You can download a 2016 Essex Church Membership Form here.
You can download a standing order / Gift Aid form here if you would like to donate regularly.
Please note: current members and friends will be contacted in April 2016 to confirm renewal – we would appreciate a prompt responses as it makes the process easier to administer – many thanks! If you have not received a renewal message by mid-April please do contact us.
We Welcome New Members! When you feel that this is your spiritual home, and you no longer view yourself as a visitor, we invite you to think about becoming a member of Essex Church. New members bring new ideas, new skills, and new energy to our congregation, further strengthening our diverse community.
First Steps: Before applying for membership of our congregation, we request that you attend our services and other events over a period of three months. There are several small groups that meet on a regular basis to connect on a more personal level than at coffee hour or during the Sunday service. Please come and visit us as often as you can so that you get to know us, participate in various church activities, and determine if this community is right for you.
The Meaning of Membership: Membership indicates that you are in agreement with the community’s Unitarian ethos. Ours is a non-creedal religion. This does not mean that members are without religious belief but that each person is free to define their own faith. This view of religion is founded in our Unitarian principles, which emphasize free inquiry and respect for the beliefs of others. We do not ask our members to accept a particular doctrine: our diverse community brings together theists, humanists, agnostics and those who have come from many different paths. We support and encourage each individual’s religious and spiritual growth as we share in life’s journey together.
Benefits of Membership:
- Members get support from our minister and free access to rites of passage.
- Members are entitled to influence decision-making in our community by:
– Voting at the church Annual General Meeting.
– Standing for office on the management committee.
- Members are also entitled to vote in the Unitarian GA Executive Committee elections.
- Members create the foundation of all of the work of the church: enjoy the warm glow which comes from knowing you are supporting our many activities in the community!
Responsibilities of Membership:
- Attend and participate in church activities as often as you are able.
- Contribute financially, as you are able, to support the work of our community.
- Get involved in the life of the congregation, as you are able, for example by:
– Helping with stewarding/coffee/flowers on Sunday morning.
– Taking part in the planning and leading of worship.
– Participating in small groups and religious education workshops.
– Helping with maintenance of the church garden and building.
– Attending district and denominational events in the wider Unitarian movement.
How to Join Us/Renew Your Membership: In order to become a member, we ask you to fill in the application form, and to return it to the minister along with your membership subscription. We also ask all members to re-affirm their membership annually by filling in this form. Applications go to the church committee for approval prior to a formal welcome into the congregation at a simple membership ceremony. We hold a special membership service once a year at which the commitment of both new and long-standing members to the community is celebrated.
The membership subscription of £40 covers the quota payment that we make to the central Unitarian GA organisation on behalf of each registered member of the congregation and the cost of producing and posting the church newsletter, which is sent out 10 times a year. If you would like to receive our newsletter, and support our congregation without becoming a full member, consider becoming a “Friend of Kensington Unitarians” for a subscription of £16. Please do contact our minister if you have any difficulty with the membership subscription. We welcome new members and intend that financial considerations should not prevent anybody from joining.