UNI-NEWS 209th Issue 11th April 2019

1. #GAUK2019 is here!

The Annual Meetings of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches are here! From 16-18 April, hundreds of Unitarians will be gathered together in Birmingham for worship, socialising, learning, relaxation – and to make decisions shaping our future as a denomination.

Check out the Unitarians UK Facebook  and Twitter accounts using the #gauk2019 hashtag to follow events.

2. General Assembly Office Closure

Please note that the General Assembly Office at Essex Hall will be closed from 5pm on Friday 12 April until 10am on Tuesday 23 April 2019 for the Annual Meetings followed by the Easter Break. Messages will not be retrieved from the voicemail service on the GA telephone number until our return. For messages that are of an urgent nature please ring or preferably send a text message to the mobile number 0750 763 1285.  Please note this is an emergency number only and will only be checked periodically.

3. Theology Conference

In 2016 and 2018 the journal ‘Faith and Freedom’ published two well-received supplements based on the Unitarian Theology Conferences organised by the Revs Jim Corrigall, Jo James and Stephen Lingwood and held at Cross Street Chapel, Manchester in May 2016 and at Mill Hill Chapel, Leeds in October, 2017. Both are now available for free download from Rev David Steers’ blog.

4. Dr William’s Library Seminar

A seminar on an interesting episode of Unitarian history is to be held at Dr William’s Library, London, 5.15pm, 24 April 2019.

‘A step too far: The 1808 Unitarian version of the most important book in Christendom’ - John Issitt, University of York

‘The 1808 Unitarian New Testament confronted orthodoxy head on. Its ‘editors’ presented the first two chapters of the Gospels of Mathew and Luke entirely in italics on grounds of “dubious historical authority” – meaning they were not true. It immediately provoked charges of blasphemy, ignorance, wilful misrepresentation and anarchy.’

More information can be found on the Dr William’s Library website.

5. In The News

Saxophone quartet performs at York Unitarian Church. Read the story here: ‘The saxophone turns classical as Sax Forte play Unitarian Chapel’ (The York Press, 18 March 2019)

Shrewsbury Unitarian Church to feature in new brochure celebrating architecture, music, history, heritage, monuments, carvings and stories of real people. Read the story here: ‘New brochure to promote county churches’  (Shropshire Star, 19 March 2019)

The story of how Unitarian minister and scientist Joseph Priestley invented fizzy drinks in 1767. Read the story here: ‘How fizzy drinks were invented in Leeds this week 252 years ago’ (Yorkshire Evening Post, 24 March 2019)

US survey shows Unitarians most supportive of LGBT protection from discrimination. Read the story here: ‘Most Americans favor protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination with Vermont the most gay-friendly and Arkansas the least - but support is declining, study finds’ (The Daily Mail, 26 March 2019)

Historical look back at building of Bury Unitarian Church in 1969. Read the story here: ‘LOOKING BACK: New town centre churches and Bury's very busy Easter’ (Bury Times, 5 April 2019)

Isle of Wight protests against 5G technology, with meeting held at the Unitarian Meeting House. Read the story here: ‘Protesters gather to campaign against 5G technology on the Isle of Wight’ (Isle of Wight County Press, 8 April 2019)