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We provide a focus for liberal religious worship and reflection and a centre of fellowship for people of religious sentiment.

Bury Unitarian Church



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Congregation Members Profiles



                  Val Chamberlain

  • How long have you been coming to Bury Unitarian Church?

    I was christened at the former Bank Street Chapel as my mother and grandmother were lifelong members. As a child I attended the parish church in Tottington where I grew up and I was married there in 1984.  My mother invited me to attend a service at Bury Unitarian Church  over 30 years ago and I immediately felt at home and have been attending ever since.  I left the Bury area 20 years ago, but I am still a member at Bury and attend as often as I am able to.

    What do you enjoy most about coming to Bury Unitarian Church?

    I enjoy the stimulation and variety of the worship services. Services often follow a familiar structure, but within that the prayers, readings, sermons, reflections and music centre on a wide variety of themes. Occasionally we have special services which have a different format, sometimes with more participants, a greater proportion of readings or contributions. Whatever the format, I always come away enriched:  either through being prompted to think about something from a different point of view or by having my own thoughts and feelings articulated and clarified further.  All this takes place within a welcoming atmosphere where it feels comfortable to be yourself and to engage in your own way.

    Do you come to the church apart from Sunday worship.

    I’m a member of the Worship, Junior Church and Communications Committee and Church Council. Both of these are important forums where I’ve learned a lot about what it takes behind the scenes to create the vibrant, loving community which we treasure. It’s inspiring to see how every little decision or action no matter how small can have an effect on the life of our church. It’s also good to feel that one can offer ideas as well: they may not always be taken up but they are always considered thoughtfully and it is rewarding to feel that all voices are heard.  I ‘m excited about the potential of the web site and social media to reflect  the richness of our church’s life  and to feel connected to wider Unitarian,  local and national communities.

    I also enjoy coming to the various seminar series that have run over the past few years which have included Building your own Theology, Ethics and my particular favourite, Everyday  Spirituality. I relish the exchange of experiences and viewpoints in such a safe and respectful atmosphere. We talk about all sorts, from our approach to ironing to the meaning of life! They are the kind of conversations I love to have, but it is not always easy to get to that level in the supermarket queue! 

    Describe a service, event or aspect of Church life that you’ve enjoyed recently

    I’ve enjoyed or appreciated so many things it’s hard to choose just one. However – I came away glowing after the recent St Valentine’s Day service on ‘Aspects of Love’.  Our minister had selected a wide range of amusing, touching and challenging readings which were matched perfectly to the talents and voices of the readers, and all was held together with some lovely music. 

    What 3 words come to mind when you think of Bury Unitarian Church?  

    Friendly; Stimulating;  Integrity

    What do you like doing in your spare time away from church?

    I retired 18 months ago after working full time (and I mean full time!) in education for the last 40 years. I still do a small amount of part time work but my work /life balance is now very much tilted in favour of ‘life’.  Every day feels like I have a smorgasbord of things to choose from:– walking, meditation, art history, football (watching, unfortunately not playing!), gardening, readers’ group, voluntary work and yoga. I’m at present involved in the ‘Save our local library’ campaign in the village where I live and I’m a governor in a local primary school.

    Anything else?

    I’ve heard that for a marriage to be successful the partners should be a ‘good fit’ on several levels; that’s how I feel about being a member of Bury Unitarian Church – it’s a good fit with my values, interests and outlook on life.( I just wish it was a bit nearer home!) .








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Bury Unitarian Church
1 Bank Street

0161 761 3785



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Charity Registration No. 1078570
Bury Unitarian Church 2016