Thursday, 26 March 2015

A Vision For Our Future - Introduction

Last September (2014) leading Unitarians and Free Christians met at Cross Street Chapel in Manchester to share their vision for the Future of Unitarianism in this country.

They discussed many ideas and tried to deal with pictures rather than words, recognising the challenge of coming to an agreement. It is strange to record that the day passed almost without dissent and the outcome has served as the basis to develop the ideas contained in this book.

This is a vision for our future created by the members of our Movement themselves. It is not a product of Executive Committee thinking, though the Executive Committee are 100% behind it. It has evolved through fundamental thought, creative argument and consultation. Many of you will have seen these pieces published in the Inquirer and the Unitarian; there have been discussions on Facebook and conversations between individuals.

There is still much to do and the debate must continue as we develop our thoughts into some sort of cohesive picture. It will, of course, fall to the Executive Committee and the various Strategy Groups to evolve a plan on how to implement the thoughts and ideas that have been put forward.

This vision, though created with a view to the Unitarian Movement nationally, applies just as easily to Districts and congregations. How it is implemented will, of course, differ according to circumstance. But it can become a uniting factor in our search for a better future.

We all hope that it will serve to inspire those many individuals who love our Movement so deeply to join together in serving by whatever means they are able.

There are some practical things that we can do to improve this vision, because it relies on everybody to join in and have their say. Here are 3 ways in which you can become involved:
If you are a member of any Unitarian Facebook groups - comment directly - go for it!
If you are on the Internet, you can access the national Unitarian website and comment on any             individual article at
For those without Internet access, for whatever reason; discuss the various pieces as a congregation    and then get somebody with an Internet connection to make your contribution.

This is a vision for everybody. It will continue to develop with new ideas and new thoughts. Please come and be part of it.

Robert Ince
Convenor of the Executive Committee


Thank you to all those who took part in the Vision Day at Cross Street Chapel and those who have contributed pieces to this document.

Thank you to the unknown artist from the Vision Day who drew the outline figures.


  1. St. Albans’s Unitarian people are glad this Vision has been created. It’s a good piece of work to stimulate dialogue and help us clarify who we can say we are to the outside world.
    There’s not a lot in the Vision on why-to. Why are we Unitarians? What are we in it for?
    Most of the booklet is filled with how-to’s.
    But why do it? Why should anyone spend the hours, paid or unpaid, serving Unitarianism, unless we know why it is important? What difference can it make to ourselves and others? Why would either the Divine or people care tuppence whether it thrives, or continues to wither away?
    “Why-To” really matters. The Vision document itself may inspire more Unitarians to engage with it if a it offers a clear declaration of our “why-to” to go with the how-to’s so elegantly presented. It’s our commitment about why-to that motivates us to discover the how-to’s we need.

  2. St. Albans Fellowship consdiered the Vision booklet in a sharing group and then invited responses from active attenders who were not present that day. The comment above and on the Executive Committee thoughts, A Faith That Matters, and Empower Individuals express the collective response of the St. Albans Fellowship.

  3. This opportunity was presented to the OMH in Newcastle under Lyme yesterday. Between us we think we have two or perhaps three copies of the book available. For us to consult this meaningfully we would need I guess at least ten copies of the book. Can you provide these? We would also need around 3-4 months to enable those who wanted to read it, get together (on a suitable date) prepare a response, agree that and feedback. That is assuming we have volunteers willing to do that work and people with the will to read it. Initial discussion yesterday suggests we do. Can you send us the books? We certainly do not have enough people with enough IT skills, time and interest to have a fully reflective on line debate. The book is nearly 50 pages long, it deserves consideration and response. If I had a copy I would read it and consider the value of investing time trying to facilitate this, but I cannot commit to reading it on line. If I have an hour or more to spend at my PC or on OMH business there are many pressing opportunities. For me, I need a hard copy to read while travelling or similar. I need to put it down .. pick it up and reflect. I bet many others feel the same. At this size it is very challenging to bring the content to the attention of our members, even those who we have now established would like to see it. Help me out please. Contact me at to discuss. I cannot upload contact detail as I do not know how.