Who we are

The faith and philosophy shared in this Chapel, as throughout the Unitarian Church, is far broader than that of early reformers; it is one which recognises the deeply personal nature of belief.

There are many people who cannot accept religious dogma (authoritarian teachings), or creeds (statements of belief), and yet they have faith arising out of their own experience. This faith longs to be acknowledged, developed, strengthened and expressed in some outward way – and it is in this celebration of individuality that we find our unity of purpose.

In asserting personal spiritual freedom, we would hold that:

  • There are many sources of truth
  • Belief may change over time; it evolves
  • Whatever God may or may not be, we need not settle for a purely secular society
  • No single scripture contains all truth

As the congregation has no fixed creed or statement of belief, the members’ outlook ranges across the spectrum from the Unitarian tradition of liberal Christianity through a study of other world religions, to focus on spirituality which may, or may not, feel the need of a traditional God. The Oat Street congregation values this open-minded environment, and the company of people who are ready to listen and learn, and will treat all views with respect.

This liberal spirit of freedom has been celebrated on or near this site for over 300 years, and we continue to gather every Sunday at 11am and every Friday evening at 6.30pm. Anyone is welcome to join us at these times.

There is no set pattern to our services, and the readings, songs and meditations might come from all manner of places! Even though our historical roots were in the emerging Christian tradition, we now draw upon a much wider range of traditions for inspiration and guidance, as we journey our different roads together, listening to life.

The high value which we place upon diversity will sometimes be particularly evident – perhaps at a service on a special occasion, or in alternative times for worship during the week.

Please do not hesitate to follow up any interest you might have in our approach to life and truth and meaning – we would like to welcome yours!