Monday, April 18, 2011

Undodiaid Bangor Unitarians

I'm still blogging about (but not at anymore) the GA. I'm keeping an eye on the Twitter feed.

This morning Undodaiaid Bangor Unitarians were welcomed into the General Assembly as a new small congregation. This is great news, in many ways the best news to come out of the these meetings.

If I had been there this morning I would have stood up and said that this is the kind of thing we need to be supporting as strongly as possible. Essex Hall should prioritise support it gives to new and emerging congregations. The number one way any denomination grows is by planting new congregations. We should be giving financial grants for development, and finding ways to help the evolution of such groups to become healthier and stronger.

The last time I remember this happening was Durham Unitarian Fellowship in 2003. And where is Durham Unitarian Fellowship now, eight years later? It's extinct. We need to work hard to make sure this doesn't happen again. Emerging congregations have to be supported.

5 Comments:

Blogger ogre said...

You are, of course, entirely correct. The last significant growth that Unitarianism experienced in North America was during the Fellowship Movement, when literally hundreds and hundreds of new congregations were planted.

Many also failed (many start-ups of *anything* fail--just as a very large percentage of conceptions fail, very early on).

But many survive. Some simply hang on as small congregations, 40-60 years later. And some are very successful congregations with hundreds of members.

Start many. Encourage all. Mourn the losses, celebrate the successes.

5:04 pm  
Anonymous Angela @ liveunitarianly.com said...

From Lis Dyson-Jones speech, Bangor sounds like an awe inspiring place. You know, they didn't have a banner at the meetings, so one of them went out on Friday into Swansea, got materials and made one.

I'm hoping that they will benefit from the support of Carwyn Twywn, the Welsh dept secretary. He seems very committed to Unitarianism in the whole of Wales.

7:26 pm  
Blogger Neasy said...

Yay! Wow! That was me! *blush*

It wasn't Friday, btw, it was Sunday. It was *way* hard, traipsing round flaming Swansea waiting for the shops to open at 11 am so I could find something, *anything!!!* to make a banner out of. FYI I bought a black scarf from BHS (reduced, £2, like this one http://www.bhs.co.uk/mall/productpage.cfm/bhsstore/669031/226617 ), cut it in half and joined it together with Duck Tape (thank you James Barry), folded the top over to take a banner support, bought some felt letters which I found at The Works (https://www.theworks.co.uk/product.asp?cid=&pid=2830) and some felt which I cut out to make a chalice, and some glue and a pair of scissors. All that time watching Blue Peter wasn't wasted!

6:52 pm  
Blogger Neasy said...

Oh flip never mind the banner (I'm still buzzing about that). What I meant to say was thank you so much for your best wishes; we will do our best to flourish and create a place for non-judgmental questioning spirituality in North Wales.
Reading your post & comments makes me think we should put some pointers together about a) what we have found helpful and b) what we have found difficult for the benefit of other nascent congregations. I will put it to the steering group on Thursday.

Peace and love to all.

Nia

6:55 pm  
Blogger Stephen Lingwood said...

@Nia

Yes, I think that would be really good if you could offer any tips and your story of how you got started. We need more spiritual enterpreneurs like you folks!

9:30 am  

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