Newsletter October / November 2014

From the Desk

Dear All, my personal thanks and an observation:

Morning dew and changing colours of the leaves on the trees as they start to fall, seeing ones breath on these fresh mornings, and the fleecy clouds that change with time of the year. We see the sun just trying to peer through. Now autumn is coming, a degree or two lower, but we still have the warmth of the spirit that unites us all.
As we have seen this year the results of us all working together, keeping our community of faith and fellowship buoyant, we do this in stewardship to our movement. What a tapestry of gifts we bring, as all join in love and compassion. I very much feel that there are a lot of thanks to be given.
I could forget to name someone alone, so as I say thank you which is just enough, for all these things that belong to us, as we share the great wealth of gifts. I hope that I can accurately say on behalf of many with in our fellowship, and maybe for those that visit: thanks.
Thank you for your music, singing, the beauty of each person as they smile in greeting to one another, thank you for what you bring in admin, treasury, repairing, cooking, cleaning, laughing, press relations, learning, teaching, preaching, welcoming, making a phone call to someone who can’t make it to Chapel, talking on the phone to someone in grief, giving a lift and giving money in our collections: thank you for wanting to help, thank you for willing, fundraising, selling fair-trade, giving to the outside communities; from a food bank, coming to a meeting, doing what we or you from home. Thank you for brining a dimension of spirituality.
We have a great gift of believing, nurturing, fostering and growing together, as a community, so thank you, you are a gift that gives a gift.
I personally look forward to our services for the rest of the year, that continue now and always, we share our common belief, I hope we can share it with as many who, are still joined with us, and those who visit.
And thank you Lindy, for coming back to lead again with us, always your true self as our treasured gift. Most of all thank you for the greatest gift, listening.
Yours, in faith and fellowship                                                     Karl Stewart.

What’s through the square window today?

Or even ‘many small square windows’, we had a very well attended service for another dedication of a fully sponsored window: not only was it well attended, we were fortunate to have Lindy back to lead the service, wonderful singing in solo by our accomplished Delydd Mcadam, an introit of the Hymn from our purple book, Sprit of Earth, Root Stone and Tree; led by Marie, sung by the Frenchay Choir, we were as usual pleased to have Bob Cook playing well chosen Hymns and a selection of well placed music for the occasion. There was a nice selection of home-made cakes and pastries which were well received by all, thanks to Liz, lovely as always. And we would not be where we are today, with the windows if it was not for all the team work that goes into keeping everything running. Thank you Pauline.
And thank you for all who just come to sit and be, and that is, as it some times said, the church is a wonderful thing, when it all works together. There is a quiz for the windows fund, see further on in the newsletter.
Yours, Karl Stewart. On behalf of Frenchay Chapel

A thought for our friends

We notice when you are not in chapel. We hope you are well. We think of you after you have had an appointment, treatment and recovery. You are not forgotten. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

There’s learning afoot

As learning is important in all aspects of our journey, several of us from Bristol and the Western Union chapels have now completed the Worship Studies course. This was well led and created so well by Sue Woolley, Midland District Minister and Lindy Latham our retired Bristol Minister. Thank you both for your time and experience.  We look forward to bettering our ministries on this pilgrim journey together.
Yours with thanks and blessings,                      
From all who were on the course.

Our visit to Dublin Unitarians

Mark Stewart

As one of our weddings presents from last year, Karl and I received a couple of Ryanair vouchers. So on the 30th and 31st August we decided to take ourselves off for a weekend in Dublin.
Having visited Trinity University, the Book of Kells and the Guiness Factory on the Saturday, on the Sunday morning we decided to take ourselves along to the Dublin Unitarians on the famous St Stephen’s Green.
The service was led by their minister Rev. Bridget Spain, and was on the subject of Miracles, which was very interesting. There were at least 40 people in the congregation of a big mix of age ranges. The service followed basically the same format as our own, but was perhaps a little more formal in its structure, which reflected the stately, Victorian architecture of the building.  

After the main service there was a short communion service around the altar, which about a third of the congregation participated in, including me and Karl. We then went into their church hall for coffee, and were made to feel very welcome by all. We talked about having met Rev. Bill Darlison several times, last year’s Unitarian president, and Dublin Unitarian’s minister for many years.

They invited us to go to lunch with them at a nearby hotel, but by that point we were down on our Euros, so we opted for sandwiches and a train trip down the Irish coast and back, before we got our plane back to Bristol.

One of the great things I’ve found about being part of a religious movement, is that wherever you go in the country, and to a great extent, the world, you’ve got ready made friends to welcome you. We just had to mention to the Dublin Unitarians that we were from Bristol Unitarians, and we were chatting like old friends.

Women's League

Members of the Women's League have started a scrapbook project for UMB chapel photographs and are being helped by Julian Wood.

A slot has been booked at the Mansion House on Wednesday 3rd December at 2.30 pm for the Lord Mayor's Christmas Tea. Please let Susan Wildman know if you would like to attend. All are welcome.

Other news

Paul Wheeler has had two short spells in hospital, but is now on the mend.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Jean Bryant’s daughter, Charlotte, whose partner, Jay, died on 29th August, after a brief spell in hospital. I pray that his spirit is upheld and sheltered, and for comfort and strength for Charlotte as she comes to terms with this devastating loss.  
Our thoughts and prayers with our beloved Grace Cooper, who has recently had a fall, but not a major one, by the sounds of it.

The Transylvania - Western Union Link Project

 The visit by Rev Maria Pap and her family 17th July to 13th August 2014 went much to plan. They were formally welcomed in Sidmouth, and Maria lead services at Taunton, Plymouth, Trowbridge, Bristol UMB, and Bridport. There was a brief radio interview on Wiltshire Radio on the morning of her service in Bridport, and a half-page interview with her in the Bristol Post.  She also took part in other events at Bridgwater (a coffee morning), Trowbridge (an evening talk and supper), Frenchay (an evening of hymn singing, discussion and supper) and met with some members of the Circencester Fellowship in Avebury for lunch.There were possibly one or two other Unitarian activities that I was not aware about. Abigail (Rev Maria Pap's daughter) attended the 'Five Days Away' Event at Hucklow.  (This was financed separately with grants from the Wood Green Trust and the GA Youth Fund, and not by the Western Union.) The main expenses budget covered the cost of the airfares, the hire of a car, hire of SatNav system, provision of a mobile phone, and meal, parking, car fuel, and entrance fees for some of the Tourist sites they visited and totalled just under £2500 which was within budget.    We are very grateful for the private hospitality provided by 6 people and for the 2 nights in B&B accommodation paid for by Trowbridge.  This covered all their nights, so that we did not have to provide any accommodation out of the main budget.  Also the provision of many meals by the various churches and by the hospitality providers kept the other expenses within budget. Therefore, as President of the Western Union, I would like to say a BIG 'THANK YOU' to all the hospitality providers.
The booklet of her sermons and other material is under preparation I hope to publish it shortly.  I have received 25 orders for it so far at the £2.50 price post free.   I anticipate a few sales nationally at the £5 price post free in due course. Maria was paid £45 for her presentation at Sidmouth and for each of her 5 services.  (This is personal earnings which she is allowed to make on a self-employed basis) and also she has been paid £120 for advance royalties on the booklet we are publishing.
 If you have any photos of Maria's visit that you would like to offer me for possible inclusion in the booklet, please email them to me.  I would like to include perhaps 4 to 8 photographs (in black and white) as part of the booklet.  (Doing them in colour puts up the cost by about 10p per colour side of an A4 sheet (which is 2 pages of the A5 booklet) I hope that is a fairly concise report of her visit.  More detailed accounts will be prepared for the Western Union.
Martin Fieldhouse, Western Union President