Saturday, July 18, 2009

More Unitarian Videos

Hi all, I haven't posted for a while. I've moved house and there's been a lot going on at church. For now I want to post two videos I found on YouTube of Irish Unitarians. Both quite different, but very interesting and showing, I think, a dynamic to Irish (North and South) Unitarianism that is missing in British Unitarianism.


Blogger Paul Oakley said...

Good to see you blogging again, Stephen. Interesting Irish Unitarian videos. Thanks for posting them.

I hope you're settling inot your new place and things are going well, if busy, at church.

5:19 pm  
Anonymous Tim (S Manc) said...

Thank you for posting the videos, Stephen.

Note that the video on Chris Hudson is the second of four parts, which present a film made about him by Telef√≠s √Čireann in 2007. The presenter, incidentally, is Anna Nolan, runner-up of Big Brother 1!

The videos present two remarkable men, who are both very influential beyond their own Church communities, particularly Hudson's role as a negotiator. Perhaps these two are able to develop their own niches while working on the geographical fringes of the "British" Unitarian movement, but any dynamism in Irish Unitarism seems to have more to do with their personalities, and not from any "Irishness" in the movement. Chris Hudson's style seems very different from what I hear about the Non-Subscribing Church of NI (which is not positive). Having listened to some of Bill Darlison's sermons, they are full of references to UK/US current affairs and culture, but less so to that of Ireland, north or south. A distinctly "Irish" type of Unitarianism, rooted in Irish culture, seems to be sadly lacking.

As for British Unitarians on TV and Radio? Where are they? I know there were a couple of films made about Jeff Gould (then in Liverpool) in the early 90s, as he was about the only openly gay clergyman around at the time. Since then, apart from one or two mentions on the Radio 4 "Sunday" programme, there hasn't been much exposure. I realise that this is not necessarily the case on a local level, however. Unitarians on "Thought for the Day" or "Face to Faith" in the Saturday Guardian, perhaps?

11:58 pm  
Blogger Stephen Lingwood said...

Wow, I thought I recognised her! You're right it's Anna of off Big Brother.

What you say about the two personsalities is right, but I think it's also about the right seed falling in the right type of soil.

As for media exposure in Britain, I suppose it will come when there is a compelling story to tell. I can get stuff in the local paper and last week did thought for the day on the local community radio station. This has come, in all honesty, with very little effort from me. I've had open doors to walk through. As I think I've said before, I don't think national media coverage (like the UUA sponsoring pages in Time Magazine) is the most effective way to promote growth right now.

8:27 am  
Anonymous Tim (S Manc) said...

I'm not against it, but I'm not sure if coverage in the local media is the best place to promote growth either, to be honest. Let's face it, with the way media are going in the country, the people who consume local papers and community radio aren't those who would probably get the most out of Unitarianism.

I don't think sponsoring pages or "advertisement features" would be effective either, but I certainly think there needs to be work on a national level to open those doors to get Unitarian voices heard through outlets like "Thought for the Day" and "Face to Faith". These are heard and read by decision makes and agenda setters, who can really stimulate interest and discussion among the wider public.

National campaigns have certainly done our friends the Quakers no harm. Note National Quaker Week.

7:35 pm  
Anonymous Sue W said...

@ Tim: Catherine Robinson did write the Face to Faith column in the Guardian in March (I think) and it attracted loads of comments.

8:57 am  
Anonymous Tim (S Manc) said...

Sue, I stand corrected. You're right and I even remember reading it myself, now. I'm glad there were a lot of comments and there needs to be more of this.

The next question is whether Catherine Robinson will be featured again in any national Unitarian media article. The media and the public prefer a single person (or a very small number of people) to turn to in order to obtain a certain group's view of things.

12:29 am  

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