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The November meeting of Mission Council has finished, ending with a service of Holy Communion led by chaplains the Revd Carla Grosch-Miller and the Revd Nigel Uden.

All sessions of Mission Council have opened and closed with prayers. Mission Council has been very aware of the tragic news from Paris which is dominating the headlines. The Moderators of General Assembly have written a letter of support and solidarity to churches in France.

Read more: Mission Council closes

On Saturday 13 November the Revd David Grosch-Miller and Mr John Ellis, the Moderators of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, wrote to the United Reformed Church's partners in France, following the terrorist attacks in Paris. The letter is attached here and the text copied below. 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We write on behalf of the Mission Council of the United Reformed Church meeting in Derbyshire on the day on which we heard the news of the latest act of terrorism in Paris.

Read more: Moderators' letter of solidarity to churches in France

The winner and two highly commended photographs of the Faith Through a Lens photography competition were unveiled at an exclusive awards ceremony hosted in London on 13 November. The three outstanding images depict a diverse representation of different faiths across generations.

Hundreds of entries were received and ten images carefully shortlisted by the judging panel, led by world-renowned photojournalist Don McCullin.

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'Floris' by Jim Grover

Jim Grover's photograph 'Floris' was named as overall winner. The judges praised it as an exceptional portrayal of faith in action in the UK, capturing the act of giving and receiving communion in a sensitive and compelling manner.

Read more: Faith Through a Lens competition winners announced

The Revd Pauline Main, URC Minister and Free Church Chaplain at HMP Bullingdon, introduces Prison Week describing how chaplaincy services get alongside prisoners.

"I can’t cope with this, Miss," a prisoner will say to me. Often it is not prison life itself which is causing the distress, but something related to family on the outside – a bereavement, a serious illness, an issue with children. Prisons Week

All of us can find it difficult to cope at times like these. We need the support of our families and friends; we need to be at the hospital bedside; we need to be helping; we need to 'be there' with those in distress.

Read more: Being there – a reflection for Prisons Week 2015

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The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is marked this Sunday, 15 November 2015, and the Religious Liberty Commission is urging churches to unite in prayer for those across the world suffering for their faith. The Revd David Tatem, United Reformed Church Secretary for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, considers how to pray.

Instead of just praying 'for' the persecuted church, I want to pray 'with' them, so that my prayers might be joined with theirs; my prayers for them, their prayers for me, and all our prayers together.

Read more: Praying with the persecuted church

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