Lewisham Unitarians go back to the 1890s, 1896, in fact, when the first congregation was formed. We moved to our current home at 41, Bromley Road, Catford, in 1968, after selling the former chapel at Sion House, and we have been here ever since — in a detached Edwardian house set back from the road in a quiet, tree-filled, rambling garden.
Since 1968 we have hosted several remarkable and talented ministers, one of whom, Rev. Ashely Hills, still lives locally. In the last several years our two most recent ministers, Rev. John Carter, followed by Rev. Kate Dean, campaigned for for equal LGBTQI rights. In 2013 we voted unanimously to support same sex weddings and in 2014 we became the first place of worship to be granted a license to conduct same sex wedding ceremonies in the borough of Lewisham.
We are a small diverse community with talents ranging from bespoke carpentry to landscape gardening and music. As we gather at a new point on our travels we are looking out towards a changing world in Lewisham/Catford, as the borough is on the verge of change and we are thinking again about what our mission now is. We know that we are here to work together for our local community, and the wider community in which we live.
In 2017 we appointed our current minister Rev. Claire MacDonald. With Claire we are focusing on renewing our space and our garden, creating a hub for hosting community projects and events, in a garden that we are digging over and replanting to offer space for community gardening and learning through growing.
In April 2018 we planted a peace pole in our front garden, and around it we are making a yin yang symbol that can be seen from the sky (as well as Bromley Road). It’s a symbol of balance and a welcoming of difference, and, with our peace pole, it reminds us that we too are committed to peace and well-being, and that our garden and our home base are part of our spiritual life as we make a retreat in the city for reflection and rechargin