Wishing you a Happy New Year from the team at Essex Hall.
1. GA Annual Meetings 2019 – Book Now!
Bookings are now open for the General Assembly Annual Meetings, which will be held at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole on 16-18 April 2019. Join hundreds of Unitarians from across Britain for worship, socialising, learning, relaxation, and shaping our future.
This is our first 3-day Meetings, and we’re hoping to pack it with interesting and useful activities. A full standard booking is only £268 (less if you are sharing a room).
Those aged 17-39 are eligible for a young person’s grant covering 90% of the cost.
Those attending for the first time (and who have been a congregation member for 0-5 years) are eligible to apply for a bursary covering up to 90% of the cost. To apply for a bursary, you should speak to your congregation’s secretary, who should already have received a bursary application form. We have already extended the deadline, so please note completed applications must be received at Essex Hall by Friday 25 January.
2. FUSE Festival 2019
The Festival of Unitarians in the South East (FUSE) will be held at The Chatsworth Hotel in Worthing on 15-17 February 2019. With a line-up of workshops, social activities and spiritual practices to nourish the mind, body and soul this is one event in 2019 you don’t want to miss. Join around 100 Unitarians and friends who come together for an enriching weekend that will leave your batteries recharged and supply you with fun, inspiring memories to fire your imagination for months to come. Visit the FUSE 2019 website for full information and bookings.
3. Summer School
Hucklow Summer School will be held at The Nightingale Centre, Great Hucklow, Derbyshire, from 17-24 August 2019. This year’s theme is ‘Theology in the Flesh – How Might our Embodied Experience Shape our Answers to Life’s Ultimate Questions?’ Full information can be found on the website.
4. Executive Committee Elections
Nominations are sought for the Executive Committee of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. There are five vacancies in 2019. Full information and nomination forms can be found here.
5. European Unitarians Conference 2019
Unitarians from across Europe will be gathering for a conference under the title “Variety – Spice of Life? European Unitarians Together 2019” in Berlin on 7-10 June 2019. Celebrate our common heritage and delight in our different ways of pursuing truth and meaning. Bookings open later this month. Visit their website for more information.
6. Motions Workshop
A Motions Workshop convened by the GA Annual Meetings Steering Committee will take place on Wednesday 30 January 2019 from 1-3pm in the Lindsey Room, at Essex Hall, 1 Essex Street, London, WC2R 3HY. The purpose of the workshop is to provide help and advice to those Congregations or Full Members who are considering submitting Motions to the Annual Meetings (Deadline: 19/02/19). Please bring along ideas and draft Motions if you have them. If you will be attending please email Derek McAuley.
7. Service Dates in 2019
When planning services for 2019 please note the following suggested themes:
13 January – Celebration of Religious Freedom, to commemorate the Edict of Torda 1568
3 February – Youth Sunday to celebrate the contribution of children and young people. See below for more information.
28 April or 5 May – report back on the General Assembly Annual Meetings
30 June – General Assembly Sunday to improve awareness of the work of the General Assembly
20 October – Interfaith Service for World Peace
8. Youth Events
Youth Sunday 2019 will take place on 3 February with the theme ‘Unitarians Promoting Equality’. You can download your Youth Sunday pack from the website.
Junior Weekend (ages 7-11) will take place from 1-3 March 2019 at The Nightingale Centre, Great Hucklow.
Inter/Senior Weekend (ages 11-14 and 14-17) will take place from 15-17 March 2019 at The Nightingale Centre, Great Hucklow.
Information about both weekends can be found on our website’s events page.
9. ICUU Appeal
Please consider supporting the excellent work of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU). The General Assembly has agreed to collect any UK donations and pass them along to reducing bank charges. So if you wish to contribute please send a cheque to Essex Hall made out to “General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches” and write “ICUU Appeal” on the back.”
10. In The News
‘Chairman joins multi-lingual carol concert’ – The District Post (12.12.2018)
‘Special Padiham Christmas concert to raise funds for charities’ – Burnley Express (13.12.2018)
‘Anniversary concert at Unitarian Chapel explores history of carol, Silent Night’ – Warrington Guardian (17.12.2018)
‘Funeral tributes for ex-Workers' Party chief Garland’ – Belfast Telegraph (19.12.2018)
‘Child poverty in Britain is already a problem - and Brexit will likely make it worse’ – NBC News (21.12.2018)
‘UK Faith representatives speak out on immigration’ – Independent Catholic News (6.1.2019)
‘Faith representatives speak out on immigration’ – Quakers in Britain (6.1.2019)
‘THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Be positive in everything you do this year’ – Messenger (10.1.2019)