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Friday, 21 March 2014

Sea of Faith Conference 2014

I have been invited to be a plenary speaker at the Annual Conference of the Sea of Faith Network being held at the University of Leicester from 18 to 20 July 2014. The Sea of Faith group has its origins in the popular television series in the 1980s and a number of subsequent books of theologian and philosopher Rev Prof Don Cupitt. The phrase has, of course, its origins in the poem of Matthew Arnold in 1867 "Dover Beach" who found an image for the decline of religion in the “melancholy, long, withdrawing roar” of the Sea of Faith. Sea of Faith as a group grew out of discussions of this work and remains at the radical edge of Christianity in Britain with supporters from many traditions, including several Unitarians.

The theme of the Conference is “Making Connections”.
“We want to explore connections of all kinds – between different faiths, between people who belong to a particular faith group and people who don’t, between religion and science, religion and politics, religion and sex, religion and music, religion and art, between young and old and many more. We have three exciting keynote speakers who all have, in their different ways, considerable experience of making connections, to lead our thinking but we will also be relying on members and guests to bring their own thoughts and experience to share. As the old musical chairmen used to say this Conference’s contributors will be “principally yourselves!”

I have been asked to deliver the opening plenary address and the closing reflection. Interestingly the other external speakers are Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society and Pippa Evans, one of the founders of the Sunday Assembly, the so-called “Atheist Church” and there will be a Sunday Assembly on the final day so it is good to see Sea of Faith reaching out.

I have experienced such wonderful insights as well as being able to have a much bigger impact than could have been imagined from making connections. I hope to talk about how new thinking about networks influence how change happens.

The conference is open to all and I hope that some Unitarians and Free Christians will attend as we have much to give and, of course, to learn.

Information on the Conference and how to book is available on the Sea of Faith website

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