We met as usual at Swindon on June 24th. This was General Assembly Sunday and in her opening Reflection Jane Howarth paid tribute to the inspiration and encouragement of Ministers, the sterling work of the many volunteers whose efforts enable the movement to continue, and to the friendly support of the small Essex Hall staff. It was then time to address the last two questions posed by Camila: our thoughts on prayer, and on the role of Ministers and ministry. We largely rejected petitionary prayer except as a device for focussing on things that we wanted to change. We saw some value in giving time to concentrating our minds on those things, or on things that we knew were going to be challenging, in order to prepare ourselves to give our best efforts to the task. We saw value in celebrating and being thankful for the good things of life. Ministry we saw as a complex matter, and one which varied depending on how roles were divided up between the Minister and the congregation.
Kath Forder’s Membership Service on June 3rd skilfully wove together the principles of the General Assembly, Unitarian values and the important building blocks of Cirencester’s Unitarian identity. We were delighted to welcome two new members, Catherine Day and David Ellis. We look forward to their company and hope that they will continue to be confident that becoming a member of a Unitarian congregation has in no way limited their freedom of conscience.