Sunday, 19 June 2011

Told of a Tour

The problem with people on holiday, or otherwise engaged, when the congregation is small already is that it soon thins out. And so the numbers were thin to welcome Neville Kenyon, last years General Assembly President. It's fair to say that he is a denominationalist and that was evident even in his prayers. He wants distance between Unitarianism and the collection of Christian denominations. The talk was a tour around Unitarianism as taken last year by the then President. He made it to around 80 churches and there were some 15 more asking, like Hull. He saw positive signs. He was a little puzzled by the presence of Mhoira Lauer-Patterson in the congregation, as she was wearing a clerical collar. He knew she wasn't "one of ours", though soon was to learn of her involvement particularly in Leeds (Mhoira takes a service in Hull soon). It was because I'd been asked information about Bournemouth that I asked him, and it had closed recently but a group are hoping to gather in Poole. Poole closed a long time ago; it was the first ministry of Hull's long standing minister, the late Ernest Penn. I didn't ask for contact details, if they were available. Of course Neville was able to say that Leeds is a very different place and ethos from Hull - Mill Hill is an example of Victorian Gothic. Hull was like that up to 1976, though even then it didn't match Leeds. The Hull church used to rival the what was a children's hospital next door. Now those NHS administrative buildings dwarf the functional church (where, sometime this last fortnight, someone's nicked the lead).

Elsewhere it was Trinity Sunday, and this was always a bit of a laugh for me to hear preachers express puzzlement with it or themselves about it or hand it over to some curate or lay reader. It received not a thought in our place and that's probably quite right.Some will have given it attention to reject it, others attention to see it as a mythic communal expression but it could be four or five.

No comments: