there are four trust funds set up to help support the Manchester District Association Unitarians:
The Manchester District Association was initially a body of “gentlemen subscribers” formed in 1859 as a successor to the Lancashire and Cheshire Missionary Society (1821). It was reformed on its present democratic basis, with ministerial and lay representation of its member congregations, in 1891. Its registered charity number is 503753.
There is one body. The Incorporated Association of Churches, which meets four times a year, which makes decisions that affect our congregations. The Annual Meeting is held in March.
The Incorporated Association comprises the MDA Officers, “Executive Committee” and members who comprise of congregational leaders and representatives of the churches and chapels.
As people who place their primary religious concern on life in this world, Unitarians are generally interested in environmental issues. Historically, we have been deeply interested both in the scientific study of our natural environment and in seeing it as a spiritual.
This remains the case today. Many Unitarians are active in environmental and conservation organisations. Unitarian worship often reflects spiritually on these subjects, and also celebrates the natural cycle of the seasons.
Unitarians regard the maintenance of a sustainable, diverse and beautiful environment – natural and human – as essential both for our survival and for our wellbeing as a species.
Unitarians see human sexuality as a perfectly natural and healthy dimension of our existence. We recognise and value it's role in bringing intimacy, tenderness and pleasure to loving relationships.
For the most part, Unitarians take the view that the natural spectrum of sexuality includes both homosexuality and bisexuality. We therefore affirm that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transexual people have the exact same rights as anyone else, including when it comes to marriage.
We have played an active and leading role in campaigning for equal marriage rights, including emphasising our support for it during a meeting with the Prime Minister at Downing Street in 2013. We are delighted that same-sex marriage legislation has now been passed in England, Wales & Scotland.
Unitarians affirm the values of peace, justice, forgiveness and reconciliation. Some call these divine values. They are held to be necessary for the wholeness and happiness of any human community, from the family to the nation and the world.
On pacifism, as on all issues of personal conscience, each Unitarian is free to come to his or her own conclusions without fear of judgement or censure. So although there are many Unitarian pacifists, there is no explicit requirement or implicit expectation on the matter.
Unitarians do agree that war is wrong, but a wide range of opinions as to its necessity exist. Some rule out the use of force entirely, believing that it can never be justified in any situation. For others there are sadly, tragically, situations in which the use of proportionate force is necessary in order to prevent or defeat a greater evil, particularly to defend the innocent and the weak in immediate peril. A unanimous position is that humanity must find better ways than war and violence to resolve conflicts and disputes.
While recognising the need for armed forces and respecting servicemen and servicewomen, we do believe that the minimum age for armed forces recruitment should be 18 years old. We have campaigned and will continue to campaign for that, as well as for ending the practice of armed forces recruitment in Welsh schools.
As a movement, Unitarians are religious, not political. But our religion has political implications, and our politics have a spiritual foundation.
Although many Unitarians are active in the social and political sphere, as a movement we are not aligned with any political party or single-issue political organisation. Unitarians can be found across the whole spectrum of democratic political parties, sometimes as dedicated activists. They can also be found in all manner of groups campaigning on humanitarian and environmental issues. In this we make no claim to be different from many people in other denominations and faith traditions.
In as much as these matters are political in the broadest sense, then Unitarians do mix religion with politics. This means, for some, active involvement in campaigns, marches and demonstrations. It may mean lobbying politicians and making legislators aware of Unitarian concerns in particular areas of policy. It certainly means using one's democratic rights responsibly and purposefully for the common good.
Unitarians are interested in the whole range of challenges facing our society and our world. We believe that our liberal religious ethos, our affirmation of human dignity and our one-world vision have something truly valuable to offer in that regard.
President – Rev. Jeff Gould
07989 858 963
01625 402 952
Treasurer – Vince McCully
Administrator & Development Officer – Natasha Stanley