UNI-NEWS 198th Issue 17th August 2018

1. Correction - ‘Circles of Connection’ Developing High-Quality Small-Group Activities: An Introduction to Engagement Group Facilitation

The half-day training course included in the 7 August edition of uni-news will take place on Saturday 15 September 2018 (not 1 September) from 11.00am for an 11.30am start until 3.00pm at Essex Church, 112 Palace Gardens Terrace, London, W8 4RT. Apologies for any confusion. To book a place on the workshop or to find out more, please contact Jane Blackall ASAP by email on jane@kensington-unitarians.org.uk or phone and leave a message on 020 7221 6514.

2. Staff Appointment – Communications Officer

I am pleased to report the appointment of Rory Castle Jones as Communications Officer for the General Assembly. Rory will take up the post on 1 October 2018 and work four days a week.

Rory is currently working at the University of Swansea, where he manages University-wide student engagement. He has experience of modern web design and content management and has run a blog using WordPress since 2012 as well as using social media such as Facebook.

He found Unitarianism when he and his partner wanted to have a religious marriage and was surprised to find that his local Unitarian Chapel had registered for same sex marriage. Since then they have been active in Gellionnen and Graig Unitarian Chapel and in Swansea Unitarian Church as well as the South East Wales District (SEWUS). He has been leading the redesign and relaunch of the website for SEWUS and its seven member congregations. At the April Annual Meetings Rory spoke at a workshop arranged by the Hibbert Trust on congregational use of social media. We look forward to Rory starting.

Derek McAuley Chief Officer

3. Youth Co-ordinator/Safeguarding Lead

Gavin Howell has now taken up the post of Youth Co-ordinator/Safeguarding Lead from 1 August 2018. He can be contacted on ghowell@unitarian.org.uk

Derek McAuley Chief Officer

4. Equality Trust

At the Annual Meetings the General Assembly gave its support to the work of the Equality Trust. You may wish to consider supporting them in the following ways:

(a) Support the Ownership Charter: For a Democratic, Fairer Economy Controlled By Working People Evidence shows that employee-owned businesses have stronger roots in their communities, are more democratic, are better for their workers and are substantially more stable and productive than traditional investor-owned companies. They are the best means of delivering a new kind of economy with reduced inequality, broad-based prosperity and a shared sense of ownership. Sign-up on https://equalitytrust.eaction.org.uk/petition/ownershipcharter

(b) Support Equality Trust’s #summer fundraiser at https://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/support-us

Derek McAuley Chief Officer

5. Inter Faith Week 11-18 November 2018 #interfaithweek

Inter Faith Week is an important opportunity to highlight the work of faith communities; to showcase the good inter faith relations that our community is engaged with; and to act as a catalyst for future inter faith work in local communities.

You can find out how to join in, download resources and register events at www.interfaithweek.org. Those who register events are eligible for a special registration pack. The Inter Faith Week Toolkit: https://www.interfaithweek.org/resources/toolkit is a particularly useful resource for those who are engaging for the first time. The Inter Faith Network for the UK (IFN) office will also be happy to assist: email Interfaithweek@interfaith.org.uk.

Inter Faith Week now begins annually on Remembrance Sunday so that people of different backgrounds can remember together those of all backgrounds who have served and also consider themes of peace and reconciliation. This year, the first Sunday of the Week will also be the centenary of Armistice Day, the end of the First World War.

Social media accounts are: www.twitter.com/IFWeek www.facebook.com/IFWeek and www.instagram.com/IFWeek. IFN is encouraging use of the hashtag #InterFaithWeek in posts about the Week on all platforms. Inter Faith Week takes place in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, led by the Inter Faith Network for the UK, of which we are a member nationally. It leads in discussion with the Northern Ireland Inter-Faith Forum and the Inter-faith Council for Wales/ Cyngor Rhyng-ffydd Cymru. Scottish Interfaith Week is taking place on the same dates. Further information from http://scottishinterfaithweek.org Interfaith Network for the UK

6. Media Coverage

Lewisham (News Shopper, 13 July 2018) “Lewisham Unitarian Church wraps tree in LGBT colours after flag repeatedly taken down”


Rev Phil Waldron of Ullet Road Church, Liverpool was interviewed on BBC Radio Merseyside as part of an item on their newly established football team “Ullet Road Church Rebels” for refugees and asylum seekers. The item is at 1.25.35.


Bury Unitarian Church “Church to throw open its door to show off heritage” (Bury Times, 14 August 2018)


GA President Joan Cook was one of 20 Church leaders who have called for an end to the hostile environment in an open letter to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid MP.

Scottish Herald, 10 August 2018 http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/16409548.church-leaders-take-on-home-...

Ekklesia, 10 August 2018 http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/26537

Swansea Unitarian Church “Drag Show being held in Swansea Church” (Wales Online, 16 August 2018)