Skip to main content

Live from GA: Day one

I don't know what I'm doing up this early.

Yesterday was pretty long from 6am to 2am. I expect most of my days are going to be like this.

I spend Tuesday buying stuff for the conference. Do you know how difficult it is to find a paper bag (or 20) in Birmingham?? I was searching all day. In the end I settled for stealing mushroom bags from Tesco (in fact when I got here someone else had brought much better bags for mail bags). After that I met a mate I haven't seen in a while and we had a few drinks.

All this meant that when I got home at 8:30pm I was too tired to pack or reply to emails so went to bed and got up at 6am the next day (yesterday). I dealt with the stuff I needed to and caught a train at 9:05.

I got into Chester at 11:30 and found a number of Unitarians hanging around so managed to share a taxi into the college.

So we had an afternoon of young-adulty goodness and have begun to plan our worship on Friday night. Some considerable time was also spent in the pub.

A while ago I thought it would be a good idea to speak to the ministers' Pre-Conference about the launch of BUYAN and young adult stuff. I emailed someone to sort it out but only found out a few hours before that it was actually going ahead. I just wanted to make a quick announcement - it turned out I talked for less than five minutes and then took questions for like half an hour. It was a useful dialogue and I know we have young adult allies there, so that's good.

Got up this morning at 7. It's now 8.40. GA officially starts today.


Popular posts from this blog

From liberalism to radicalism

I've been reflecting recently on the journey I've been making from liberalism to radicalism, and how I'm beginning to see it as a necessary evolution if you're not going to get stuck in a kind of immature liberalism that fails to serve both you and the world. By liberalism I mean ideas and movements that emphasise personal freedom and not being restricted by the patterns of the past. By radicalism I mean ideas and movements that emphasise justice, solidarity, and liberation from oppression. Yes, I'm using broad categories here. Let me give an example. Let's talk about sexual liberation in a Western context for example. We can talk about women getting more agency over their bodies; gay and bi people being able to have sex with one another and marry one another; we can talk about the work of overcoming shame around sexuality. All of that is liberalism. It's good stuff. It's still ongoing. So we might ask the question "where next for sexu


When I started this blog nearly 4 years and nearly 300 posts ago one of the labels I used for it/me was "radical." Perhaps I used it a little unreflectively. Recently I've been pondering what radical means. A couple of things have made me think of this. Firstly this blog series from my friend Jeremy, which explores a distinction between "radical progressives" and "rational progressives." There is also this definition of radical, liberal and conservative from Terry Eagleton quoted at Young Anabaptist Radicals : “Radicals are those who believe that things are extremely bad with us, but they could feasibly be much improved. Conservatives believe that things are pretty bad, but that’s just the way the human animal is. And liberals believe that there’s a little bit of good and bad in all of us.” What interests me is finding a way to express the tension I feel sometimes between myself and the wider Unitarian movement. One way to express this is to say I

Am I an activist?

  I remember being at some protest outside the Senedd once, and someone introduced me to someone else, and said, "Stephen is an activist." I remember thinking - am I? I don't know. What does it mean to be an activist? Who gets to use that title? Am I an activist because I turn up at a few protests? Or do I have to be one them organising the protest to be an activist? Do I have to lead? Do I have to do the organisational work to be an activist? Because the truth is that since I moved to Cardiff I have kept myself at the periphery of a lot of activist groups. I go to meetings, I hear about things, I turn up at protests, but I have rarely got really fully involved. Why is that? It's not for the reason that I don't have time. I do, in fact. But often I sit in these meetings and protests and think "Is this effective? Is it worthwhile? Is it going to produce something at the end of it all that is worth the effort?" I suppose, coming from the world of church I