Every six weeks or so the committee meet to discuss issues regarding the running of the church.
|Early in 2013 I had reached a crossroads in my life. I recognised that I needed a deeper more meaningful and authentic interaction with others and to rediscover and explore a spiritual perspective. Becoming a member of the congregation at Essex Church has allowed me to do both. Belonging to an inclusive outward looking community gives me the space to develop and define my faith without being bound by dogma or doctrine. When asked if I would consider becoming Chair of the Church Management Committee and Board of Trustees I was honoured to accept and be able to serve what has become my spiritual home. By day I am a Visual Artist.|
|I began to attend Essex Church in 1983 and I was already a Unitarian. I had left an 11 year marriage which had become increasingly violent. I felt very guilty and my self esteem was at rock bottom. Through feeling that members of the congregation were rooting for me, rather than being critical I began to gain confidence. I started by doing a reading, another time took the collection and later I served the coffee. Since then I have done almost every task in Essex Church and at present I am the Treasurer. What I most value is the warmth, friendship and support offered by our community. I have three daughters and a son. I am retired now but I was a primary school teacher.|
|I came to Essex Church a few years ago after I read about the Unitarians and realised that here were others who came together to celebrate and affirm values and ideals that I had held for most of my life. From the start I was befriended, supported and encouraged, so when invited to join the committee I felt that accepting would give me opportunities to give to the church as well as receiving. At the moment this mostly involves me in work to help maintain the physical fabric of the church building, in Heart & Soul and the Poetry Group.|
|I think it was around 1996 or 1997 when I first came to Essex Church. I liked the modern building with the skylight bringing light from above. It took me a while to get used to the idea of going to Church again. I was brought up as a Catholic in Germany, but soon became disillusioned and was left with some undefined spiritual longing. My work as an artist and psychotherapist was fulfilling, but I still hoped to find a spiritual home somewhere. It also took me some time to understand what Unitarianism was about. I liked the fact that there is no prescribed creed. A ‘Build Your Own Theology’ group helped to clarify my understanding. Gradually I began to feel at home in this congregation; I met many wonderful people and I started to take a more active part in the life of the church.|
|I came to Essex Church for the first time in 2018 knowing nothing about the Unitarians. My wife, Pat, was attending another event held at the church and we thought we would come to a Sunday service out of curiosity. I felt at home from that first service and valued the warm welcome from the minister and congregation. For some years I have been exploring aspects of my spiritual life and the combination of open enquiry and inclusivity I found at Essex Church has become increasingly important to me. I am a recently retired GP and enjoy finding new opportunities to connect with the Unitarian community. I love singing and am a member of Kensington Singers who rehearse in the church.|
|I arrived at Essex Church via the choir back in 1972 (!) and have never left. Music is an important part of my life and contributing to the established tradition of secular and sacred music has drawn me further into accepting my part in church worship. Gradually I became more involved in the church, taking on the role of music co-ordinator and finally accepting a place on the management committee. A reluctant member of any organisation I am drawn to the non-dogmatic, liberal leanings of the church.|
|I’ve been attending Kensington Unitarians since about 2008. I had tentatively decided to check them out after visiting the building for another reason and found them to be a welcoming and inclusive community. I really like the fact that wisdom is drawn from such a variety of sources, from philosophical as well as religious texts, current affairs and even pop culture. And all in the service of seeking to create greater justice and equality in our society and wider world. Over the years I’ve been involved in many things, from leading worship to providing pastoral care and also tech support for our online services.|