Unitarian News (2nd Oct)

A summary of this week’s Uni-News email from Essex Hall that is of interest to YUU members.

1. New Communications Officer starts

We are delighted to announce that Rory Castle Jones has started in his new role as Communications Officer for the General Assembly. Rory is a fairly new Unitarian, based in our South East Wales district, who attended his first Annual Meetings this year. He has come to us from Swansea University, where his job was based around Student Feedback and Communciations. Rory will be working on the GA website, social media and enhancing our general communications. If you would like to get in touch with him, he can be reached at rcastlejones@unitarian.org.uk 


   2. Training and Education Development (TED) Project
The TED Project Governance Group reported on their final meeting held on 15 September 2018 at Essex Hall as the project came to an end. The pilot ministry training programme run by the new Unitarian College had held its first residential with five students involved. Student feedback had been very positive. Rev Ant Howe had been appointed as Ministry Training Tutor and would take up post on 1 January 2019. The application for Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) status for the Unitarian College had been submitted to the Charity Commission, whose response was awaited. The substantial commitment of financial resources by the Executive Committee (£140,000 over three years) was welcomed as a clear statement of commitment to growing the number of ministry students in training in order to better meet the needs of local congregations. 


   3. Resignation of Executive Committee member
The resignation of Sheena McKinnon as a result of health issues was received with regret and formal thanks to Sheena were noted for her contribution to the work of the Executive Committee since her co-option.


   4. Budget 2018-19 and Three-Year Plan
The Budget for the new financial year commencing on 1 October 2018 was approved. It was noted that significant expenditure would arise as a result of the appointment process for a new Chief Officer, which would be funded from reserves. The congregational quota would remain for a further year at £35 per member. A three-year plan was also presented to enable the implications of the considerable investment in ministerial education and training (see above item 2.) to be tracked along with other initiatives.