“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Sunday, 22 May 2016

A Warm Welcome

Part of my role as District Minister for the Midland Unitarian Association, is to do two services a month "around the District", either covering for ministers' holidays, or for congregations who don't have a minister at present. It is a part of the job I really enjoy, meeting all the different congregations, and catching up with their news.

This morning, I travelled down to Cheltenham, to do a service at Bayshill Unitarian Church, and got a warmer welcome than I had anticipated ...

image by Cressida Pryor
I had decided to give them a nice, peaceful, reflective service entitled The Tree of Faith, and we were half way through the Time of Stillness and Reflection, when a series of what sounded like small explosions came from outside. One of the congregation went to look, and came back in and said, very matter-of-factly, "The building next door is on fire; I think we'd better get out."

So we gathered our things together, and left. Sure enough, there were smoke and flames pouring from the roof of the adjacent building, and there was some concern that it could spread to the church. But the fire brigade soon arrived, cordoned off the area, and put it out.

In the meantime, we adjourned to the Bayshill pub, where. over cups of coffee, I delivered the address and benediction. It was certainly one for the diary.


  1. Possibly the most unusual service I've heard of to date, Sue!

  2. Possibly the most unusual service I've heard of to date, Sue!

  3. I do hope everyone was all right, Sue!

    Maria C

  4. Nobody was hurt, but I'm not sure how much damage was done to the Tavern. Hopefully they have good insurance!

  5. There are congregations (in other denominations) that have their weekly worship in pubs. Perhaps you should start the trend for us Unitarians? (just a thought)

  6. Not now we've got our lovely new building at Northampton! But the congregation *did* start its life meeting in the room above a pub, in 1827!