Debates at the GA 2006
RESOLUTIONS PASSED AT THE 2006 ANNUAL MEETINGS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF UNITARIAN AND FREE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES
The following Resolutions were agreed at the GA Annual Meetings 2006. In each case they were passed with a majority well in excess of the basic requirement.
1) FROM THE UNITARIAN CHURCH, STOCKTON-ON-TEES
That this General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches acknowledges that, in order to survive, there is an absolute need for numerical growth. It urges every Unitarian organisation and member thereof to give high priority to numerical growth and to publicise this intention. It requests the General Assembly Executive Committee to set up an organisation and process that will bring together those who seek to promote numerical growth, where ideas, proven or not, can be exchanged, discussed and acted upon.
2) FROM THE UNITARIAN WOMEN'S GROUP
Whereas this General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches:
- recognises and promotes the worth and dignity of all people, which includes the equal rights of men and women;
- proclaims that all human beings are born free and equal and are entitled to all the rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind, including any distinction as to sex.
- recognises that discrimination against women is incompatible with human dignity;
- promotes the full participation of women, on equal terms with men, in the political, social, economic and cultural life of society; and
- recognises that the cause of peace and the welfare of the world requires the full participation of all people, both men and women.
Be it resolved that:
a) every Unitarian organisation and member thereof takes all appropriate measures to ensure that women, married or unmarried, have equal rights with men in all areas of economic, social and political life and that women are equal partners with men in determining the values, direction and governance of their societies for the benefit of all; and
b) as a first step, every Unitarian Congregation, District Association and Affiliated Society undertakes an audit of all of their activities to ensure that women are enabled to participate fully and equally in all areas.
3) FROM GOLDERS GREEN UNITARIANS
That this General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches:
- is concerned by the refusal of the British Government to grant posthumous pardons to the 306 British, Irish and Commonwealth soldiers, some as young as 17, who were executed by firing squad for battlefield offences in the First World War;
- recognises that many of these soldiers, executed for offences such as cowardice, were suffering from shell-shock and other traumatic disorders;
- welcomes activities in support of these pardons in Britain and the Commonwealth, led by the "Shot at Dawn" campaign;
- further welcomes the fact that New Zealand has granted its executed soldiers posthumous pardons and the Irish Government has supported pardons being granted to Irish-born soldiers;
- directs the General Secretary to write to the Prime Minister and the Defence Secretary (of the United Kingdom) calling upon them to end this injustice by granting posthumous pardons to all of those so executed; and
- urges all Congregations, District Associations and Affiliated Societies to support the campaigns for these posthumous pardons.
4) FROM WESTGATE UNITARIAN CHAPEL, WAKEFIELD AND ST SAVIOURGATE UNITARIAN CHAPEL, YORK
That this General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches takes the view that the notions of Intelligent Design and Creationism are in no sense legitimate scientific theories but hypotheses which should not form part of the science curriculum in schools.
It calls upon the United Kingdom Government and the Welsh and Scottish Executives to ensure that, if these hypotheses are to have any place at all in the school curriculum, they are encountered in Religious Education alongside the many other creation myths to be found in the venerated texts of various faiths.
Further, this General Assembly urges its District Associations and Congregations to take action by raising this issue with their local Education Authorities and SACRE bodies.
1. That David Dawson be appointed President of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches for the year 2006-2007
2. That this seventy-eighth General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches expresses its gratitude for the services provided by the Reverend Brian Cockroft as President during the year 2005-2006.
3. That the Reverend Celia Midgley be appointed as Vice-President for the year 2006-2007.
4. That the thanks of the Assembly be given to Martin G West for his services as Honorary Treasurer, and to district association and local treasurers and collectors for their help.
5. That Martin G West be appointed Honorary Treasurer for the year 2006-2007.
6. That Messrs Edmund Gibbs & Co be reappointed as Auditors.
7. That the Report of the General Assembly Council and the Accounts of the General Assembly be received and adopted.
8. That greetings be sent to kindred churches and societies abroad.
9. That the thanks of the Assembly be given to the Reverend Peter Hewis for preaching the Assembly Sermon.
10. That the thanks of the Assembly be given to Myrna Michell, organist for the Anniversary Service, and to local Unitarians who arranged other music for the Meetings.
11. That the thanks of the Assembly be given to the members of the General Assembly Annual Meetings Panel and other volunteers for their inestimable help in organising the Meetings.