UNI-NEWS 190th Issue 16th October 2017

1. Executive Committee Key Messages, 25 and 26 September 2017

1. Nightingale Centre Success

The Executive Committee made its annual visit to the Nightingale Centre as the venue for the September meeting and met with members of the Management Committee and the Centre Manager, Stella Burney. All were pleased to hear that the Centre has had a very good year, with the highest level of income ever. It was encouraging to learn that there had been several groups from other faiths booking this year who had found the Centre very welcoming.

EC Members were given an opportunity to visit the newly refurbished Barleycrofts property prior to its commercial letting. The Management Committee and Centre Manager were thanked for all their work in recognition of the huge benefit to the wider Unitarian movement that the Centre provides.

2. Training and Education Development (TED) Project Progresses

The Executive approved a proposal to establish a Governance Group to take forward the Training and Education (TED) Project from October 2017, with the urgent priority to develop a pilot programme for ministry training to be in place by September 2018. The terms of reference for the Group are:

 1. Overseeing the governance of the TED Project

 2. Overseeing the work of the Project Coordinator (Rachel Skelton)

 3. Identifying and convening working groups to deliver the Project objectives

 4. Making proposals on strategy to the Project sponsors

 5. Overseeing creation of the Learning and Development Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

 6. Identifying roles within the new CIO and making proposals for the first year’s aims and objectives

 7. Creating financial estimates e.g. income, expenditure and cash flow for the Project and the CIO.

Members of the TED Governance Group are Marion Baker, Tony Cann, Dot Hewerdine, Helen Mason, Derek McAuley and Louise Rogers.

3. Annual General Assembly Budget 

The budget for the year commencing 1 October 2017 was approved. The outlook for the year just ended is likely to be in line with forecasts. The individual quota will remain at £35 a head for another year. The financial support of the Essex Hall Trust and the British and Foreign Unitarian Association Inc was significant, as was draw down of Bowland Trust monies. A small deficit was forecast. The Chalice Fund will pay for the General Assembly’s contribution to the TED project (see above).  

 4. Proposed Constitutional Change

The Executive Committee will be bringing a proposed constitutional change to the 2018 Annual Meetings to address inequities arising from the “small congregation” category of GA membership, which requires eight quota members to be recognised yet without conferring voting rights, whilst existing congregations with voting rights have retained these even when quota membership is now less than eight. The proposal is for the removal of the separate small congregation category, with existing ‘small congregations’ absorbed into a standardised single definition of what constitutes a congregation for purposes of recognition. 

5. General Assembly Roll of Ministers

On the recommendation of the Interview Panel and Ministry Strategy Group it was agreed that Rev Bob Janis-Dillon be entered onto the General Assembly Roll of Ministers with probationary status for two years.

6. Sharing Good Practice

The Executive Committee was pleased to hear of the success of congregations in being awarded Heritage Lottery Fund support; most notably Newington Green, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Hyde Chapel. Other congregations have applications at various stages and it is hoped that we will be able to share good practice across the movement based on recent experiences of application success.


2. The Inquirer - We are recruiting! Part-time job opportunity

Are you an administrator whizz? The Inquirer Publishing Co (2004), publishers of The Inquirer, the oldest established non-conformist journal in the UK, seeks to appoint, as soon as possible, a committed and enthusiastic Administrator (self-employed contractor working from home) to operate and maintain a database of subscribers, in congregations and as individuals, in the UK and overseas. Average work time: half a day a week, with slow periods and busy periods

For further information, including rate of pay, contact:

Rev. John Midgley, chair of the board of directors (johnmidgley60@hotmail.com)


Phil Tomlin, company secretary (the.tomlins@live.co.uk)


3. Hull Unitarians - “Jesus, Queen of Heaven”

As part of the Hull, City of Culture events, Hull Unitarians are pleased to announce that the play 'Jesus, Queen of Heaven' is to be performed at the church on Friday 3rd (7.30 pm) and Saturday 4th (2.30 pm) of November 2017. This play was well received at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015 and was widely acclaimed when a film version was shown at the UK Unitarian General Assembly in 2016. 

We invite you personally and also to consider making a theatre party from your chapel to join us. 

There are many excellent exhibitions and other events in Hull, so why not make a weekend of it.  See https://www.hull2017.co.uk/

You will also be most welcome to join us for worship on Sunday November 5 at 11 am. 

Please note that tickets for the play go on sale today for £10.

Please visit our web site for more information: http://www.hullunitarians.org.uk/

We ask also for your help in advertising the play and we can post you some flyers to be handed out or displayed as appropriate. Details of the event are on the attachments and tickets can be booked directly with us or via http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3065292?date=1762222 

Valerie Fish and Ralph Catts

for Hull Unitarians

Chamberlain House, Park Street, HULL, HU2 8TA

Tel: 01482 224 662 or 07468 538 821


4. Media coverage

Chief Officer Derek McAuley signed the following open letter, co-ordinated by Christian CND, in support of the UN nuclear ban treaty

Chief Officer Derek McAuley signed the following open letter coordinated by Child Soldiers International, to the Scottish National Party (SNP)

Newcastle-under-Lyme Meeting House “£32k lottery cash to tell story of 300-year-old building with an exciting past” (The Sentinel, 11 September 2017) 

An interview with Rev Kate Dean, Minister at Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead appeared in the “Ham and High” (14 September 2017). Click through on the right of the image to page 29.

On 130th Anniversary of the Unitarian Union of North East India “Rising to the challenge of a liberal faith” by H H Mohrmen (Shillong Times, 18 September 2017)

Auckland Unitarian Church has a long association with the General Assembly “The Auckland church where Dr Seus is in the readings” (Stuff.co, 19 September 2017)

Bolton Bank Street “Lindsey Allardice and Kiera Pearson are first same-sex couple to marry at Bank Street Unitarian Chapel, Bolton" (Bolton News, 9 September 2017)

The first same sex marriage in a UK Anglican church prompted an inaccurate headline which was picked up by Pink News (30 September 2017) who referred to Chief Officer Derek McAuley

Padiham Unitarian Church “Multi-faith service a huge success” (Burnley Express, 28 September 2017)

Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor of Leicester, a former EC Convenor, has been leading on anti-slavery