Many people experience difficulty with all the jargon and acronyms we use. This is particularly true with the Annual Meetings schedule, where there is not enough space to fit the full name of many groups. This Glossary of terms in common use in our Meetings is one step to encourage everyone to take full part in the Meetings. This list is by no means complete and we welcome additions and corrections.
Anniversary Service An annual worship service held at the Meetings, likely the largest Unitarian worship service in the UK. It is believed that it marks the Anniversary of the foundation of the B&FUA (the first organised Unitarian national association), which held an Anniversary Service at its yearly general meeting in May.
B&FUA British and Foreign Unitarian Association, Inc (founded 1825), its main function is to act as Custodian Trustee for the GA and various Unitarian Trusts and churches. It manages a pooled investment portfolio for the Trusts for which it is a sole Trustee.
BUYAN British (and Irish) Unitarian Young Adult Network – a Unitarian young adult group. See their website.
Earth-Spirit Network A group of people whose spirituality is centred on a spiritual connection to nature rather than particular revelation. See their website.
EC The Executive Committee – The elected trustee body, successor to GA Council.
ECU East Cheshire Union (District). See their website.
Essex Hall A building in London owned by the Essex Hall Trust, built on the site of the first church called Unitarian in Britain (in 1774) and housing the administrative offices of the General Assembly – sometimes also used to refer to our Headquarters and Staff.
EU Eastern Union (GA District). See their website.
FOY The Foy Society – founded in 1924 as FOY (Fellowship of Youth) the Foy Society is a fellowship of men and women who, in a spirit of free enquiry, seek to understand the nature of present day issues and problems, political, social and religious. People of all ages are welcome to join – currently the youngest member is a teenager and the oldest are in their nineties! See their website.
GA General Assembly – used in two senses (1) the collection of congregations which comprise the denomination; (2) the annual gathering of representatives of these congregations and other Unitarian bodies (from North American usage).
GA Zette The daily news sheet produced at the Annual Meetings, without which it can be hard to keep abreast of issues and personalities.
Great Hucklow Derbyshire village containing the Nightingale Centre. This residential centre is the focus for many events for churches, districts and special interest groups and also the base for the National Youth Programme. The Centre is often affectionately known as “Hucklow”. See their website.
IARF International Association for Religious Freedom, an interfaith organisation started in 1900 primarily by Unitarians; membership includes Unitarian national organisations as well as “liberal” movements from almost every world faith. A ‘Congress’ is held every three years. See their website.
ICUU International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, the international organisation for national Unitarian and Universalist bodies. See their website.
Inquirer, The Denominational fortnightly newspaper — subscribe to it! See their website.
IRF International Religious Fellowship – an international (primarily European) young adult group with links to the IARF.
JRB Lecture John Relly Beard Lecture – John Relly Beard (1800-1876) was a Unitarian Minister as well as being a writer of popular educational books. He helped change the nature and thrust of the Unitarian ministry by founding in 1854 (with William Gaskell) what is now the Unitarian College Manchester and was its first Principal. The presence of the college enabled ministers to be trained in a new way and in larger numbers which enabled the Unitarian message to be more widely preached throughout the country. The Ministerial Fellowship mounts a lecture each year at the start of the GA Annual Meetings on a topic of their choice in his honour.
LDPA London District & South Eastern Provincial Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches (Inc), (GA District). See their website.
LLSG Local Leadership Strategy Group – Please see the GA Website ‘How We Work’ section for more information.
MCO Manchester College Oxford, now officially called Harris Manchester College – one of the main training centres for Unitarian Ministers in Britain. See their website.
MDA Manchester District Association (GA District). See their website.
MDMA Merseyside District Missionary Association (GA District). See their website.
MPF Ministers Pension Fund.
MSG Ministry Strategy Group – Please see the GA Website ‘How We Work’ section for more information.
NELUM North & East Lancashire Unitarian Mission (GA District).
Nightingale Centre The working name for the Unitarian Holiday & Conference Centre at Great Hucklow. See their website.
NSPCI Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church in Ireland, a separate church in its own right with historic close links with the General Assembly. See their website.
NUA Northern Unitarian Association (GA District).
NUF National Unitarian Fellowship, a religious organisation that attempts to provide contact, church services and fellowship for those isolated, geographically or otherwise, from a local Unitarian Church. See their website.
Provincial Assembly The Provincial Assembly of Presbyterian and Unitarian Ministers and Congregations of Lancashire and Cheshire (An Affiliated Society, not a District). See their website.
SUA Scottish Unitarian Association or Southern Unitarian Association (GA Districts). See their website.
UALM Unitarian Association of Lay Ministry – The organisation bringing together those who exercise “spiritual” leadership with our churches who do not qualify as ministers or lay pastors (formerly known as the Unitarian Association of Lay Leaders, UALL). See their website.
UCA Unitarian Christian Association. See their website.
UCCN Unitarian Communication Coordinators’ Network. See their website.
UCM Unitarian College Manchester – one of the main training centres for British Unitarian Ministers. See their website.
UMF Unitarian Millennium Fund – a denominational fundraising project which closed in the year 2001. A small fund remains, administered by the Executive Committee. (Formerly these initials were used by many for the Unitarian Ministerial Fellowship)
Unitarian, The Monthly Unitarian news booklet published by the Manchester District. See their website.
URG Unitarian Renewal Group – a “ginger” group that promotes inclusivity and tolerance of diversity in Unitarian congregations.
USPS Unitarian Society for Psychical Studies (often referred to as ‘The Psychical Society’). See their website.
UUA Unitarian Universalist Association – The national organisation for Unitarians in the USA, with close links to the Canadian Unitarian Council (though now separate). See their website.
UWG Unitarian Women’s Group. See their website.
VSG Visibility Strategy Group – Please see the GA Website ‘How We Work’ section for more information.
WL Women’s League. See their website.
YUU Yorkshire Union of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches (GA District). See their website.