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We provide a focus for liberal religious worship and reflection and a centre of fellowship for people of religious sentiment.

Bury Unitarian Church



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Congregation Members Profiles




Vera Stephenson

I was baptised and brought up at Chesham Church where I was awarded prizes for regular attendance at morning and afternoon Sunday School. I attended Chesham Junior School and East Ward Secondary School where I was in the first group to stay at school until the age of fifteen.

I’d always wanted to be a nurse, but realised I was not tall enough for general nursing so decided to opt for children’s nursing.  At 19 I went on holiday to London to stay with my aunt. Whilst there I visited Tite Street Children’s Hospital in Chelsea and was seen by the Assistant Matron. She commented that I was not very tall, but then added nor was she, and invited me to start in the Preliminary Training School.

On my arrival at the hospital I was greeted by the Matron with the words “If I’d interviewed you, I would not have started you – you’re too small, but you are here now so go to the sewing room and collect your uniform and join the other nurses!”

4 nurses from Tite Street joined 40 from St George’s at the nursing school in Earls Court. Our salary was 200 a year with 100 deducted for board and lodgings. We queued up on Monday mornings for our weekly ration of lb sugar in a cocoa tin, 2oz butter and 4oz margarine.

I enjoyed working at Earls Court except for my time on the medical ward. It was very strict and I was terrified of the sister, who insisted on no first names and definitely no chatting.

I came home for Christmas and didn’t want to go back. However, I was told to go back and see the Matron. On the way I called at my aunt’s who suggested that I might like to be a nanny. I became a nanny to 3 little girls and lived in Colchester for a while. To pay my way while I was waiting to start, I cleared tables in Joe Lyons tea shop in Trafalgar Square, which I didn’t enjoy very much at all.

After 3 years I returned home and worked at Kendal Milnes in the gifts department. We were a very busy department as we were located in the prime spot on the ground floor near the lifts. We served many stars of the day who were appearing at the Opera House such as Sally Ann Howes of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fame. Judith Chalmers was also a regular customer. I worked there until I married and was expecting my first child.  I finished my working life at Bury Public Library in the schools’ section.

I have always enjoyed working with children and young people from the days when I was Tawny Owl with the Brownies at Chesham. I was involved with Junior Church from the opening of the new Bury church in 1974, helping with the group for younger teenagers, and then with the younger children in the primary section for another 10 years. I also stapled the Calendar for 24 years! Fortunately I still have some fingers left as I enjoy knitting for my 6 great grandchildren!






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Bury Unitarian Church
1 Bank Street

0161 761 3785



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Charity Registration No. 1078570
Bury Unitarian Church 2016