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news banner the Revd Stuart Turner CF with 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment in 2016The Revd Stuart Turner CF, Army Chaplain to the Defence School of Communications and Information Systems at Blandford Garrison, reflects on the centenary of the death of the Revd Theodore Bayley Hardy VC DSO MC, who died of wounds in France on 18 October 1918, less than a month before the armistice.

He says: ‘Although the Revd Theodore Bayley Hardy VC DSO MC became one of the most highly-decorated non-combatants of the Great War, this former school master was described by one of his pupils as, “the last person you would expect to win a VC”.  In 1914, Hardy was a quiet, unassuming 51-year-old vicar from the Cumbrian fells.  He applied to serve as a chaplain but was rejected several times due to his considerable age.  Hardy was eventually accepted into service after the war took its toll on the younger generation of chaplains, especially during the slaughter of the Battle of the Somme.  

Read more: Honouring a First World War army chaplain hero on Remembrance Sunday

lady gambling jeshoots com 1084118 unsplash 1The United Reformed Church General Secretary, has joined six churches and Christian organisations to speak out in support of Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford, following her resignation as the minister responsible for gambling on 1 November 2018.

The government have delayed introducing a £2 limit on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) until October 2019. Following a wide-ranging consultation, the government announced earlier this year that the stake on these machines in betting shops would be cut from £100 to £2 to provide greater protection for the most vulnerable and limit the harm caused by problem gambling.

Read more: Church leaders back Tracey Crouch over delay in limits to Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

news banner David and MartinEach remembering a grandfather­ who fought in, and survived, the 1916 battle of the Somme on opposing sides, friends the Revd David Pickering, Moderator of the United Reformed Church National Synod of Scotland and Pfarrer Martin Henninger, Minister of the Lutherkirche in Frankenthal, travelled to the Somme together and then wrote jointly to a future generation:

‘To our grandchildren in Britain and Germany, and wherever they may live:

‘Five years ago, we discovered that both our grandfathers fought in the battle of the Somme. David’s grandfather had left him a box with name-tag, horseshoe and German war biscuits. Martin’s had left an account of his time as a soldier and a box of letters to his wife. Interestingly, these men had the same Christian names: Frederick and Friedrich.

Read more: Remembrance 100: A letter to our grandchildren

Gill cutting cake news bannerColleagues gathered for cake and heartfelt speeches at the United Reformed Church’s (URC) London office, on 2 November, to say a fond farewell to Gill Nichol, Head of Communications.

After nine years at Church House, and five leading the communications department, Gill is moving on to pastures new.

Jane Baird, Deputy General Secretary (Administration and Resources), explained to colleagues how much Gill will be missed.

Read more: ‘URC comms rocks’ says Head of Communications at farewell party