Latest News

Food bank donations requested for our Harvest Service, Sunday 7 October

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
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Jacobs (or own brand) crackers
  • Savoury biscuits
  • Coffee

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!

Our New Minister – Rev Mark Hutchinson

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.”

 

Come visit us on Heritage Open Days, 8-9 September

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.

Our annual “Asparagus Lunch,” Wednesday 9 May

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…

1834 Service on Spring reborn at Oat Street Chapel, 15 April

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.

 

Service led by Steve Day from the UK Baha’i community, 31 December 2017

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.

Christmas Charity Concert with Musyck Anon, Fri 15th December

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….

 

“Faith and well-being” interfaith seminar, 13 November

Faith and well-being; an interfaith seminar
When:
Monday, 13th November 2017
Where: Holland House Retreat Centre, Main Street,
Cropthorne, Worcestershire WR10 3NB
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Trustees of Worcester Interfaith Forum and Holland House Retreat Centre invite you to a Worcestershire Inter-Faith special event on the subject of Faith and Well-Being.

In the morning, representatives of many faith traditions will share their respective Faith’s teachings on issues of Well Being including physical and mental health. Then, there will be afacilitated discussion that will seek to identify common ground and areas of divergence. In the afternoon a number of keynote speakers will lead focused sessions. This is a ‘free to attend’ event with a suggested voluntary donation of £10 towards the cost of the refreshments that will be provided on the day. This will include a delicious vegan buffet lunch, specially prepared by the Holland House kitchen so as to satisfy everyone’s dietary and religious requirements.

Please email Sara Mawer on co-ordinator@hollandhouse.org if you would like to attend.

Remembrance Sunday at Oat Street – earlier service time on 12 November

As usual, our 12 November Remembrance Sunday service here at Evesham will start at the earlier time of 10.50 am.  This is to allow a space for the two minutes’ silence at 11am.  Please therefore be sure to get to chapel early for what is always one of our most special services, being led this year for the first time by Lesley Harris.

Penny Quest will be leading Cheltenham’s  Remembrance service at the same time, and Alison Thursfield will lead a service at Gloucester at 3pm.

Everyone is very welcome to any of these, whether you are an old friend of one of our chapels or a first time visitor.

More details of forthcoming events across the Cotswold Group are available on our Calendar page here.