With a further two weeks in Spain in December; and Christmas, New Year, 21st and 65th birthdays to celebrate and a further 10 days in Spain/Portugal in January, it is perhaps hardly surprising I haven’t kept uptodate with this blog/website.
I have attended meeting in January but went instead to the Richmond Unitarian Church service on 2nd January (or was it the 9th?) to see how that works. “I hope you’re not leaving us for that lot! they’re just like Quakers with hymns”. Somebody might recognise that quote but I won’t attribute it here! Actually, although some Unitarian beliefs and practices would seem to be very close to Quakers, I felt (based on one service conducted by an American Baptist minister following guidance given by the absent American Unitarian minister – 2nd Jan. still on vacation in New York! ) that they were more like (very liberal?) Anglicans who don’t believe what most Anglicans believe. (Unitarian versus Trinitarian, hence Jesus was one of us – and not God – hence illegal blasphemers until 1813)
As a matter of personal taste, I would rather sit in silence for an hour than participate in the half-hearted singing of tedious Victorian hymns. There was a time for silent prayer (about 5-10 minutes) followed by sharing of prayer thoughts. One member of the congregation felt this was too long! So, not much like Quaker practice really. I did however find their information pack they sent me illuminating and expressing beliefs close to Quakers (who don’t have any as a body? – this is a tease as obviously Quakers believe things but they don’t have a creed and sometimes seem to imply you can believe what you like or that he way to God has nothing to do with belief or ‘notions‘) and my own.
For more information about Unitarianism in Britain see the Essex Church Kensington website.
Well, I resolve to keep up the good work. I have just now signed up for the ‘Becoming Quaker‘ online course, so we’ll see where that leads. I’m also trying to follow up the Experiment with Light workshop by finding a local group and will probably go to some further Quaker Quest meetings – especially the new additional topics.