Monday, October 25, 2010

Executive Committee Appointments

I'll repost this without comment for now:

Popularis Ltd

I confirm I have received nominations for the following candidates:




Nominated by



John Christopher


Aberdeen Unitarian Congregation




Oxford and MUA


Rev'd Martin Norman


John Pounds Memorial Unitarian Church, Portsmouth

The number of candidates (3) does not exceed the number of vacancies (4), and an election is not therefore required.

The Electoral Panel agreed that the three candidates above are therefore deemed ELECTED UNOPPOSED to the Executive Committee.

There is therefore one vacancy remaining for a member of the Executive Committee.

Certified by:

Anne Hock

Anne Hock

Managing Director

Popularis Ltd

21st October 2010

Electoral Panel Statement

The Electoral Panel are left disappointed and dismayed following their call for nominees for the Executive Committee. (EC)

As Unitarians and Free Christians we pride ourselves that we stand for democracy, but our own democratic process has failed! There will be no election this year. We announced in the call for nominations that if four or fewer members were nominated they would be deemed elected, in order that the EC would be able to fully function from April 2011. Only three members put their names forward. Therefore they are elected unopposed. This means that the EC will start its work next year with seven members instead of the eight required by the constitution.

It is only six or seven years ago since we had heated debates at the GA annual meetings about how our governance could be made more democratic, effective and efficient. We ultimately agreed that election to our governing body was preferable to appointment or representation. What has happened to those dreams?

The Electoral Panel will be recommending to the EC that they bring alterations to the constitution to the annual meetings 2011, to clarify election procedure for future elections. The motion should include what will happen if there are insufficient nominees and how any remaining vacancies will be filled. The EC does have the power to co-opt members at present, if 'casual vacancies' arise. But, having insufficient nominees for an election cannot be construed as 'casual vacancies'.

The underlying issues resulting in this dearth of nominees are much more serious. We believe that the situation demands a response from the Unitarian community as it strikes at the heart of our democratic principles. The Electoral Panel would welcome your views. Responses should be sent in writing to: The Electoral Panel, c/o Essex Hall, Essex Street, London WC2R 3HY or by email to:

Dawn Buckle on behalf of Mike Tomlin, Eileen Wield, the Electoral Panel.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Unitarians join the Accord Coalition

Via Ekklesia:

The General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches has announced that it is joining the Accord Coalition on inclusive schooling.

The body is the umbrella organisation for Unitarian and Free Christian congregations in the United Kingdom.

The Accord Coalition, a broad campaign network, encompasses a wide range of different religious and non-religious groups and individuals concerned at the way that faith schools currently operate.

Launched in 2008, Accord already includes among its members the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the Christian think-tank Ekklesia, the Hindu Academy, Muslim group BMSD, and the British Humanist Association, among others.

Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, chair of the Accord Coalition, welcomed the Unitarians' decision to join the organisation. He said: "The Unitarians' decision to join Accord and support our objectives not only broadens the wide range of our membership, but further demonstrates that concern about faith schools is not limited to secular groups, but also encompasses those with committed religious faith."

President of the Unitarians, Neville Kenyon, declared: "We believe that state schools should be open to children of every background, while jobs in schools should be open to all teachers who are qualified to do them."

He continued: "Schools should also teach pupils about the wide range of different religions and beliefs, helping to better prepare them for life in our increasingly diverse society. We are delighted to have become members of the Accord Coalition, which successfully addresses issues of religious liberty and is entirely in tune with the Unitarian ethos."

Unitarianism describes itself as "an open-minded and individualistic approach to faith that gives scope for a very wide range of beliefs and doubts. Religious freedom for each individual is at the heart of Unitarianism."

There are 170 congregations and fellowships within the denomination in the UK.