We're part of the international Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist movement. Unitarians have no hierarchical organisation; the authority rests with the individual congregation. We're self-governing: we own our own buildings and fund all our operational costs.
As a representative democracy, the congregation has ultimate authority over its own direction and leadership. The congregation elects an Executive Committee and 'calls' its Minister - a choice made by super-majority vote for an indefinite term of service. The congregation also has the exclusive power to remove a Minister
We have two buildings, each of which was formerly an independent congregation: Newington Green Unitarian Chapel and Unity Church Islington. In 2014, the congregation voted to legally merge these two independent institutions into one Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
The Minister leads our programmatic and day-to-day operations. As head of staff, the Minister supervises those with responsibility for facilities, admin, routine finance, communications, space hires, and music. The Minister also works closely with a variety of volunteer leaders, including members of the Executive Committee
The Trustees are the elected volunteer leadership of the congregation. They include the Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and several at-large members. Their primary roles relate to finance, policy, staff, buildings, and long-term strategy.
Our teams are groups of volunteers that take on a particular area of responsibility for the congregation and/or the wider community: the Sunday Gatherings Team, Pastoral Care Team, Cohesion & Welcoming Team, and Social Justice Team. This work is grounded in relationship and depth within the team. All team members can contribute, connect, and grow. If you're interested in joining a team, please contact the Minister. He'll be happy to work with you to identify which team best suits your strengths and needs.
We welcome new initiatives that align with our values and mission. If you have an idea for a new team or activity, and you have at least one other person committed to helping with the project, then please talk to the Minister. He can help you to get your idea up and running.
We rely on our own fundraising to pay staff, maintain buildings, and pay for the equipment and many supplies needed to create and maintain a vital congregation. Our annual budget is around £100K. Our funds come from two sources: hires of our buildings and individual donations.
Our members currently fund around one third of our costs. On average, each member makes an annual pledge of around £300 (although individual pledges range from £5 to £2K). Everyone who makes a pledge and is in sympathy with our ethos automatically becomes a member. Annual pledges need to be made by the beginning of each financial year (6 April). Newcomers are encouraged to pledge whenever they feel ready. They can pledge for the remainder of the current year and then join the annual schedule the following April. Members are entitled to vote and hold office. They also receive discounts on certain activities, and when they hire our buildings for private events.