Sea of Faith Conferences


Sea of Faith National Conference 2018

The next UK National Sea of Faith Conference will be on 24 - 26 July 2018 at Leicester University

Speakers and topics will appear here when confirmed


New Zealand Sea of Faith National Conference 2017

Monday 6th November to Wednesday 8th November 2017, Silverstream

"Reformation 2.0, Luther lit a fuse, what happens next?"

Speakers: Lloyd Geering, Rachel Kohn, Sue Bradford and Hal Taussig

It is 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg.
What are the reforming initiatives today?
What needs to be discarded, challenged, or radically renewed?

Click on this link for further details and registration form


Sea of Faith National Conference 2017

Tuesday 25th July to Thursday 27th July 2017, Leicester University

"BEING HUMAN"

The speakers were: Abby Day, Dilwar Hussain and Richy Thompson

Can our feelings of compassion, empathy, ethics, mortality, survive in the face of the increasing and seemingly dehumanising pressures and demands of the IT age?

Click on this link for further details.

Transcripts of the main talks have been published in the September issue of our 'sofia' magazine


Sea of Faith London Conference 2017

'In the Beginning was the Word' - Religion as Poetry and Story?

Saturday 25th March 2017

St John's Church, Waterloo Road, London SE1 8TY

Main Speakers were:

Mark Oakley: Canon-Chancellor, St Paul's Cathedral


"Believing in Poetry"

Dinah Livingstone: editor, 'sofia' magazine

"Shining - Poetry and Theology as Sister Arts"

Salley Vickers: novelist and poet

"Connections between Art, Literature, Psychology and Religion."

Salley Vicker's talk was repeated at Westminster Abbey, Thursday 11 May 6.30pm as the 32nd Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture: "Faith and Imagination"

A Conference DVD recording is now available from Chris Avis. For details on how to purchase, click on this link.

Transcripts of Mark Oakley's and Dinah Livingstone's talks were published in the last issue (no. 124) of 'sofia' magazine
Salley Vicker's talk will be published in 'sofia' issue no 126


National UK Conference 2016

Thursday 21st July - 23rd July 2016, Leicester University

'Religion - Where Next?'

Speakers included:

Doctor John Breadon, Assistant Chaplain at Eton College

"I was religious but now I'm..."

Professor Denise Cush, Professor of Religion and Education, Bath Spa University

"I'm not religious but..."

The Reverend Andrew Brown, Minister of the Unitarian Memorial Church, Cambridge

"The freedom to be tomorrow what we are not today"

Conference Transcripts Now Available

Professor Cush's and Doctor Breadon's transcripts are now available in the September Sofia magazine

Andrew Brown's transcript is on his personal blog


SoFiC Day Conference 2015

Sea of Faith in the Churches (SoFiC) is a special interest group within the Sea of Faith Network that explores the interface between church and SoF, and is open to anyone who is interested.
It provides a meeting place for those SOF members (and their friends) who find themselves in the midst, or hovering on the edge, of the Christian Church

This was held on Saturday 10 October 10 2015 Kensington Unitarians' Essex Church, London W8 4RT

'Church Going Forward'

The main speaker was the Revd Meg Burton

(Hospital chaplaincy has changed beyond recognition since last century. Revd Meg Burton, long-time hospital chaplain and co-editor of the international Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy has been in the vanguard of these developments and will describe for us the current model. Meg was the chaplain member of the working group that, in response to concerns about the Liverpool Care Pathway, devised new protocols for end-of-life care, and she will tell us about the considerations underlying these.)

Click this link for full Conference details


Sea of Faith Network (New Zealand) Conference 2015

Friday 2 October to Sunday 4 October 2015

Subject: 'On the Brink? Responding to an Uncertain Future'

Speakers included: Lloyd Geering, Anjum Rahman, Kennedy Graham, Rod Oram

Click this link for full Conference details


28th ANNUAL UK CONFERENCE 2015

THURSDAY 23RD JULY - SATURDAY 25TH JULY 2015

Venue: the University of Leicester

Subject: 'Out of Our Minds. What Can We Offer Towards a Healthier World?'

Speakers included (click the following link for more detail):

David Boulton, author, journalist and broadcaster; and Andy Pakula, non-theistic Unitarian minister.

A recording of this Conference (CDs and a DVD of highlights) is now available from Chris Avis. Chris's contact details.


Gretta Vosper weekend conference: With or Without God

A joint 'PCN Britain' and 'Sea of Faith' Event

This conference was held Friday 26 September 2014 - Sunday 28 September 2014, Oxford

What do we mean by God and is the word past its use-by date? What would a post-theistic church be for?

These are the questions that Gretta Vosper will be considering at this conference. She will be assisted by her husband, Scott Kearns, whose speciality is post-theist words and songs.

Click this link for full details of the Conference


Gretta Vosper lecture: Christianity With or Without God

A recording of this Lecture (a DVD) is now available from Chris Avis. Click here for contact details.

A 'Progressive Christianity Network' Event

This event was on Wednesday 24 September 2014, London

Has the word 'God' got so much baggage we should abandon it? Would Christianity be any the worse if we did?

Gretta Vosper is an influential Canadian minister and author. She re-envisages Christianity from a post-theist point of view.

Click this link for full details


ANNUAL UK CONFERENCE 2014

FRIDAY 18TH JULY - SUNDAY 21ST JULY 2014

Venue: the University of Leicester

Subject: MAKING CONNECTIONS

A recording of this Conference (CDs and a DVD of highlights) is now available from Chris Avis

The keynote speakers were:

Derek McAuley, Chief Officer of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches.

He takes the view that "Unitarianism and Free Christianity, from its position on the boundary, can be a bridge between people of different faiths and none"

Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society (NSS).

Keith has been described as "a radical activist in a business suit". He has raised the campaigning profile of the NSS both nationally and internationally. Keith has a great deal to contribute on "making connections" because he moves on a daily basis from intervening against the Christian Institute in the European Court of Human Rights to campaigning with them against measures restricting free speech.

Pippa Evans, comedian and co-founder of the Sunday Assemblies.

Pippa worked with us to develop a "Sunday Assembly" to conclude the 2014 Conference.


Sea of Faith London Conference 2013

“Secular Religion?”

Saturday 21st September 2013

Main Speakers were: Stephen Batchelor; Don Cupitt; Richard Holloway

4 DVD Video Recordings of this Conference are now available: £12 by PayPal, credit card or cheque (payable to Chris Avis, not Sea of Faith).

See ordering details

Transcripts of all talks from this sell-out Conference

A personal view from Dinah Livingstone, our Sofia magazine editor (Christmas no.110); see her editorial

Click this link for full details of the London UK 2013: Secular Religion? Conference.


United Kingdom Sea of Faith National Conference 2013

A recording of the Conference is now available from Chris Avis. See ordering details

23 – 25 July 2013 at the University of Leicester

“For the Common Good”

The title 'For the Common Good' invited us to look beyond humanly created religions and ideologies to shared ethics and action.

Professor Tim Jackson, a British ecological economist and Professor of Sustainable Development, University of Surrey

Alom Shaha, author of 'The Young Atheist's Handbook'

Chris Howson, author of 'A Just Church' and Anglican Chaplain to the University of Sunderland

Edited transcripts of these talks can be found in Sofia magazine (September no.109)


Sea of Faith Oxford Conference 2012

Saturday 10 November 2012
“Education in Good Faith?”
Friends' Meeting House, Oxford

Do Free Schools, Academies and Faith Schools offer to help, or to hinder the development of children's life-skills for a just, open and free society?

To read a comprehensive report of the conference, click this link:

EDUCATION-IN GOOD FAITH?

To download this Report in PDF form, click the following link:

EDUCATION-IN GOOD FAITH? PDF document


United Kingdom Sea of Faith National Conference 2012

Friday 13 – Sunday 15 July 2012 at the University of Leicester

“Work and Worth”

The subject of this year’s conference was 'Work and Worth'.

Conference Speakers:

Don Cupitt, Emmanuel College, Cambridge

Professor Femi Oyebode
(Professor of Psychiatry , University of Birmingham)

Professor Harriet Bradley (Professor of Sociology, University of Bristol)

Martin Morgan , Consultant Occupational Therapist

Tony Windross, Vicar, Hythe, Kent; author of The Thoughtful Guide to Faith

Edited transcripts of these talks can be found in Sofia magazine (September no.105)


SoFiC Day Conference 2012

Sea of Faith in the Churches (SoFiC) is a special interest group within the Sea of Faith Network that explores the interface between church and SoF, and is open to anyone who is interested.
It provides a meeting place for those SOF members (and their friends) who find themselves in the midst of, or hovering on the edge of, the Christian Church

This was held on Saturday 10 March 2012 Kensington Unitarians' Essex Church, London W8 4RT

BEING CHURCH - on a rising tide?

Brian Mountford, Vicar, University Church, Oxford; Fellow, St Hilda's College; author of Christian Atheist: Belonging without Believing

Tony Windross, Vicar, Hythe, Kent; author of The Thoughtful Guide to Faith

Richard Hall, former Curate, Holy Trinity, Eastbourne; emeritus Head of Religion, King Edward VI School, Southampton.

Click this link for full Conference details

Edited transcripts of these talks can be found in Sofia magazine (June no. 104)


2011 Conference Audio Recordings

Audio Recordings of the 2011 Annual Conference ('Brain, Belief and Behaviour') and the 2011 London Conference ('Lust for Certainty') are now available from Chris Avis. Purchasing details

Edited transcripts of three talks can be downloaded from the following links:


Sea of Faith Banbury Day Conference 2011

Saturday 26 November 2011
“In Conversation with Tony Windross” Making Religion Accessible

This one-day seminar was led by Tony Windross, author of the book The Thoughtful Guide to Faith and the Why Bother? leaflets. It was organised by the North Oxfordshire local Sea of Faith group


Sea of Faith Oxford Conference 2011

Saturday 19 November 2011
“Reinventing Religion”
Friends' Meeting House, 43 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LW

Our principal speakers were Don Cupitt, Katy Jennison and Mohammad Talib

Read a short piece by Katy Jennison 'Invented Gods'

Then read Katy's talk at the Conference 'Reinventing Religion: the Neo-Pagan Experience'


Sea of Faith National Conference 2011

Friday 22 – Sunday 24 July 2011
University of Leicester
“Brain, Belief and Behaviour”

The subject of this year’s conference was religion and psychology, getting to the heart of our understanding and appreciation of religion as a human creation, the evolution of our brains, and our behaviour as the earth’s most intelligent species.

Our principal speakers were:

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