UNI-NEWS 167th Issue 27th June 2016

1. Statement on the outcome of the EU Referendum by Derek McAuley, Chief Officer of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches

The result of the European Union Referendum has revealed a sharply divided nation and much dissatisfaction with the current political and economic system. Faith and community groups working on the ground have a responsibility to do all in their power to ensure communities stick together at this time of uncertainty and change.

We “call out” the racism and xenophobia that has emerged from the shadows over the weekend with attacks on European and other perceived immigrants. Racism has no place in our multi-cultural and pluralist society in or out of the EU.

As Unitarians and Free Christians we have a longstanding commitment to civil and religious liberty believing in the inherent worth of all human beings.  We encourage our congregations and individual Unitarians to respond with compassion to those directly affected by intolerance and to join with others to build united local communities.

We call upon our Government to reaffirm its commitment to the rights of refugees and asylum seekers under international law.

2. Death of Rev Dr Leonard Smith

It is with great sadness that I have to report that Rev Dr Leonard Smith, retired minister and former Principal of Unitarian College, Manchester, died suddenly on Thursday 23 June 2016, in Manchester Royal Infirmary.  More details and a full obituary will appear in The Inquirer in due course.

Derek McAuley
Chief Officer