Transylvanian Exchange this Summer 2014

The Western Union INVITES you to visit us in the West Country.

Our special event this summer is the visit of Rev Maria Pap and family in July/August for a month. We would be delighted if you are able to attend any of her events, or otherwise to visit or attend any of our chapels when you next visit the West Country.

Rev Maria Pap (right) with husband Laszlo and daughter Abigail

Schedule for Rev Maria Pap’s Visit

  During her visit, Maria will have a Mobile Phone: 07532 255 505 (a British Pay-as-go mobile on the Orange network) if you need to contact her. 
  Please attend and encourage friends and contacts to attend, as many of her events as practical.  She will make a different presentation or address (sermon) on each occasion.  I have seen several of these.  Her information and ideas are very interesting and well worth hearing.
 I hope Rev Maria Pap and family (husband Laszlo, daughter Abigail (17)) will also visit to see and photograph most or all the other churches in the Western Union.  Details still to be arranged.

Thu 17 Jul
07.45 arr. Luton           Drive to Marlborough
M&J Howarth   SN8 1UD
01672 515670
Fri 18 Jul
                                        Drive to Sidmouth
R&V Crick          EX10 8BP
01395 519292
Sat 19 Jul
Sidmouth Ch  EX10 8EN     1200 to 1600
 WU Welcome Event  & talk by Rev Pap.            
                                                      Drive to Cheddar

M&MMF  Cheddar  BS27 3RA
01934 842273
Sun 20 Jul
Taunton Ch.  TA1 3PE         1100 Service
Mon 21 Jul

Tue 22 Jul

Wed 23 Jul

Thu 24 Jul
Drive to East Looe   (via Mortonhampstead ?)
A Loveys     PL13 1LF
01503 269330
Fri 25 Jul

Sat 26 Jul

Sun 27 Jul
Plymouth Ch  PL1 2HG     1100 service
Mon 28 Jul

Tue 29 Jul
                                     Drive to Cheddar
M&MMF Cheddar  BS27 3RA
01934 842273
Wed 30 Jul

Thu 31 Jul

Fri 1 Aug

B&B Trowbridge
Sat 2 Aug
Evening event at church
Sun 3 Aug
Trowbridge Ch  BA14 8LX     1100 Service
UMB,   BS2 8PE                       1800 Service
Rev L Latham      BS10 6NX
0117 9507906
Mon 4 Aug
(Abigail to Hucklow 0900) Evening event at Frenchay
Tue 5 Aug

M&MMF Winscombe BS25 1BU
01934 842273
Wed 6 Aug

Thu 7 Aug

Fri 8 Aug
(Abigail back 1800)
Sat 9 Aug

D&A Kennard   DT6 3SZ
01308 485529
Sun 10 Aug
Bridport Ch  DT6 3JU   1100 Service

Mon 11 Aug
To Avebury  and meet some members of Cirencester Fellowship
M&J Howarth     SN8 1UD
01672 515670
Tue 12 Aug
Visit Oxford
M&J Howarth
Wed 13 Aug
                   To Luton airport by 1800  Flight 2130

Come and sample the delights of the West Country! 

If you’re planning a holiday in the West Country this summer, why not drop in on one of the Western Union Unitarian Chapels during your stay?

This summer, in addition to their normal pattern of worship, the Western Union chapels will be playing host to Rev. Maria Pap from the Transylvanian Unitarian Church, who will be leading worship and giving talks across the region.

The West Country boasts miles and miles of rugged coastline: take a walk along any stretch of the coastal path, and you’ll discover hidden coves, cobalt blue lagoons, golden sandy beaches, waterfalls with streams trickling down to the sea, and strange, imposing rock formations, crafted by the unrelenting hand of the Atlantic. Or if walking’s not in your remit, try taking an open-top bus trip around the coast. Stop off at Marazion and hop across the causeway to St Michael’s Mount; visit Penzance, Landsend, the wonderful art galleries of St Ives, or take in a play at the Minack Theatre, the amphitheatre style open-air playhouse, built into the Cornish cliffs, overlooking the sea. 

As well as boasting some of the best surf in the country, Cornwall is also home to the Jamaica Inn, the setting for Daphne du Maurier’s spooky novel of the same name, or travel inland to the Eden Project: the largest indoor rainforest in the world. 

The Doone Valley on the Somerset / Devon border was the dramatic setting for R.D Blackmore’s romantic tale of Lorna Doone and the wilds of Exmoor still have the power to captivate the imagination. Or visit Glastonbury Tor in Somerset; an ancient site of religious pilgrimage. Further up into the West Country, as Britain’s fifth biggest city, Bristol boasts an array of historical and cultural intrigues. And just along the A4 from Bristol we have Bath, with its regal Georgian architecture, the setting for many a scene from Jane Austen’s novels, as well as the fascinating history of Bath’s Roman Spa. Or there’s the Jurassic coast of Dorset and East Devon, spectacular scenery – England’s first designated World Heritage Site. 

And what trip to the West Country would be complete without indulging in a cream-tea?! With real Devonshire clotted cream! Enjoy it at one of the many idyllic fishing villages dotted around the West Country’s miles of coastline, or even upon taking a boat trip to Lundy Island – the dramatic rock-outcropping where the Bristol Channel meets the Atlantic off the North Devon Coast. And if you’re coming during the first week in August you might want to check out the Sidmouth Folk Festival! 

For further information on visiting the West Country go to and for further information on Western Union events, including information on all our chapels, see, or contact our Western Union President, Dr. Martin Fieldhouse, on 01934 842273, Email:

Highlights of Maria’s Visit 

Sat 19th July noon-4pm in Sidmouth:
Western Union Welcome Event 

Sun 20th July 11am Service at Taunton 

Sun 27th July 11am Service at Plymouth 

Sun 3rd Aug 10.30am Service at Trowbridge & 6pm Service at Unitarian Meeting Bristol 
Sun 10th Aug 11am Service at Bridport

Further information on Maria’s Visit 

Maria will be accompanied on the visit by her husband Laszlo and her 17-year old daughter Abigail, who will be attending the youth event ‘5 Days Away’ at Hucklow, during their stay. Maria will be speaking on a different topic at every service she leads in the Western Union, as well as at the various speaking events which are currently being lined up. Themes for her addresses will include the role of women in the Church; the structure of the Unitarian Church in Transylvania; the history and future of the relationship between British and Transylvanian Unitarians; forms of worship in the Transylvanian Unitarian Church; and the theology of Transylvanian Unitarianism. There are plans to publish Maria’s addresses in a booklet to commemorate her visit. 

Transylvanian / British Unitarianism 

As those of you who have studied the history of Unitarianism will know, our movement in Britain owes much to the origins of Unitarianism in the middle-Europe of the sixteenth century. It was the theologian David Ferencz, who influenced the Transylvanian King John Sigismund II to issue the Edict of Torda in 1568, which proclaimed religious toleration throughout the land: an event which we Western Unitarians are hoping to commemorate annually by celebrating the second Sunday in January as Religious Freedom Sunday, adopting an idea recently put forward by Bill Darlison. Also from the hotbed of theological dissent which brought forth the Edict of Torda, came the Racovian Catechism in 1605, a distinctly Unitarian philosophy of Christianity, inspired by the writings of Faustus Socinus in Poland. It was John Biddle in the seventeenth century who took up this line of Unitarian thinking, and translated the Racovian Catechism into English. Thus Unitarian theology spread to England from Europe, and inspired the likes of Theophilus Lindsey and Joseph Priestly, who went on to establish the first avowedly Unitarian churches in Britain and America. Maria’s visit will allow us a unique opportunity to compare how the Unitarian movements in Transylvania and Britain have developed in the intervening time, allowing us to explore such issues at the ordination of women, doctrinal orthodoxy, religious freedom, and how the movement managed to survive behind the Iron Curtain – religion in a time of political oppression, so recent in our history. 

Looking ahead

A new Unitarian Fellowship has recently been founded in Glastonbury, and there are plans to form one in Cornwall. If anyone in Cornwall is interested please email The Western Union Annual Meeting is on 6th June in Plymouth, to which any holiday-makers would be most welcome.

  • Bridgwater Unitarians, Christ Church Unitarian Chapel, Dampiet Street, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 3LZ
  • Bridport Unitarians, The Chapel in the Garden, 49 East Street, Bridport, Dorset DT6 3JX
  • Bristol Unitarians, Frenchay Chapel, Beckspool Road, Frenchay, Bristol, BS16 1ND
  • Unitarian Meeting Bristol, Brunswick Square , Bristol BS2 8PE

  • Cirencester Unitarian Fellowship, Meeting at Friends' Meeting House, 53 Thomas Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 2BA
  • Crewkerne Unitarian Church, Hermitage Street, Crewkerne, Somerset TA18 8ES
  • Cullompton Unitarian Chapel, Pound Square, Cullompton, Devon EX15 1DN
  • Plymouth Unitarian Church, Notte Street , Plymouth, Devon PL1 2AG
  • Sidmouth Old Meeting All Saints Road, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 8ESL
  • Taunton Unitarians, Mary Street , Taunton, Somerset TA1 3PE
  • Torquay Unitarians, Montpellier Street, Torquay, Devon TQ1 1DL
  • Trowbridge Unitarians, 45 Seymour Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire BA14 8LX