Sea of Faith, Yorkshire


Pluralist Speaks: The Talk Talked

Pluralist Speaks: The Talk Talked

Adrian Worsfold's Sociology of Progressive Religious Groups

Adrian's full talk can be viewed at

Apologies to anyone who arrived at Bradford Central Library yesterday to find that Reception knew nothing of our meeting. Luckily we were able to provide evidence of our booking, and eventually a meeting room and urn (hot water variety) were found for us. We hovered in Reception to gather in any lost souls, but we do know that two people fully intending to come did not find us (perversely, Reception had kept a record of the enquiries that morning).

I hope not too many people are lost to Sea of Faith in this way, but my guess is that the rapid turnover of temporary staff in large public-sector venues leads to poor communication and poor service of this kind. We shall have to do much more work at this sort of venue ourselves, doing many checks in advance and arriving very early, or find a different kind of venue. We hope to be able to use a chapel in Wakefield next year, very near Westgate railway station.

After all the fuss, we finally settled down to an excellent talk from Adrian Worsfold. If you missed it, or are just curious, you can read it at Adrian achieved the mammoth task of mapping out the liberal religious groups like Sea of Faith, Progressive Christianity Network, Modern Churchpeople's Union, etc. and also the liberal wings and sects within denominations, and apply theory from sociology to suggest why they don't join forces and are unlikely to do so in future.

Although Adrian had to endure travel for about three hours to Bradford and back, not to mention the chaotic fuss at the start of the session, he felt he had some benefit in discussion with a group who, he said, knew what he was talking about. His paper could be the start of a very interesting book, and we hope he is able (and encouraged) to continue this piece of work.