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Alan King news bannerCongratulations to Alan King, an Elder at Barnet United Reformed Church, who was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to young people in the London Borough of Barnet in the new year honours list.

After joining the Boys’ Brigade at the age of eight, and then become a leader at 18, Alan became Captain of 1st Barnet Boys' Brigade and Girls' Association in 1977. He has served in this voluntary position for 44 years.

Alan says the award was unexpected.

Read more: URC Elder gains award in new year honours list

help stop spred of c19 credit Michael Marais UnsplashIn light of the rapid spread of the new variant of the Covid-19 virus, the United Reformed Church (URC) Synod Moderators provide updated advice to churches.

This advice is as follows:

Since our last guidance was issued (October 2020) it is clear that the new variant of the virus has caused a rapid and alarming increase in coronavirus infections. In light of this, the URC Synod Moderators strongly recommend that churches should cease to meet for in-person worship and move exclusively to online or paper-based worship material.

Read more: URC Synod Moderators’ guidance on closing church buildings for public worship

Wise men credit Ben White UnsplashDr Sam Richards, United Reformed Church Head of Children’s and Youth Work, uses Matthew 2:9-11 to reflect on the feast day of Epiphany and discuss how despite the pandemic we can still affirm one another.

…. The star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:9-11 RVSA

Read more: Epiphany: God sees and loves us

Goodbye 2020Karen Campbell, Secretary for Global and Intercultural Ministries for the United Reformed Church (URC), reflects on the tumultuous 2020 and looks ahead to 2021 in this reflection for New Year’s Day:   

What a year 2020 has been! I could say it was full of ups and downs – but, in truth, it’s mainly been downs: the Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed untold numbers of lives, still rumbles on; the ongoing fear and dis-ease suffered by so many; the separation of families, friends and support networks that we usually rely on without a thought; the businesses which have folded and the jobs which have disappeared.

Read more: New Year's Day: God-Filled Moments

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