UNI-NEWS 173rd Issue 11th October 2016

1. Hurricane Matthew Haiti Appeal - Urgent

The Executive Committee of the General Assembly today issued the following Appeal to Unitarians throughout the UK.

The humanitarian disaster caused in Haiti by Hurricane Matthew last week has caused massive devastation to the people of Haiti at a time when they are still struggling to recover from the damage caused by a previous hurricane a few years ago. We urge everybody to do what they can to help these people in their time of need by contributing to the Clara Barton Fund of the British Red Cross.

We are very much aware that many of you are already contributing to this fund to help the people of Syria and it will be a challenge to do more than you are already doing. We are already in touch with the Red Cross and will be providing updates as they are made available to us.

Donations can be made online at the following link Haiti Appeal.

or send cheques to:

Laura Deacon
British Red Cross,
44 Moorfields, 


Cheques should be made payable to British Red Cross with 'Unitarian Churches Clara Barton Appeal for Haiti”' clearly marked on the back.

Executive Committee


2. Youth Sunday – stories requested!

For next year’s Youth Sunday I am intending to compile a story-telling pack to be sent out to all congregations. This will include a number of stories and some suggestions on how to use stories in worship in creative and engaging ways. I need some stories please! 

Original stories and new versions of old fables would be appreciated. I have written a story about a hedgehog but I need some more stories to go with it. If you know of anyone who may be interested in helping please pass this request on. Thanks. I will be finishing the pack in early December. 

Youth Sunday will take place on 5th February 2017. Its purpose is to encourage worship to become more child-friendly and intergenerational in approach and help spread the word about the work of the Youth Programme.

Please send any stories to John Harley.

John Harley 
Youth Coordinator


3. International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) – British Chapter

All are invited to attend an IARF Event in London at 1pm on Thursday 20 October 2016 at Essex Unitarian Church, 112 Palace Gardens Terrace, Kensington, London, W8 4RT.

Derek McAuley, Chief Officer of the General Assembly and Dr Shlomo Alon from Israel will report on the recent IARF Europe and Middle East Conference on “Religion and Conflict Prevention” held in Tetovo, FYR Macedonia. The programme will include worship as part of the UN week of prayer for world peace.

The annual meeting of the British IARF will take place at 1.00pm on Saturday 10 December 2016 in the Lindsey Room, Essex Hall, 1 Essex St, London, WC2R 3HY. IARF President W. Dijkstra will be attending.

The AGM will be followed by a lecture by John Kinahan, Assistant Editor of Forum 18 News Service, on “Modern challenges to religion or belief, and implications for the work of IARF British Chapter.”

Membership of the IARF British Chapter is open to all who support IARF’s objectives and its response to attacks on Religious Freedom. With more active members, IARF can make more of an impact!

The annual membership subscription is only £15 or more. Cheques should be made payable to “IARF British Chapter” and sent to the Treasurer, Mr. Mehrdad Kalani, whose address can be obtained by emailing him at mkalani19@yahoo.co.uk

Rev Richard Boeke
On behalf of IARF British Chapter


4. Media Coverage

Belper Unitarian Chapel – “Pride and tears as Belper Chapel is first to hold same sex marriage in Derbyshire” (Belper News, 10 October 2016). 

Derek McAuley
Chief Officer