“Left on its own an ember goes out,
but put a group of embers together and they will glow”
We Welcome New Members!
When you feel that Cheltenham & Gloucester Unitarians is your spiritual home, and you no longer view yourself as a visitor, we invite you to think about becoming a member of our congregation. New members bring new ideas, new skills, and new energy, further strengthening our diverse Community.
Before applying for membership of our congregation, we want you to understand who we are and what we stand for, visiting and participating as you can to determine if our Church is right for you. As a benchmark, we would expect you to attend our services and other events over a period of at least six months before joining; unless you’re moving from being a member of a different Unitarian congregation.
The Meaning of Membership
Membership indicates that you are in agreement with the Community’s Unitarian ethos. Ours is a non-creedal religion, meaning each person is free to define their own faith. We do not ask our members to accept a particular doctrine: our theologically diverse Community brings together theists, humanists, agnostics and those who have come from many different paths. Unitarianism emphasises free inquiry and respect for the beliefs of others. We support and encourage each individual’s religious and spiritual growth as we share in life’s journey together.
Benefits of Membership
- Members get support from our minister and free access to rites of passage
- Members are entitled to influence decision-making in our Community by
- Voting at the church Annual General Meeting
- Standing for office on the Management Committee
- Members are also entitled to vote in the Executive Committee elections of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches (‘the GA’)
- Members create the foundation of all of the work of the church: enjoy the warm glow which comes from knowing you are supporting our many and varied activities in the Community!
Responsibilities of Membership
- Attend, participate in and contribute to church activities as often as you can and wish
- Support the working of the congregation, as you are able, for example by
- Helping with setting up/clearing away on Sunday morning
- Taking part in the planning and leading of worship
- Helping with maintenance of the church garden and building
- Supporting the Congregation Committee (or even being on it!)
- Attending district and denominational events in the wider movement
How to Join
If you are considering becoming a member, please speak to Alison Thursfield, our membership secretary, or to Reverend Mark Hutchinson, our Minister. If you decide to join, you will need to complete the membership form and send it to the Congregation Committee. We also ask you commit to making some form of contribution to the working of our congregation. For many this will include a financial element, but such considerations should not prevent anybody from joining; we welcome all new members regardless of the form of their contribution. For those who are able, we suggest a membership subscription of £48 that covers the annual quota payment that we make to the central Unitarian General Assembly organisation on behalf of each registered member of the congregation. The subscription and any additional donation towards the costs of our services and building can be made in a single payment or as a monthly standing order, and can also be Gift Aid’ed if your circumstances permit.
The joining of a new member is to be celebrated, and we would announce your membership at next appropriate service, so you could be welcomed by the congregation as a whole.
We also ask all members to re-affirm their membership annually at the start of each year. We hold a special membership service once a year at which the commitment of new and long-standing members of the Community is celebrated.