Macclesfield Unitarians

Unitarian World

The Unitarian World

Within the circles of our lives, we dance the circles of the years;
The circles of the seasons within the circles of the years,
The cycles of the moon within the circles of the seasons,
The circles of our reasons with the cycles of the moon.

Again, again we come and go – changed, changing . . .
Hands join, unjoin, in love and fear, grief and joy

Wendell Berry

What are the circles in which we Unitarians move?

Local Obviously there is the local circle like our own community; there are around 200 local groups – congregations and fellowships – to be found around the UK. Our nearest ‘neighbours’ are the congregations at Dean Row, Styal and Knutsford.

Regional Our local groups are linked by our District Associations; Macclesfield is a member of the Manchester District Association:

United Kingdom Wider still comes the national circle. Although all Unitarian congregations are entirely independent and self-governing, they also have the opportunity to be part of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches – a body which seeks to support and stimulate the local and national life of the Unitarian community.

The strategic national body is an elected Executive Committee, which seeks to offer appropriate information, advice and training, as well as to initiate and oversee national policy. At our annual G.A. Meetings the work of the Executive Commission is reviewed and approved . . . or otherwise . . . in true democratic fashion, by the attending members, delegates, and ministers.

The work of the Executive, as well as the life of the Districts and local congregations, are supported by an administrative centre at Essex Hall in London, at which our Chief Officer and his staff are based. ( / 020-240-2384)

Communication across our national community happens through various media:

The National Unitarian Fellowship (a network by post and internet):

The Inquirer (a printed publication):

The Unitarian (a printed publication), editor Yvonne Aburrow:

Faith & Freedom (a printed journal), editor David Steers:

As well as gathering for the annual meetings, we have a delightful destination in the Peaks, not far from Buxton, at which a wide range of Unitarian and non-Unitarian conferences and holidays are run:

Within this national embrace there are many other Unitarian circles to be found – circles of shared interest or affinity . . . music society or meditation fellowship, psychical society or peace fellowship, Unitarian Christian Association or Earth Spirit Network . . .

Rather than putting a long list here, we suggest you search via the G.A. website for whatever appeals to your tastes or interests.


International Beyond all of this there is a wider circle still, as there is a Unitarian – and in some cases Unitarian Universalist – presence right around the world . . . from Auckland and Adelaide to Ottawa and San Francisco, from Cape Town and Copenhagen to Transylvania and the Khasi Hills of India.

The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists was set up to foster international links:

And you may find it interesting simply to explore the websites of a few of those far-flung Unitarian organisations.

Unitarian Universalist Association (U.S.A):

Canadian Unitarian Council:

Australia and New Zealand U.U.A.:

European Unitarian Universalists:

Again, again we come and go – changed, changing . . .
Hands join, unjoin, in love and fear, grief and joy

The circles turn, each giving into each, into all
Only the music keeps us here, each by all the others held

In the hold of hands and eyes, of hearts and minds,
We turn together that joining, join each to all again.

 Wendell Berry

What I love about Unitarianism is that the emphasis is on the authority of the individual to interpret scripture and teachings of the church as we understand it.

No rules, or creeds to be obeyed – however unrealistic they seem to be . . . “

Brigid Cusick