Mill Hill Minister Featured on Unitarian General Assembley’s National Website

Our spiritual communities around the UK are served by 50 amazing Unitarian ministers –spiritual leaders, who provide care, guidance and inspiration to our communities and to the world.

Every Monday, we’re handing over to one of them to tell you a little more about themselves… and this week’s minister is Rev. Jo James from Mill Hill Chapel in Leeds:

“I’m interested in what happens next when we’ve abandoned God but suddenly realise we haven’t found peace or freedom or anything really worthwhile. I think industrial culture is mechanistic and domineering (and as a result it is in very serious trouble), but I sense reality isn’t like that; reality flows and is endlessly creative. I used to work in the theatre and I learned a lot from the creative strategies of artists at the edge of their industry.

I was an atheist before discovering Unitarianism, then I started learning about the liberal Christianity of my grandparents’ generation and earlier and I am learning to recover some of the living links with the resources which have sustained folk for many, many generations. Luckily there was a way for me to learn the craft of Ministry and so I’ve been able to re-kindle an affiliation with religion.

I was called to the ministry at Mill Hill Chapel in Leeds which is a very grand gothic church, but it is built on the site of an older chapel and it is the gentle spirit of that place which really keeps things going. I‘ve been minister here for seven years. In that time I‘ve been most moved by what happens to people when they realise there is no barrier between themselves and the Divine, and so I try to foster the conditions where that experience can occur most easily.

Alongside leading worship and trying to listen well, I also manage events, and the building, and I also help create community groups and work alongside all sorts of people, putting on bands, and talks and encouraging new things to happen, right now I’m excited by a new project to grow food to give away.

If you’re interested I sometimes put my writing on a blog here:

I’m married to Ann an artist and we have two children, three cats & a dog.

Find out more about Unitarian ministry here:

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