden joined representatives of the Quakers in Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and others to urge politicians to help poorer countries deal with their climate crisis.

Read more: Church leaders urge politicians to help poorer countries tackle climate change

Polling stationIf you’re undecided about which way to vote on tomorrow’s General Election (12 December), a blog written by Simeon Mitchell, the United Reformed Church’s (URC) Secretary for Church and Society, may be of help.

The blog is written for the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT), made up of the Baptist Union, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the URC which works together for peace and justice.

Entitled ‘Getting to the heart of the General Election', Simeon explores key issues and how your vote could affect your neighbour.

Read more: Getting to the heart of the General Election

Geoffrey ClarkThe Revd Peter Meek, Moderator of the East Midlands Synod of the United Reformed Church (URC), is due to retire at the end of 2019, and the Church has been seeking the right person to succeed him.

The group appointed to consider and interview candidates recently completed its work, and decided to nominate the Revd Geoffrey Clarke, presently Minister of The Crossing Church, Worksop and Wales Kiveton Methodist Church.

Read more: Next Moderator of East Midlands Synod nominated