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Ruth sets out in Newport PagnellTo raise money for Christian Aid Week (10-16 May), Ruth Tompsett, a retired NHS nurse who serves as Church Treasurer for Newport Pagnell United Reformed Church (URC), is walking a “virtual” pilgrimage during her lockdown exercise to help vulnerable people around the world.

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Ruth, who retired from nursing a year ago but has re-registered to help the NHS tackle the Covid-19 crisis, walked the 500-mile Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, also known as The Way of St James, from St Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago in Spain in two stages in 2018 and 2019. She had planned to return this year as a volunteer at a pilgrim hostel, which is now closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While volunteering with her local Covid-19 response group, Ruth has become increasingly concerned about the impact of the pandemic on people in developing communities. Coronavirus has now reached every country Christian Aid works in and has highlighted the vulnerability of 40% of the world’s population who do not have access to soap and water at home to help protect their families from the deadly outbreak.

Read more: Retired Newport Pagnell nurse walks 100km for Christian Aid Week

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