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News banner The Massacre of the Lamented Missionary the Revd J Williams and Mr Harris 1841 credit George Baxter 1804 1867 WikiCommonsAn ula throwing club and a Maori canoe bailer, brought back from the South Pacific by the Revd John Williams, a missionary with the London Missionary Society (LMS), have been sold at auction for thousands of pounds.

The items, which sold for £1,200 and £9,500 respectively, had remained in Mr Williams’ family since his death in 1839 at the hands of the indigenous population of the island of Erromango, Vanuatu. During an attempt to spread news of the Gospel, Mr Williams, along with fellow missionary James Harris, was beaten, killed, and eaten, by islanders who had been previously mistreated by the crew of a trading ship.

Read more: Artefacts owned by John Williams sold at auction

Myanmar refugees at the Bangladesh border credit Catholic Diocese of Saginaw FlickrUnited Reformed Church congregations across the UK have responded to what is said to be the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.

Since November 2017, URC members raised £10,000, which was match funded by the Church, to donate a total of £20,000 towards the Rohingya relief efforts. This money will be used at the discretion of the Council for World Mission (CWM) towards those in need.

CWM is now calling on all member churches to stand in solidarity with the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar (PCM) and Church of Bangladesh (COB), located at the centre of the crisis, and to join in the relief efforts having itself committed financial support to the humanitarian relief in Bangladesh.

Read more: URC congregations help raise 20k for the Rohingya Crisis

news banner women praying credit Rosie Fraser UnsplashThe World Council of Churches (WCC) is inviting Christians across the world to join in a special prayer for women who are facing gender-based violence.

Each Thursday, beginning today, 31 May, the WCC will release, via its website and social media, a prayer shared by members of ‘pilgrim teams’ who have been visiting communities in conflict, and hearing the stories of women who are facing sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence and other injustices.

These ‘pilgrim prayers’ will reflect the experiences of pilgrim team members who, during the past two years, have witnessed the deep wounds among women in conflict situations.

Read more: Join in ‘pilgrim prayers’ for women overcoming violence

News banner Fusi and Nancy MotsamaiNancy Motsamai and her husband Fusi, both from South Africa, were much-loved members of the Woking United Reformed Church community, before tragedy struck.

The couple had fallen in love in the UK while on student visas and were married by the Revd Lucy Brierley, minister of the church.

They built a life together in the country and became active members of Woking URC, serving as youth and children’s work leaders before they were forced to embark upon a tragic battle with an unjust and broken system.

Read more: Couple’s tragic battle with the hostile environment policy