Banbury Unitarians

"Faith is reason grown courageous." Sir Wilfred Grenfell



Banbury Unitarians News

Banbury have a new Secretary (April 2016)

At our Annual General Meeting on 24th April, Michaela Heppingstall, wife of Chairman David, kindly offered to take on the role of Secretary of the congregation. She joins a strong team, including Elaine Nomura as Treasurer.

The congregation was also pleased to have raised £100 for the Helen and Douglas Hospice for children and young people, which they had adopted as their charity of the year last Summer.

Banbury Unitarians change their name and adopt a new constitution (April 2014)

At our Annual General Meeting on 27th April, members voted to adopt a modern constitution and to change their name from 'Banbury Unitarian Fellowship' to 'Banbury Unitarians'. These changes are the first steps towards being accepted as a full congregation by the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches.


Banbury Unitarian Fellowship has a new home! (May 2013)

The Fellowship has moved to a fine new meeting place on the outskirts of Banbury  – Grimsbury Community Centre, Burchester Place, Oxfordshire OX16 3WT. As well as an ample meeting space, in which we will be able to store our things, there is also a well-equipped kitchen, and the Centre has the huge advantage that our meeting space is on the ground floor. There is also ample free parking. We are hoping to attract some new people from the surrounding residential area.


Rev. Sue Woolley's Service of Welcome and Induction (2/3/13)

Over 80 people from the Midlands and further afield, including the Mayor of Banbury, gathered at Banbury Town Hall on Saturday 2nd March, to participate in a joyous service of Welcome and Induction for Rev. Sue Woolley. The service was led by Rev. Alex Bradley, with Rev. Peter Hewis doing the charge to the minister and Rev. Ant Howe doing the charge to the congregation. Mrs. Alison Thursfield brought greetings from the General Assembly of Unitarian & Free Christian Churches, Mr. Sandy Ellis brought greetings from the Midland Unitarian Association and Rev. Gillian Peel brought greetings from the Unitarian Ministerial Fellowship. Jack Thomas read the chalice lighting words, and Doris Worrall lit the chalice. All the congregation joined in a covenant ceremony with Sue as the central part of the service. After the service, everyone enjoyed some splendid refreshments. We hope that this will be the beginning of a long and fruitful ministry for Sue and for the Fellowship.




Banbury Fellowship has a student minister!

From 1st January 2012, Sue Woolley is taking over leadership of the Banbury Unitarian Fellowship from Malcolm Sadler, who is taking a well-earned retirement. Sue is currently in her final year of ministry training. More details in the newsletter (see Newsletter page of the website). 


Banbury Fellowship's 16th Anniversary

On Sunday October 31st, twelve members of the Unitarian faith met at Banbury Town Hall to celebrate the sixteenth anniversary of the founding of the Fellowship. Mr. Neville Kenyon, the President of the General Assembly of Unitarian & Free Christian Churches, who led the service, brought greetings from all the congregations of the Unitarian and Free Christian chapels and fellowships. We enjoyed the stirring hymns that were chosen by Neville, together with the beautiful music played by Elaine Nomura and a very good sermon, stressing the unique place that the Unitarian faith occupies in the beliefs of the nation.

After the service, a delicious cake that had been baked by Pam was shared amongst the congregation, while we met and talked to Neville and his wife Betty. The one sad part was that our Lay Leader, Malcolm Sadler, was unable to attend because of his accident, but we all wish him well, and hope that he will be back soon.

Don Booth

Banbury Fellowship's 15th Anniversary

On October 25th, we celebrated our 15th anniversary with a superb service led by Rev. Peter Hewis from Oxford, who took advantage of our using the pink hymnbook Let Us Sing to tell us of his connection with one of the most popular hymns in that book Love is a Circle. He actually brought with him an original printed copy of the original sheet music signed by the composer, Phyllis Hiller, from his years in the States. Amusingly enough, the song is the closing item in a musical work based upon the story of a young orphan elephant and his initial problems with his community. It certainly is not well known that a much-loved modern hymn started out as a song by a young elephant! It is the sort of story you couldn't make up!

The photograph below shows Rev. Peter Hewis with his copy of Love is a Circle and preparing to cut the Anniversary cake, which, as usual, was baked by Doris Worrall (2nd from right in the picture).

Banbury Unitarians Events

Banbury Unitarians Discussion Group

When: Second Thursday in the month

Where: Grimsbury Community Centre, Burchester Place, Oxon OX16 3WT

Time: 10.30 am - 12.30 pm

Topics: January: British Unitarian Journey Session 1: Where do we come from?

             February: British Unitarian Journey Session 2: Our European Origins

             March: British Unitarian Journey Session 3: The Unitarian Story in Britain


All are welcome...