The Annual Asparagus Lunch and Service of Worship, organised by the Warwickshire & Neighbouring Counties Monthly Meeting of Protestant Dissenting Ministers, took place at Oat Street Chapel on 9th May. 40 Unitarians from across the Midlands came together for this joyous occasion. After meeting for refeshments in the Gatehouse, we proceeded to the Chapel, where Rev. Jeffrey Bowes led the Annual Service of Worship, on the theme of the distinctive unity of Unitarianism.
Then we went back to the Gatehouse, where a wonderful meal awaited us. Starting with grace, led by Rev. Don Phillips of the Cotswold Group, we shared a melon and grape cocktail for starters, a choice of Chicken Princess with white wine & asparagus sauce or Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto for main course, and fresh fruit salad or cheese and biscuits for dessert.
Then Mrs. Lis Dyson-Jones, President of the General Assembly of Unitarian & Free Christian Churches brought us greetings from Essex Hall, and proposed the traditional toast to “Civil and Religious Liberty the World Over.” She mentioned John Bowring, who was Foreign Secretary of the British & Foreign Unitarian Association until 1832, and later Governor of Hong Kong. She was thanked by Rev. Peter Hewis.
There followed various votes of thanks and toasts: to the Ministers’ Meeting (by Sandy Ellis of Oat Street Chapel), to Oat Street Chapel (by Sue Woolley), to the Preacher and Organist (Revs. Jeffrey Bowes and Ant Howe) by Rev. Peter Godfrey, and to the Caterers by Kath Forder. We then finished the day with coffee and mints.