Chalice Lighting Words

by members and friends of St Mark’s form an important part of our Sunday worship. Here we print two recent contributions. If you would like to contribute please speak to Jane Aaronson,


At this time of the equinox, a time across the earth when day and night are roughly equal. I thought about the word equal and its meaning, to give everything the same value. The same one and the same.

As humans we are not very good at this. Throughout history, our lives, those of other creatures and the planet we inhabit have never been given equal value.

In lighting this peace candle today, I ask we challenge ourselves to try to value all as “the same one and the same”. If we as individuals could truly give everyone and everything equal value then there would be freedom from disturbance, violence, injustice, war and poverty. I pray we can all rise to the challenge and that there may be peace.


Dissent is the holding or expression of opinions at variance with those commonly or officially held. A non-conformist is a person who does not conform to prevailing ideas or practices in their behaviour or views.

In the age we live in now I feel it is becoming yet more important to applaud the other voice, the one that does not conform or fit the prevailing norm. It can jar, be uncomfortable, even feel rude if not challenging. Often it can be ostracised, ignored, shouted over or angrily dismissed by a bruised ego. But I think we ignore that other voice at our peril. We may not like the message, but it is always worth listening to with respect. It can be dangerous to stick with the prevailing norm just because it is the norm; many tragic examples of groupthink/ destructive norms exist from Nazi Germany to the recent financial crash. Unitarianism came from challenging the status quo and being a different voice. Let’s not be afraid of dissent and disagreement and listen to that other voice.