31 January 2016 – David Arthur and Imbolc, Candlemas and the start of Spring

David Arthur led us through a fascinating exploration of Imbolc (2 February), the Celtic pagan holiday which marks the first signs of the approaching spring and the beginning of the end of winter. We looked at the links between Imbolc, St Brigid’s Day, and Candlemas, with their themes of approaching life and hope for better days.

17 January 2016 – Memorial for Eleanor Broad

Our memorial service for long-standing member Eleanor Broad was well-attended, with over 40 people present to celebrate her life. Unfortunately the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress were unable to attend, but the RAFA (Royal Air Force Association) standard was presented, in honour of Eleanor’s service in the WAAR during WWII. In her long life, she worked for the North East Electricity Board, was Deputy Lady Mayoress, and a member of the church’s management committee! We shared memories of someone who had a great and wonderful impact on our church.

10 January 2016 – Rob Whiteman and a Unitarian view of Jesus

This time our chalice was lit by Brian Robson, using his own words. Rob Whiteman led us through a consideration of Jesus and his meaning to Unitarians. This included the impact of the Council of Nicea, and how views of who (and what) Jesus was have differed throughout the church’s history. Each of us must consider what role the radical message of the Gospels will play in our own lives and worship.

3 January 2016 – Rob Whiteman and the New Year

We welcomed in the New Year with a service led by our student pastor, Rob Whiteman, in which we began a new tradition for the Newcastle Unitarians. Members of the congregation are being invited to take turns to light the chalice at the start of the service, using either their own words or a Unitarian writer’s. Jamie Scott began this tradition for us with a moving piece about the start of a new year following a year of bereavement.