Rev Celia Cartwright, former minister of the Unitarian Chapel in Kendal, has been elected as the President of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches for the year beginning April 2019.

Rev Cartwright was minister at Kendal Unitarians from 2006 until 2016 following ministries in Padiham and Rochdale and as Lay Leader in Charge and Lay Pastor for Torquay, Exeter (Fellowship) and Sidmouth  in the West Country. She studied for the ministry at Unitarian College Manchester and has a BA (hons) Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Manchester. Before entering ministry in her later 30s Celia was, amongst other things, a Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nurse, a retail sales Manager in both ASDA and Principles, and Personal Assistant to the Personnel Director of GA (financial services). In her spare time, she says, she raised her son and daughter, sang in a choir or two and walked the family dog.

Celia comes from a Unitarian family, her parents were both active in the Movement; her father, Ernest was a lay preacher, organist, Chair of the Torquay church and President of the Western Union of Unitarian Churches and her mother served on various congregational committees as secretary. Celia attended Sunday Schools in various churches and was active in church life in her youth. Currently Celia is Treasurer of the Unitarian Peace Fellowship, and a tutor on the Worship Studies Course; she is a former District and National President of the Unitarian Women’s League, served as President of the Ministerial Fellowship and President of the Unitarain Association of Lay Leaders (now UALM). During her Presidency Celia will also be co-leading one of the Engagement Groups at the RE Summer School at Great Hucklow.