This Sunday I visited the Kensington Unitarian Church for the first time. The church is a stone’s throw from Kensington Palace, so I followed up my visit with a very nice walk though Hyde Park, also for the first time.
There was a very warm and friendly welcome to the Unitarian Church which was far bigger than any Unitarian congregation I have been to previously. Compared to the congregations I am more familiar with (Cambridge, Portsmouth, and Southampton) Kensington’s less traditional aesthetic, the American expats, and the semi-in-the-round layout creates an atmosphere unlike what I have experienced to date; perhaps more akin to UU congregations, at least as I would imagine them.
The collaboratively lay-led service’s theme was ‘Sabbath’ – “Most of the things we need to be most fully alive never come in busyness. They grow in rest” (Mark Buchanan). The address began with the roots of the Jewish day of rest, then looked at different examples of Sabbath-esque days in other religions and cultures, finally concluding with a reflection upon how we might incorporate a ‘Sabbath’ into our own lives.
We were asked to reflect on questions such as: ‘Where would or does your inspiration come from: Which source or combination of sources? Spiritual? Religious? Literature? Other forms of media?’