The 2016 UK Unitarian General Assembly: Louise Reeve’s Write Up

The venue for the meetings, at the Birmingham Hilton.

The 2016 UK Unitarians General Assembly took place between 30th March – 2nd April in the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham. I went along as the representative for the Newcastle Unitarian Church, accompanied by several members of the Stockton-on-Tees Unitarian Church.

The Plenaries

As the NUA representative, I attended all seven plenary sessions. The plenaries have several purposes: allowing attendees to hear the annual reports of all the various strategy groups (Youth Strategy Group, Visibility Strategy Group, and so forth). Several motions were put to the vote at the plenaries, and I am grateful to the Newcastle Church Management Committee and members for valuable discussions about which way we wanted to vote. The three motions debated focussed on data security, supporting the Clara Barton appeal for aid to Syria, and a commitment to take action on Climate Change.

 

The Workshops

I attended the following workshops: Meditation Fellowship, UK Unitarian TV, Worship Services, 2020 Vision Group, Visibility Strategy Group, Unitarian College Manchester, and the Earth Spirit Network. The last one was especially well-attended, and people showed great enthusiasm for reviving the UESN. I also took the opportunity to purchase some new Unitarian books for the church!

The Worship and Evening Sessions

The Unitarian Communion service led by Jean and Alex Bradley on Saturday morning was especially meaningful, as we remembered those who have left us. I took the chance to light a candle inEleanor Broad’s memory. Wednesday evening ended with the opening service, Thursday with the social evening, and Friday with the anniversary service. Friday also featured Unitarians mingling with young people in costume from the UK Anime and Geek Convention, Kitacon, which was happening at the same time as our conference. It was a bizarre but strangely uplifting sight!