Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We are writing to you during this outbreak of coronavirus (Covid 19) to assure you of our prayers as you minister to those in our churches and communities who will be feeling anxious about the future and concerned for the health of friends and neighbours, as well as themselves. We too would value your prayers as we consider the effects of this virus on the work of the Assembly office.
As you know the Government has now strongly discouraged public gatherings and will shortly issue advice for over 70 year-olds and those who may be particularly vulnerable. Many of our churches have already suspended all acts of worship, physical meetings, and other church activities, probably for some weeks, or even months. While this is profoundly sad, we think it is a proper response to the Government’s guidance, and it is a policy that we strongly encourage every church to consider. We shall of course update you as guidance changes.

The United Reformed Church has issued preventative advice relating to the coronovirus (COVID-19). See the link below for further details.

Local development committees bring change in Guatemala.

In rural Guatemala, women are learning about their rights and demanding better services from their government.

Fermina Chiyal Sequec lives in a village with her husband and three daughters. She raises chickens and has a small fish farm in her back yard.

Fermina received training through Christian Aid’s partner CONGCOOP and joined a local development committee. She now monitors the local government and lobbies for better services.

Fermina said: “By participating in training and by being organised, things can change. In December, the municipality gave chickens to seven communities and we are monitoring this process because there are still another seven communities pending. We have also audited a hospital.”

Veronica Ramirez Quino lives in Chiquistel village with her husband and four children. She and her husband are farmers, but she is also becoming a recognised leader in her community through trading with CONGCOOP.

Veronica said: “At first, we were afraid of speaking in front of others, but as we continued with our training we became more confident. We’ve learned about our rights as women, and about discrimination. Before, we knew nothing about that! We also learned how to go to the municipality, to apply for a project. Now I’m participating in the community’s local development council and the Municipal Women’s Commission. Our big achievement was getting the municipality to fix the road to our village.”

She only has an elementary school education and her dream is for her children to finish university and become professionals.

Thank you for your support.

The UK Climate Change Act was the first of its kind. It required the UK to cut its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. However, it is now 10 years old and out of date.

Both the science and the experiences of people living in poverty tell us it’s time to up the UK’s ambition. It’s time to create a net zero target to tackle climate change and help protect poor communities.

To get to zero, we need a net zero target written into law. Ten years on there’s an opportunity to reinstate the same spirit of ambition we had in 2008. Ask your MP to be a “zero hero” by adding your name to a special Climate Act anniversary card:

From the Commitment For Life newsletter