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 9 and 23 March 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.
All are very welcome at Oat Street Chapel on 16th August for the latest in our well established series of live music events at our well appointed venue with nearby free parking (in the evening) and great acoustics! Everything you need to know is on the poster below…..
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…
For our 11am service on Sunday 15 April Evesham Unitarians will be travelling back in time as Lesley Harris presents a slightly abridged version of a service originally given at Evesham on 18 May 1834 by our then minister Rev Timothy Davis. We think it’s stood the test of time very well! All are, as ever, very welcome to join us.
Continuing Oat Street Unitarian Chapel’s long Interfaith tradition, we are delighted that our 11am New Year’s Eve service will be led by Steve Day from the UK Baha’i community and will contain elements from both Baha’i and Unitarian traditions.
There have been close links between the Baha’is and Unitarians over many years dating back to when Abdul-Baha, son of the founder of the Baha’i faith, visited many Unitarian churches during his visits to Europe and North America between 1911 and 1913. The Baha’i principles centred on the unity and fellowship of humanity and the world’s great religions are also familiar to all Unitarians.
Everyone is very welcome to join us for what is sure to be a fascinating and rewarding service, even if you have never visited Oat Street before. There will be refreshments after the service.
Everyone is very welcome to what is an annual very popular institution at Oat Street Chapel – our Christmas charity concert courtesy of our friends at the Musyck Anon a capella traditional music group from the Vale. It’s taking place at 7.30pm on Friday 15th December and entry is free, with a retiring collection in aid of the Caring Hands In the Vale group who do such a sterling job providing food parcels, bedding, clothing and other services to the most vulnerable members of our community. And there will be complimentary mince pies along with the gorgeous music – what more could one wish for an a Friday evening? See you there….