Looking at the overarching story of Easter from death, through waiting, to new life.Rev Nicky Jenkins leads the service. Starts at 10.30 am Everybody welcome.
Services are held weekly on Sunday at 10:30 am, and are open to everyone. See below for details of the forthcoming services.
Chorlton Unitarian Church, Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, M21 9LB
Looking at the overarching story of Easter from death, through waiting, to new life.Rev Nicky Jenkins leads the service. Starts at 10.30 am Everybody welcome.
Come along and enjoy a cup of coffee.Bring a poem or prose or music on the theme of Mothers if you would like to share. An informal relaxed session.Starts 10.30am All welcome. Don't forget to put your clocks forward Saturday night!
Spring 2014 Newsletter
It is so encouraging to see those signs of new and vigorous growth pushing through the sodden soils after such a wet winter. Although we were not as badly affected as our fellows in southern parts it warms the heart to see a patch of blue sky and feel the warmth in the air again.
Our congregation too continues to grow as more people hear about the unique way of thinking which sets the Unitarian church apart and provides a spiritual home for those searching for their own truths.
We are always trying new things and I am pleased that we now have a group of new Unitarians who are meeting regularly and plan to lead a service in the future.
And see the article below about Mark Hutchinson’s new drop-in spirituality sessions on a Thursday Evening. We hope this will provide an alternative for those who can’t make it to Sunday services or a mid- week boost for those who have.
I was invited to the Festival of Unitarians in the South East at Worthing to give a workshop and talk about our Café Churches. We had a short demo and the room was full of people enjoying coffee and cookies. Everyone was enthusiastic and several said they planned to try it out with their congregations.
Our Coffin Morning attracted 13 and was mentioned in an article www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk
Several people asked about Unitarianism, struck by the lack of crosses and texts in our building.
Information about our services on Sundays at 10.30 a.m. is on the blog attached to our website and on our Facebook page (see back page)
I am available for Pastoral matters and can be contacted on 0161 224 5289 or by
e-mail on [email protected]
Starting Thursday 3rd April at Chorlton Unitarian Church
5.30pm Drop-in with tea/coffee/juice/water and spiritually challenging quiz cards.
6.00 Dialogue: First 15 minutes centred around self- compassion and the second fifteen minutes centred around identifying a personal spiritual action past or future.
6.40 Closing thoughts
This alternative gathering is aimed as a taster session for people new to Chorlton Unitarians. It is informal with drinks and designed to be interactive and loose. It is a space to identify with your spirit in a community of enquiry. It is a time for spiritual development, identification and recovery and all are welcome.
Tom Grimshaw welcomes Laura Dobson
At our Service of Renewal, the congregation welcomed Laura Dobson as a new Member
Our Christmas Carol Service raised £309.50 for the charity Send a Child to Hucklow. This will send a deprived child from the Manchester or Liverpool area on a holiday to the Nightingale Centre in Great Hucklow in the Peak District. You can support this charity by doing your online buying through the easygiving website and selecting SACH as your charity
The Annual Meetings this year are booked out!
Could it be something to do with the luxurious venue, Whittlebury Hall, with spa and golf course adjacent? You can still attend and stay off site, making your own arrangements for accommodation, but you still need to register and pay the day rates http://www.unitarian.org.uk/ga/index2014.shtml
If you want to be added to a waiting list, in the event of cancellations or additional bedrooms being made available, please email Andrew Mason with your name, contact details and a summary of what you wish to book. Priority will be given to those booking for twin / double rooms with a named other person.
The 2014 Annual Meetings will take place from Sunday 13th to Wednesday 16th April 2014.
Amongst the Motions to be considered are those relating to
Westgate Chapel, Wakefield proposes that we call upon the BBC Religion and Ethics advisers to broaden the BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day by including secular speakers.
Twelve full members propose we support the campaign being undertaken by the Hungarian Unitarian Church, against extensive mining operations in the Roşia Montană area of Transylvania, Romania because of the possible uprooting of the residents of this community and the risks of major environmental damage from the use of cyanide in the mining operations.
The Yorkshire Unitarian Union proposes letting go of the convention to alternate Ministers and Lay people as GA Vice-President
Larry Bode led a service on Charles Darwin and his religious views and affiliations to celebrate the anniversary of his birth. He very kindly brought along the Greater Manchester Humanist Choir who entertained us with Imagine and That’s Evolution. Our Humanist visitors were fascinated by our liberal church and keen to understand more about Unitarianism.
Chorlton Unitarian Church is grateful to the Manchester District Association for the funding of their part-time paid ministry
In 2013, the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Red Cross, Unitarians launched two emergency appeals for their worldwide work of mercy. £4353.18 was donated in response to the 2013 Unitarian Peace Fellowship appeal for victims of the Syrian civil war and £20,525.53 has so far been donated to the current GA emergency appeal for victims of the Philippines typhoon disaster.
Two different week long options for a summer break are on offer at The Nightingale Centre in Great Hucklow in the Peak District.
Monday 7th – Friday 11th July is the Unitarian Discovery Holiday- a themed holiday with some educational and spiritual content. The theme this year is “All the colours of the Rainbow” Rainbow People, Rainbow World. Where do we fit in the spectrum? Contact Margery Walker 01506 493612
In August we have the RE Summer School 16th to 23rd “The Authentic Self” - A rich mix of activities for the heart and the head along with relaxed fellowship and fun. [email protected] or phone Kate Buchanan 07870 322519
This is a family story, a true story. It concerns my family. So I need to explain the makeup of the family for the story to make sense. However, to give all names would be confusing so I will only give those that are necessary.
We have to back to 1996 when there were:
In Manchester, my husband and me
In France, our eldest son, his wife and two children, a boy of six and a girl of four
In the Isle of Man, our second son, his wife and twin boys of six
Also in Manchester, our youngest son, having long left home, already having met his future wife.
So there are 8 adults and four children, three of whom were boys aged six.
It seemed a perfect group for a family holiday. We already knew the ideal place which was a house we had visited before. It belonged to our German friends and was on the Luneburg Heath, not far from Hamburg. We would go there for two weeks in August during the school holiday.
Obviously, our journeys there were not the same. The ‘French’ family drove there. The Manchester contingent also drove but needed a ferry from Harwich. The Isle of Man family had the longest journey, involving a ferry to Liverpool, a long drive to Harwich and another ferry to the Hook of Holland plus the drive to the heath.
The children loved the idea of being able to sleep together in the only upstairs room which ran the length of the house under the eaves and was reached by a solid wooden ladder. The garden was largely just the land on which the house was built with a developed area immediately around the house, leaving the rest as it was originally full of trees and open ground .There was nothing in one direction except fields while close by was a farm where we could get milk and eggs.
It was just a week before we were to set off when our son, Tim, rang from the Isle of Man to say that Alexander (known as Ali) had broken his thigh. It seems that in the playground, he and his friend had decided that their game required them to wear their coats in an unusual way: they had to put their legs down the sleeves. Then they ran around until Ali’s coat was pulled by his friend and he fell awkwardly. So Ali was now in plaster all the way up the injured leg, across his abdomen and down the other leg as far as the knee.
The doctor at the hospital said they would be happy to lend a wheelchair. Tim said that would be useful, especially on the holiday. The doctor asked where they were going and was horrified to hear of the long journey. He said it would be irresponsible to take this child on such a trek. He should be kept at home, quietly. Fortunately Tim completely ignored this advice and duly set off a week later with the wheelchair on the roof rack.
So we all arrived safely for our two weeks. But poor Ali couldn’t do anything could he? Well he did manage to sleep with the others in the roof room as he was hoisted or lifted there each night. He played football because someone steered his wheelchair towards the ball and he was able to kick with the partly plastered leg. He managed wheelchair badminton and also joined in the water fun. This happened when we were watering the few flowerbeds around the house. You know the combination: hot weather, hose pipe, children running about; a perfect opportunity for some fun. So Ali was just covered with some plastic and wheeled through the spray. Nobody escaped.
Ali even ‘climbed’ a tree. Tim looked for a tree with a fork low enough down and just planted Ali there.
So what did we learn from this? At the time perhaps we didn’t even think about it. We were just determined that in spite of his plaster, Ali would do everything possible. We didn’t want him to miss anything. In looking back though, I think that what we learnt was that it’s better to concentrate on possibilities instead of difficulties and that with a positive attitude and the right help, people can do far more than at first might seem possible- Anon
We used our new projector and screen for the first time during a service celebrating International Women’s Day. A slideshow of images of women around the world played during a piece of music as a meditational focus.
FUSE 2014 by Mark Hutchinson
Festival of Unitarians of the South East Worthing 22-24th February
I have long wanted to attend a Unitarian gathering and finally heading to Worthing for FUSE made the M25 almost seem palatable.
As well as a warm welcome (I only knew Nicky, our Minister) the weekend fed my spirit continually:
1. Service and meditation Unitarian style.
2. Workshops reopening the great stories of the Bible to me (a great shock I have to admit)
3. Atheism versus Theism.
4. A new friendship.
The opening service had us all presented with a stone. After prayer and not a little singing we were invited to discuss with somebody we didn’t know the most precious thing about our congregation. At the end of the service we were asked to place the stone next to the chalice if we were willing to give that thing up in exchange for the future of our congregation. Most people did but I couldn’t. My favourite thing is the varied service at Chorlton with little ritual or prescription meaning each week is a new addition to my spiritual journey. This I could not give up.
Bill Darlison’s pre-conference workshop on the dawning of the Age of Aquarius led to provocative thoughts around the astrological ages and how its ancient concepts can be seen in the story of the bible almost at the turn of every page. Leaving the concept of historical fact squarely at the door reopened my thinking around a book I have been closed to for a long time. Neatly the final workshop was the Unitarian celebration of Christmas led by Unitarian Christian …. And David Usher. The Christian view almost apologetically sidestepped atonement and the Trinity leading us to consider the resurrection of our souls. David Usher opened by dismissing any historical and factual context for the bible. Whilst acknowledging the pagan history he amusingly pointed out that the pagan roots if Easter didn’t speak to an Australian celebrating in autumn. He then proceeded to beautifully prescribe a celebration of a universal story which told of so much more than tulips and daffodils. These two workshops have helped me distinguish Jesus the good man who I have always accepted and the concept of Jesus of my childhood and life experience which I despised never mind accepted. This process is now under review.
Andy Pakula held an Atheism/Theism workshop following the furore on Radio 4 where on Boxing Day he was refused the Thought for the Day spot as he is an atheist. A series of questions on belief in the impact of a super physical entity were asked, belief being something that was strong enough you could treat it as known fact. Yes and no went to opposite walls with uncertain in the middle. We didn’t follow each other exactly. After the final question asking in belief in a super physical entity that influences our lives the yes and no people were paired up. We were given three minutes to explain our position. My avowed no: I believe in energetic forces that I do not understand and that influence the universe. I am powerless over them and many things in my life and acceptance of my limited understanding of these forces enables me to think of those around me with love and compassion. The lady yes who was paired with me said almost exactly the same thing.
I met a beautiful Romanian gay couple who had been in England three years. Listening to their story made me feel this: how courageous to leave your home country to restart and requalify in order to work, and how sad that they felt the need to leave Romania as they could not display their clear affection openly. It reminded me, and we need reminding, what a fantastic country this is to live in despite all its issues. And it consolidated my total comfort in being Unitarian.
There was wine and Karaoke and lots of talk and food and more than adequate accommodation. A wonderful weekend for the spirit and for growth.
Annual General Meeting – 23rd March after a short service
Café Church- Mother’s Day –Sunday 30th March (clocks go forward)
Easter service- Sunday 20th April
Flower celebration- 11th May
2nd-5th May Foy Conference: The War on Drugs. Do we need a new approach? Davis Barrie of Make Justice Work leads discussion on the need for a review of UK Drugs Policy. At Nightingale Centre. Contact Joan Partington [email protected] Tel: 01228670565
16th May -The Meditation Fellowship
Spring Weekend Retreat at Ivy House, Warminster. Contact Brenda Knopf 02380555333
8-11th August Unitarian Music Society Summer Conference Come along and perform Part 1 of Hayden’s Creation. The Nightingale Centre, Great Hucklow. Singers, instrumentalists and music enthusiasts all welcome.
Contact Helen Merritt 0151 625 5488
Email [email protected]
Facebook page: Chorlton Unitarian Church
Chorlton Unitarian Church
Rear of Regency Court Flats
Chorlton-cum-Hardy, M21 9LB
Put a Spring in your step at this Sundays service with Nicky Jenkins! A short service which will be followed by our Annual General Meeting. Service starts 10.30am Everyone welcome
Led by Sheila Jones and Amanda Birchenough. Bring along a favourite thing or a picture , a favourite poem or extract from a favourite book to share with everyone.You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be moved and you'll think deeply. And you'll have a good sing! Starts 10.30am. Everyone welcome.
Service led by Rev Nicky Jenkins.' Inspiring Change' is this years theme for International Women's Day on Sat 8th March. A theme which applies to all of us whatever our gender or identity.All welcome. Starts 10.30am
Tired of 'wandering in the wilderness'? Why not join us this Sunday at the service led by Shammy Webster. Starts 10.30am. All welcome
This quote from The Prophet Mohammed is the theme of a service which celebrates the work of Send A Child to Hucklow, which is a charity which provides holidays for disadvantaged children
It challenges us to consider our own treasured experiences in life
and how we can help others enjoy greater opportunities to have the same. Everybody welcome Starts 10.30am
Unitarian and Humanist Larry Bode leads us in celebrating the birthday of Charles Darwin.He's bringing along his friends in the Greater Manchester Humanist Choir, musical director Karl Kramer, for one of their first ever public outings. So for a good sing, some intellectually stimulating talk and care for humanity come along at 10.30am Everyone Welcome!
Rev Nicky Jenkins leads the service asking just how tolerant are we? Everyone welcome.
May the god in whom I do not believe save me...
From the poisoned joy of sneering.
From pride in my inability to understand.
From ceasing to care whom I may hurt.
From the false belief that other people's thoughts are my business, unless they make them so.
From ever thinking myself superior or special because of something I do not do.
From thinking that this list only applies to one side of any given argument, and that I am not on that side