On Saturday 14th September we are honoured and delighted to welcome legendary folk singer and songwriter Steve Ashley to Oat St Unitarian Chapel for a concert supported by the Chapel’s very good friend, the Worcestershire musician Mike Weaver. This is one of the highest profile concerts we’ve staged for some time, and we are sure that a great time will be had by all. We’ve ample free parking next door and we hope many of you will be able to join us. Tickets (£10) and further information is available from the event’s page on the We Got Tickets website.
Live folk returns to Oat Street on 18 April as we host the latest in the popular series of “Folk Treble” concerts to be held here. This time, the three acts appearing are our old friend Mike Weaver plus folk pop band Every Thread and folk/acoustic blues group Under The Wychwood. Doors open 7.30pm and the fun starts at eight. Tickets are £9 in advance or £10 on the door. We don’t have a bar but feel free to bring your own drinks. If our previous events in the series are anything to go by, a fine time is guaranteed for all!
Oat St Unitarian Chapel’s fortnightly “Oat Street Saturdays” sessions that launched in December are growing in popularity and everyone is very welcome to join in the events with us. The next ones are on 10 and 24 August 2019.
On each date our Minister Rev Mark Hutchinson will be at the chapel available for a chat from 1000-1130 and then from 1130-1230 he will lead the Meditation Group. This will feature a shared reading and a guided meditation before concluding with chants from various traditions.
No previous meditation or chanting is required and everyone is very welcome regardless of whether you are a Chapel regular or have never visited us before. See you there?
Our Christmas charity concert with local madrigals/early music group Musyck Anon is always one of the highlights of our year and we’re sure that this year’s will be no exception. It’s at 7.30pm on Friday 21 December with free admission, the ever-popular free mince pies and a retiring collection in support of the Mayor of Evesham’s charities for this year. All very welcome.
As we leave the summer behind, the season of “mellow fruitfulness” is behind us which means it is time to think of our harvest festival gifts.
At Oat Street we have agreed that we should lend our support, as we have done for some time, to Caring Hands in the Vale. This is Evesham’s local Food Bank which we have supported at both Harvest and Easter. Of late, the demand on their capacity has been very heavy, and so to coincide with our Harvest service we would welcome donations to help boost their stocks.
Caring Hands say they would particularly appreciate supplies of the following; all in tins/packets/jars please, no fresh foods.
- Meat balls
- Irish stew
- Beans and sausages in tins
- Chicken in white sauce
- Dried or powdered mashed potato
- Pasta sauce jars (but not pasta, they have plenty!)
- Flavoured pasta meals in packets
- Jacobs (or own brand) crackers
- Savoury biscuits
If you can help with any of the above, please bring your donations along to our Harvest Service at 11am on 7th October and they will be most welcome. Thank you!
We are pleased to announce that the Reverend Mark Hutchinson has accepted the offer to be the Minister to the Cotswold Group of Unitarian Churches. He will be joining us on 1 October. Mark is a newly qualified Minister and we look forward to welcoming him at the beginning of his Unitarian ministry.
Mark writes: “Many faiths talk of pilgrimage, usually embraced as a journey to a place of special significance. It is of course a spiritual journey. My pilgrimage into Ministry began in response to a request to attend church by my son, then eight, and attendance at Dean Row. Training via several years at Chorlton is now guiding my pilgrimage to the Cotswolds.
I view pilgrimage not as a place, but more to a future that I am lucky to now have. Like all pilgrimages, this is outside my comfort zone, bringing new insights and inviting growth and change, perhaps never before considered. So with the guidance is acceptance, a little apprehension and the honour of being invited to serve a community. A group of communities close to the heart of the start of the Unitarian movement, with a range of beliefs that show the power and the mystery of that same movement, and a desire to harness that power and spirit for the good of others.
I look forward to continuing the pilgrimage and serving whoever appears along the way.
May you remain open to the beloved of your heart.”
As usual our Grade II* listed Chapel will be open to all visitors on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September as part of the popular national Heritage Open Days scheme. Take a leisurely look at our unique interior, gorgeous peaceful garden-cum-burial yard and the Gatehouse with its hidden Victorian period scullery. We’re open from 10am to 4.30pm on Saturda and from noon to 4.30pm on Sunday, following our usual 11am Sunday service which all are also welcome to attend. Tea and coffee will be available in our Vestry.
This year, in recognition of the centenary of the Universal Suffrage Act, the theme of Heritage Open Days will be ‘Extraordinary Women’. Oat Street Chapel has its own Extraordinary Woman in the person of former Chapel Member Amy Nightingale, the first Lady Mayor of Evesham (1944 – 45). Her photograph is to be found in the Chapel’s vestry.
Every year, Oat Street Unitarian Chapel hosts an “Asparagus Lunch” on behalf of “The Ministers’ Meeting” which is funded by the Midland Unitarian Association and meets four times a year, allowing all ministers from the Midlands district to get together, share experiences and support one anther. Those attending will have a service at noon led by retired Unitarian Minister Rev Dr Peter Godfrey from our Cirencester congregation, followed by the all-important lunch!
The Asparagus Lunch has a long, long history, and was originally something a lot more covert! As this article by Maureen Butler explains, it started life over 200 years ago as a smokescreen for an illegal meeting by dissenting ministers back when non-conformists such as the Unitarians were a lot less free to practise than they are today…