Reflections on the GA

The Annual Meeting of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches was held this year from 16 to 18 April in Birmingham. Nine members from St Mark’s attended, including our minister Rev Peter Fairbrother. Jane Aaronson, Kate Foggo, Lesley Hartley and Rodger Hartley reflect on what they found when they went to Birmingham...

Chalice Lighting Words

St Mark’s member Niall Urquhart lit our Chalice on 28 April with these words in memory of Polly Higgins who died on 21 April, and to affirm the need to carry on the work to which she dedicated her life - the struggle to have ecocide accepted as a crime under international law.

In the 1970s, following the Vietnam War, there were calls for ecocide, the mass damage and destruction of the Earth, to become a crime under international law and for the creation of a legal duty of care for all inhabitants that have been or are at risk of being significantly harmed due to ecocide.

It is now becoming increasingly evident that the greatest threat to all life on earth is the threat of ecocide. We are reminded of the fatal impacts of climate change and environmental destruction on an almost daily basis. The need for a legal duty of care for the earth and its inhabitants has never been clearer.

Flower Power

The quiet beauty of the Flower Communion rates high on the church calendar for Unitarians around the world as a precious time of union and sharing. St Mark’s members Jane Aaronson and Lynsey Bailey will lead our Flower Communion on 19 May. But the story of this beloved service, highlights the courage and bravery of one Unitarian who, even in the face of death, held true to his faith. 

Chalice Lighting Words

St Mark’s member Mike West recently lit our Chalice with these words. 

You may be familiar with the saying: 

“Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” 

The words are attributed to Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher who lived in either the 6th or the 4th century BC. To my surprise I came across a virtually identical text in the Upanishads, probably written between 800 and 500 BC. These are the ancient Sanskrit texts whose central ideas became the spiritual core of Hinduism. 

Another search led me to words ascribed to the Buddha…

Refugee Tales

On 25th November last year, St Mark’s member and Waymark’s former editor JANE AARONSON lit our Chalice with these words.

Before lighting the chalice today, I am going to read you a statement on behalf of Refugee Tales. Refugee Tales is a pressure group that works in support of detained refugees…

Chalice Lighting Words

On 11 November REV JOHN CLIFFORD lead worship to commemorate the Armistice Sunday centenary. JOHN shared his chalice lighting words, printed below. To end the two minute silence JAMES MACDONALD REID played ‘When the Battle is Over’ composed by Pipe Major William Robb, (1863-1909) of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.