What links American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and radical scientist Joseph Priestley, with novelist and biographer Mrs Gaskell? It is that all these people were Unitarians.
In 1774 a former Vicar, who had left the Church of England, opened
In Pennard after the war a small meeting-house was built in
Unitarians differ from various Christian denominations in that they do not recognise Christ Jesus as being God the Son, co-equal with God the Father and with God the Holy Spirit. The term “Trinity” does not occur in the Bible, being a human attempt to describe God, but Unitarians do not recognise the Trinity, and would deny Christ’s deity and pre-existence prior to his birth in Bethlehem. During the nineteenth century Christian ministers who opposed Unitarianism included the Welsh Methodist and hymn writer William Williams (Pantycelyn), Peter Williams, who translated “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah” into English, Welsh Baptist Joseph “Gomer” Harris (of Capel Gomer), and Christmas Evans, who is buried in Swansea’s Bethesda Chapel.
Unitarians do not impose creeds or specific beliefs, but welcome people with open minds who share their tolerant and inclusive views. They conduct naming ceremonies and weddings for people of any faith or none, and welcome those planning a second marriage. At times Unitarians have been persecuted – as have Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, Quakers and others. The term “Christian” can be loosely used to mean a gentleman or a respectable person, whereas it should mean a follower of Christ Jesus. For example, to state that Nick Clegg MP is not a Christian is not to denigrate him or to cast aspersions on his integrity, but merely to state a fact - he is an atheist. Similarly Unitarians are not Christians, which does not preclude their campaigning for such issues as the abolition of slavery and for gender equality. They support equality of respect and opportunity foreveryone.