Services and News

Brook Street: following the way and teaching of Jesus. Christian, Unitarian, welcoming all.

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Finding us: the chapel is opposite Aldi, and the hall is opposite the rail station. Our postcode is WA16 8DY.

SAVE THE DATES!!

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY – SPECIAL EVENTS

The theme for Heritage England National Open Days this year is ‘EDIBLE ENGLAND’ and we at Brook Street are entering into the spirit of the theme!! We are having special events on two days. Both days will have musical entertainment, free activities for the children, free tours of the chapel, some musical recitals and much more.

September 12 – 11 o’clock Special musical ‘heritage service’, about the history and background of the chapel, with music from our wonderful organist Aya, and solo singing by music student Jessica
 

12.30 – 4.00 Hog Roast, with vegetarian options,  and various fun events for children and grown ups including musical entertainment and  tours of the chapel 

Food £6 adults, £3 children. Last servings at 3.00 Tickets available from The Stationery House, Princess Street

September 19 – 11 o’clock Musical Service around a Victorian’ theme  ( and celebrating Elizabeth Gaskell) , with music from our wonderful organist Aya, and solo singing by music student Jessica.
 

September 19th – 12.30 – 4.00 Ploughman’s Lunch (one of Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels mentions them!) and various fun events for children (finger puppets) and grown ups, including musical entertainment, tours of the chapel and a visit from a group Morris Dancers!

Food £6 adults, £3 children. Last servings at 3.00 Tickets available from The Stationery House, Princess Street

 

Sunday Services in Augustall at 11.00

August 1 Rev Jean Bradley – Family Service

August 8 Rev Alex Bradley

August 15 Mr Paul Hubbard, from our Rochdale Church

 August 22 Mr Ken Howard, from our Stalybridge Church

 August 29 Rev Alex Bradley

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, following the government’s announcement on July 19th

We ask that you continue to wear face coverings when entering and leaving the chapel, and when walking into the hall.
Once you are sitting down in chapel, face coverings are optional but please continue to keep a safe distance (1m/3ft) to help protect others and yourself.

 

 

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OUR TUESDAY COFFEE MORNINGS ARE A GREAT WAY TO MEET FRIENDS OLD AND NEW! from 10.00 to 11.45  in the HALL

Come and join us for ‘the cheapest and friendliest coffee in town’!

(The entrance is on Adams Hill, by the bus stop)

 

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The following open letter was sent to the denominational paper, ‘The Inquirer’, by the Chair of our congregation, Graham Birks. However, for whatever reason, it was not published. We therefore publish it here, so that our views on this important matter can be heard. The national website is putting out information in our name, and it should be a true reflection of who we are, as a liberal religious community of faith.

The GA website

To the Editor:          

Our chapel committee recently discussed the new national Unitarian
website. While we appreciate the hard work put in with the laudable intention
to attract more people to Unitarianism, unfortunately we think it will be more
likely to put people off from entering our doors. Our major reservations centre
on the impression given to people accessing it for the first time.

We are deeply concerned that the religious aspect of our
movement is greatly downplayed. The GA Object, which expresses the diversity of
our denomination is buried in the recesses of the website. The full title of
our denomination is put in tiny font at the bottom of the homepage. The page
under ‘radical roots’ gives an account of our history but gives the impression
that it is a part of our past rather than our present. It speaks of the
rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity, and then goes on to say: “Today, our
name points towards ideas of unity, the oneness of life, universalism- of being
together as one”. This sentence while unobjectionable in itself, is too vague. It
seems to imply that Unitarians have ‘gone beyond’ the oneness of God. Some may have done so, but many, perhaps most, UK Unitarians have a dynamic and vibrant faith
in the ‘oneness’ of the spiritual reality that many call God, however broad their
definition of that reality might be. It might well have been better if the page
had stated clearly that Unitarians have huge divergencies of opinion on these
matters, ranging over a wide theological spectrum, rather than make a statement
that tries to conflate these diametrically opposing tendencies and so end up describing
very little.

The reference to ‘open minded, loving, spiritually grounded communities” is too vague to convey any real sense of who we are. It might be describing self-help groups of some kind. Most people reading it are unlikely to associate it with worshipping communities in church buildings. People seeking a religious alternative to restrictive or oppressive churches will look for words like ‘worship’, ‘religious’, and ‘God’:
 sadly, they are unlikely to find them as
they are not easily accessible.

The use of the word ‘radical’ is potentially very misleading.
It is true that we were ‘radical’ in our origins and Unitarians have been
‘radical’ in being in the forefront of rights for various marginalised groups but
for most outsiders, the term radical will have a much broader connotation of a
counter-cultural movement, or one espousing alternative lifestyles.  A first-time visitor to one of our churches expecting something ‘alternative’ and finding instead, a group of people (quite possibly from
an older age range) singing hymns and listening to prayers and devotional readings
is unlikely to return.

The experience of our own congregation is that the vast majority of our members came originally from other churches (one was even refused a funeral for a family member by her previous church). They found our
open, very broad, liberal Christian, ethos just what they were looking for, an
outlook which allowed for and respected all shades of belief and opinion. Had
they seen the new website, they might not have enquired any further.  Other Unitarian churches have different theological stances, being perhaps more earth-centred or theistic, or pan-religious but they are still recognisable as religious communities, and thus we share some commonality with them, despite our theological differences. We feel strongly that many other Unitarian and Free Christian chapels like ourselves would wish to see this reflected more clearly in the web-site, so as to appeal to those Christians who may be looking for a less dogmatic approach to their chosen faith.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Birks (Chairman of Brook St. Unitarian and Free
Christian Chapel, Knutsford, Cheshire.)

Written and compiled by Brook St. Chapel committee, and sent
on their behalf.

 

 

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