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Unitarian to give longest ever sermon

26 July 2012

A UNITARIAN will ascend the pulpit on Sunday and attempt to deliver the world's longest sermon.

James Barry, an IT professional who has been a Unitarian for nearly 20 years, will stand up to preach at Ditchling Unitarian Chapel, in East Sussex, at midday. To break the world record, he will need to preach for more than 30 hours and eight minutes.

Guinness World Records does not distinguish between sermons and other kinds of talks; so Mr Barry's would be the longest talk of any kind, ever.

His sermon will be broadcast on the internet, and viewers are invited to send in questions, to which he will respond during the sermon. The Guinness regulations stipulate, however, that he can only take a limited number of questions. They also state that the sermon must not be read, although notes can be used; Mr Barry must not repeat himself; and a minimum of ten people must be present.

Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Barry said that during the sermon he intends to talk about significant events in his life, such as being rescued three times by the emergency services. Every hour, he will talk about an aspect of Unitarianism.

Mr Barry said that he intends to "to go as long as I can" because "a lot of people have sponsored me by the hour". The money raised from the world-record attempt will be split between the Ditchling Unitarian Chapel, the Unitarian youth programme, and a Unitarian outreach project for disadvantaged children in Derbyshire.

Mr Barry said that he hoped that the attempt would also raise the profile of Unitarianism.

The sermon, which begins at midday on Sunday, can be viewed at www.unitarians.org.uk/tv

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