Greetings one and all,
I hope this finds you all well enough and I look forward to seeing some of you at the Zoom mindful meditation on Sunday morning (10am) and the time of conversation which follows (after 11am).
If you would like to join us and do not have the necessary link then please contact our Church Secretary, Brendan Boyle, via the contact page of our website. Look through the dropdown tabs to find “Secretary”:
As in all previous weeks, please feel free to be in touch at any time if you wish to talk about life, the universe, or anything else. My contact details are, as always, to be found at the end of this email.
So, as I mentioned in my piece for you last Saturday concerning the formal opening of our current church in January 1928, as far as I knew there was no organised, formal Unitarian/Socinian presence in Cambridge before 1875/6 when, as F. J. M. Stratton (1881-1960) our church’s very distinguished first chairman told the public meeting which followed the opening service, the congregation had begun to meet in the “smoky atmosphere” of a billiard room in Green Street. However, I was wholly unaware of the following, additional, claim made by Stratton in the same meeting that:
“The Unitarian Church was formed in 1680, and met in a chapel in Green Street until 1818, when the lease of the building fell in.”
Naturally, I wondered whether this were true. Fortunately, a member of the congregation, Brian Keegan, very kindly did some searching through an online archive of newspapers to which he subscribes and found two articles in the Cambridge Independent Press during 1906 which reveals Stratton was completely correct. Not only that but, as the second of the two articles will reveal, Stratton’s decision to restart the Unitarian cause in Cambridge in the “smoky atmosphere” of a billiard room in Green Street was, almost certainly, motivated by its direct connection with our earliest forebears. In doing this he ensured that there is a real physical as well as spiritual, theological and philosophical continuity between our modern congregation and this very interesting and, at times, theologically very radical, meeting house.
Anyway I’ve transcribed the two articles for you and, where possible, added hypertext links to help better reveal some of the background of various names mentioned in the text and, of course to reveal something of the noncreedal, Arminian, Socinian, Unitarian connections that abound. If you find anymore and/or better ones please let me know.
Love and best wishes as always,