Minister - Rev Michael Allured
Golders Green Unitarians' Minister is Rev Michael Allured. The community of Golders Green Unitarians is enjoying this new chapter in its life.
Rev Michael says:-
Greetings to you all!
Thank you for visiting our website and taking time to read this personal message. I hope these reflections are a source of encouragement and comfort and will stir your interest to find out more about Golders Green Unitarians (GGU) by reaching out to us.
The greatest privilege and responsibility for a minister is to walk with fellow travellers in times of joy and sorrow as we live our lives. Especially when life is hard, but in other times too, we each have a need to find meaning and purpose in life. Where did I come from? What is the purpose of my life? Where am I going? When you say ‘God’ what do you mean?
At Golders Green Unitarians I see my role as holding a safe space where we can support each other to live in and through these ‘big’ questions as we continue our quest for tentative answers.
Beyond creeds: a place to explore your spiritual values
If you are turned off by dogmatic religion, but are still searching for somewhere to share and explore your questions about the mysteries of life in what one member described as ‘a close but not a closed community’, I extend to you a warm welcome.
There are opportunities to explore your spiritual values and beliefs beyond the restrictions of a fixed creed. We create these opportunities together through the practice of reflection and ‘deep listening’ in small groups, in poetry and art, through meditation, and in sharing food together.
We can trace Unitarian ideas back to 16th-Century Europe, when people started to question Church power and doctrines. Until 1813 Unitarian worship in the United Kingdom was illegal. By the 19th Century, Unitarian theologians had extended their study of religion beyond the Christian tradition from which we originally sprang and developed.
Golders Green Unitarians’s tradition of radical inclusion: women and LGBT+ people
I am proud to be a minister in that radical tradition here at GGU, the religious community that appointed a woman minister in 1926. I am also proud to be GGU’s third minister from the LGBTQI+ community.
In the 1970s GGU welcomed members of the lesbian and gay community and conducted same sex blessings. I was intrigued by the then congregation’s boldness on finding in our archives local press reports from the mid-1970s of a play performed at GGU by Gay Sweatshop.
Celebrating reason, reverence and the power of ‘Good’
For me this is love in action. It is the manifestation of a core Unitarian value: that we honour the inherent dignity and worth of all Creation, and wish to promote compassion in our relations with not only our fellow humans but all sentient beings.
Unitarians sometimes speak of ‘reason and reverence’. We are guided in what we believe to be true by our own experiences and the natural laws governing the Universe. We are also moved by beauty, music, song, empathy, compassion, love.
A long-time GGU member sustained by her liberal Christian roots once said that here she saw a place where our best selves had a chance to survive. Another Golders Green Unitarian member, a humanist and an embodiment of the spirit of the Good Samaritan, had difficulty believing in God but she believed in ‘Good’.
If you would like to find out more please do get in touch. I wish you well in your spiritual and religious quest. If you visit us I look forward to meeting you, though as the wife of a GGU member once put it: ‘I don't expect to find all the answers, any more than Harry Potter, but like Hogwarts Golders Green Unitarians could provide an environment in which to explore and grow’.
As we say at the close of every service, ‘May the skies be clear and may the streets be safe’.
Please join in with us, Golders Green Unitarians, at 31½ Hoop Lane, Golders Green.