UNI-NEWS 195th Issue 26th April 2018

1. Charity Commission Alert 4 April 2018 – Safeguarding in charities IMPORTANT

The following Alert has been issued by the Charity Commission and should be actively considered by Congregational Committees, whose members are regarded as trustees in Charity law.

Following recent events, the Charity Commission would like to remind ALL trustees to take safeguarding extremely seriously. Safeguarding should be a key governance priority for all charities, not just those working with groups traditionally considered at risk.

The Charity Commission has four clear expectations of trustees:

  • Provide a safe and trusted environment. Safeguarding involves a duty of care to everyone who comes into contact with your charity, not just vulnerable beneficiaries like children and young people.
  • Set an organisational culture that prioritises safeguarding, so it is safe for people to report incidents and concerns in the knowledge they will be dealt with appropriately.
  • Have adequate safeguarding policies, procedures and measures to protect people and make sure these are made public, reviewed regularly and kept up to date.
  • Handle incidents as they arise. Report them to the relevant authorities including the police and the Charity Commission. Learn from these mistakes and put in place the relevant mechanisms to stop them happening again.

As your regulator, we expect charities to meet these expectations.

Our advice is that you should now:

  • Undertake a thorough review of your charity’s safeguarding governance and management arrangements and performance if you haven’t done so within the last 12 months.
  • Contact the Commission about any safeguarding issues, or serious safeguarding incidents, complaints or allegations which have not previously been disclosed to the charity regulator.

Our regulatory role is to ensure charities comply with their legal duties, manage any incidents responsibly and take prompt steps to protect the people affected by it. We cannot look after the safety of your people for you and we do not investigate individual incidents for you.

Find more information about what and how to report to the regulator. More information about safeguarding responsibilities for trustees, and the role of the Charity Commission and other regulators, is below:

Safeguarding is a key governance priority for all charities, regulator reminds trustees

Regulatory alert to charities - safeguarding

Strategy for dealing with safeguarding issues in charities

Thank you,

The Charity Commission


2. Recruitment - Yorkshire Unitarian Union Development Administrator

The Yorkshire Unitarian Union (YUU) is seeking to appoint a part-time Self-Employed Contractor as our Development Administrator.

The position requires self motivation, good organisational and interpersonal skills, with the ability to communicate face to face, by email, post and telephone.

Working mainly from home the role will be varied and interesting, conducted over a flexible eight hours per week.

Duties will include assisting the YUU and its congregations, identifying and assisting with grant applications, Charity Commission requirements, Unitarian General Assembly initiatives and publicity.

A Unitarian, or someone with an understanding of our aims and ethos, is desirable.

Informal enquiries or requests for application details should be sent to the Secretary, Christine Dawson: (email: dcdawson3@hotmail.com).

Applications to be received by 16 May 2018.

The Yorkshire Unitarian Union


3. Two Books launched by The Lindsey Press

The Lindsey Press successfully launched two books at the Annual Meetings which have already generated good sales:

‘Unitarians: Together in Diversity - A Survey of the Beliefs, Values, and Practices of Contemporary British Unitarians’ by Sue Woolley (£9.50).

Dating back 450 years and still evolving, Unitarianism is a faith which imposes no creed or dogma on its followers. It is a community of individuals, each on their own spiritual journey, each guided by their own reason and conscience. So what, if anything, binds us together?

It sometimes seems easier for us to express what we don’t believe, rather than to positively affirm what we do believe. Sue Woolley, District Minister of the Midland Unitarian Association, set out to discover what contemporary British Unitarians actually believe, and how they give expression to their faith in their daily lives. She conducted an in-depth survey in 2017, seeking answers to questions such as: How do you perceive ‘the Divine’ ... What is your relationship with Christianity and other faith traditions? ... Do you have a regular spiritual practice? ... Should religion and politics be kept separate from each other? ... What are your views on gender, sexuality, and marriage? ... What is the basis of your personal morality? ... What happens after we die? ... and many more.  In considering the range and depth of present-day Unitarian beliefs, values, and spiritual practices, Sue Woolley explores what it is that holds Unitarians ‘together in diversity’.

‘Unitarian? What's That? Questions and Answers about a Liberal Religious Alternative’ by Cliff Reed (£2.50)

Cliff Reed's popular booklet was designed to introduce enquirers to the Unitarian faith by means of a simple question-and-answer format, based mainly on questions that people have actually asked when encountering Unitarianism for the first time. The Lindsey Press has published a new edition which takes account of changes in the law concerning same-sex marriage; and individual Unitarian perspectives on gender and sexuality. The booklet is ideal for congregations to give to first-time visitors.

Both publications are available from the Reception at Essex Hall in London (tel. 020 7240 2384) with a credit or debit card or from online booksellers.

The Lindsey Press Panel


4. Speaking of Light and Love

Speaking of Light and Love - a weekend retreat for those involved in spiritual leadership of all kinds. Exploring our roles, our sense of calling and our work by being deep in this beautiful wood together.  29 June - 1 July 2018 at Hazel Hill Wood, near Salisbury. Led by Revs John Harley, Lindy Latham and Paul Holdsworth.

For further information and booking form, go to www.beherecreate.co.uk or email John at johnnigelharley@yahoo.co.uk.

Rev John Harley


5. Eco Spirituality, Prague, 15 September 2018

Prague Unitarians (The International Unitarian Church of Prague) invite you to a special conference on ‘Eco Spirituality’ on Saturday 15 September 2018 from 10am in the Unitarian Meeting Rooms, Capek Hall, Anenska 5, Prague 1.

‘Ecology and Spirituality - A Vision for Unitarianism and Unitarian Universalism in the 21st Century!'  The conference will be chaired by Rev Mark Shiels, Minister of the International Unitarian Church of Prague and will be held in English, with simultaneous translation in Czech.

Our main speakers are:

Rev Dr Nicole Kirk on ‘Reverential Ecology - The Birth Of Green Consciousness Within The Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist Tradition.’ 

Dr Jiří Motl on “Living In Harmony With Nature - A Path To Mental Health and Wellbeing!’

Rev Lara Fuchs-Holm on ‘Spiritual Ecology - Our Faith Alive in the World”

Registration opens on Tuesday 01 May and closes on Saturday 18 August 2018.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided. For those attending this one-day conference from outside the Czech Republic, the cost of attending will be 35 Euros or 30 Pounds Sterling. Full banking details will be given on registration.

We hope that some of our sister and brother Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists will attend this event. For further information http://www.pragueunitarians.com/ecospiritual.html

For registration please email simon@pragueunitarians.com

Rev Mark Shiels

6. Visit of Czech Unitarians - Video

In 2017 a group of Czech Unitarians visited several congregations in England and Wales. I have only just been made aware of a video of the trip which makes interesting viewing. They visited: Essex Church, Kensington; Ditchling; Octagon Chapel, Norwich; The Nightingale Centre;  Cross Street Chapel, Manchester; Kendal; Nottage; Pen-rhiw Chapel at St Fagans Welsh National Museum of Wales; and Rosslyn Hill Chapel in Hampstead.

To view, go to:


Derek McAuley

Chief Officer


7. Media Coverage

Dublin Unitarian Church – “Names of all Victims of Troubles to be read out at Dublin Church” (Belfast Telegraph, 30 March 2018)


Irish Times (04 April 2018 and 19 April 2018)



Northern Ireland’s first Deputy First Minister, Seamus Mallon spoke at the service


York Unitarians “Environmentally friendly Wedding Fair planned” (York Press, 10 April 2018)