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PHOTO Rev. Lesley CharltonTwo United Reformed Church ministers, along with three other Kingston members of clergy, aim to clock up 1.5 million steps between them this month to help some of the world’s poorest communities across the world protect themselves from Covid-19.

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For Christian Aid Week (10-16 May), each year churches across Kingston come together to help transform the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people – but lockdown means that the usual community events such as house-to-house collections, market stalls and a flag day couldn’t happen this year.

Instead, the Revd Lesley Charlton, Minister of Kingston-upon-Thames URC, and the Revd Suk In Lee, Special Category Minister for the URC’s Southern Synod, along with ministers from the Church of England and the Methodist Church in Great Britain will each pledge to complete 300,000 steps in May in return for sponsorship.

Read more: Two URC ministers to help walk 1.5 million steps for Christian Aid

Roy Haworth news bannerFor the start of this year’s Christian Aid Week, Roy Haworth, Musical Director at Shrewsbury United Reformed Church got a virtual choir together to record a song for a digital Christian Aid Sunday service to mark the start of this year’s Christian Aid Week.

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Twenty-nine people either played or sang along to the hymn God of Freedom, God of Justice on May 10. Individual recordings were then submitted to Roy who then put the pieces together to form one track using Audacity.

Read more: Virtual Shrewsbury choir records song for Christian Aid Week

Man at laptop credit Sewcream AdobeStock 344070717Are you ready for the “new normal”? United Reformed Church (URC) Synod Moderators have produced a new booklet to help churches and ministers move forward once the Covid-19 lockdown eases.

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The booklet, Ready for the new “normal”: A discussion paper for a pandemic recovery and resumption plan, aims to help carry the URC past the lockdown and into a healthy future.

On Sunday, Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, is expected to address the nation to outline plans for the next stage of the lockdown.

Read more: URC produces plan for new normal post-Covid-19

Rainbow service on Zoom news bannerAt first, the news that churches would need to cancel services due to Covid-19 was met with dismay.

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In March, the government had written to vulnerable people, including people aged over 70, pregnant women, and those with specific underlying health conditions advising that they should self-isolate for 12 weeks to protect themselves from the coronavirus pandemic.

At a time when people would most want to seek comfort from their church, friends and loved ones, they were being forced to isolate themselves from those support networks, albeit for their own good.

But United Reformed Churches (URC), like Christ Church in Petts Wood, in the URC’s Southern Synod, rose to the challenge to keep people connected.

Read more: Busy church beats lockdown blues

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