Looking back at the 2015 UK Unitarian Annual Assembly

The 2015 UK Unitarians General Assembly took place between 29th March – 1st April in the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham. I went along as the representative for the Northern Unitarian Association, with Hazel Warhurst agreeing to hold the vote for the Newcastle Unitarian Church.

It was a fantastic weekend. As a member of the most northerly English Unitarian church, it’s sometimes easy to forget that we are part of a national movement. Spending three days in the company of other Unitarians really was unique and inspiring; there are no other words for it. It was especially good to parade the Newcastle Unitarian banner at the Tuesday worship session, and be told by other churches how happy they were to see Newcastle represented. As the NUA representative, I attended all seven plenary sessions. The plenaries allow attendees to hear the annual reports of all the various strategy and vote upon motions proposed. I am grateful to both the Newcastle Church Management Committee and the NUA Committee for valuable discussions about which way we wanted to vote.

I found the workshops to be extremely helpful, perhaps the most valuable part of the GA for me personally. They allow attendees a chance to hear from the various strategy groups and UK Unitarian organisations.

Worship sessions consisted of morning worship, the evening sessions, and Peace Vespers at the end of each day. The Peace Vespers were especially calming at the end of a long and hectic day!

Sunday evening ended with the anniversary service, Monday with the evening celebration in which we welcomed new Unitarian ministers to their role, and Tuesday evening was a social evening, with a live performance of swing music by the local band, “Elle and the Pocket Belles”.