Shaykh Mehmet addresses the large audience

A visit by a worldwide Sufi leader, Shaykh Mehmet Adil, to our Unitarian Chapel in Padiham, Lancashire, on Friday evening, 11th March 2016, attracted a crowd of 250 people of different faiths, but overwhelmingly Sufi Muslim. 

In his talk, Shaykh Mehmet paid tribute to the Unitarian community in Padiham for its role in promoting inter-faith understanding.    He said the growing relationship between the Chapel and local Sufis of the Free Spiritual Centre in Nelson, was an example of how trust and unity could be built between faiths.

Joint Congregation
View from the back of Padiham Unitarian Chapel, showing the large crowd present, as well as the lighted Christmas trees (from many local organisations).

A joint Nativity service celebrating both Christian and Muslim traditions attracted more than 150 people to Padiham Unitarian Chapel on Sunday 20th December 2015.    The joint service won high praise from attenders; comments afterwards included: ‘a truly remarkable service’, ‘a joyful sharing of faith’ and ‘a great event which inspired friendship, love and respect among those who attended’. 

In August 2015, Rawtenstall Unitarian Church became the first place of worship in the Burnley-Rossendale area to be given permission to conduct same-sex weddings, under recent legislation.  

The news attracted wide publicity, with Rev Jim Corrigall (Minister for Padiham and Rawtenstall Unitarian churches and for the Lancashire Collaborative Ministry) being interviewed live on BBC Radio Lancashire in late August.  There were news stories in the Rossendale Free Press and the Lancashire Telegraph, and coverage on a local commercial radio station, 2BR.


Toxteth Trip

Padiham Unitarians visited The Ancient Chapel of Toxteth in Liverpool on Sunday 18th October 2015 for a special service entitled 'Return to the Source' led by their Minister, the  Rev Jim Corrigall -- exploring the extraordinary history of this 1618 chapel, the oldest in our Unitarian denomination. 

We were joined by Unitarians from otherLancashire congregations: Stand, Rawtenstall and Chowbent, as well as from Styal and Ancient Chapel itself.  The trip was organised by the Lancashire Collaborative Ministry, a relatively-new body which builds co-operation between Unitarian congregations in Lancashire.  In the picture above, Lancashire Unitarians are shown after the service with members of Ancient Chapel, including stalwarts Beryl Black (front row, on left) and Lesley Gabriel (front row, second from right). 

Thank you to Ancient Chapel for a great welcome!