Tuesday, 14 May 2019

May meeting: Saturday 25 May

In Conversation with Miriam Levene

We are delighted to be welcoming Miriam Levene, a member and one-time chair of the Leicester Progressive Jewish Congregation—“a warm and welcoming community for Jews of all backgrounds”.

The meeting will be a relaxed conversation over topical issues linked to the Jewish community in Leicester and beyond. We will include some of the history of Neve Shalom, the community whose name means oasis of peace and is a tribute to the village near Jerusalem known as Neve Shalom/Wahat al Salam where Jewish and Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel live together to create harmony and diversity.

Miriam describes herself, among other things, as a Jewish mother, grandmother, retired speech & language therapist, sister and “hopefully a good friend”. She and her four brothers were born to parents who met in London having left Germany due to the rise of Hitler. She says her identity as a British Jew, supportive of Israel but valuing the freedom to be critical of it, is central to her. She also enjoys her voluntary work as a "faith practitioner" engaging with those of faith and none.

It promises to be one more highlight in the excellent series of recent sessions.  

Everyone welcome—existing fans, newcomers and the simply curious.  

The Garden Room at Great Meeting Chapel on Saturday 25 May 2019 2.30 - 4.30 pm

Doors open, with drinks available, from 2.00 pm

The chapel is at 5 East Bond Street, Leicester, LE1 4SX (just across the road from John Lewis). There is a small (free) car park. A donation of £4 per person covers room hire and other costs.

For more information, use the contact details on the right. We're very friendly.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

March meeting: Saturday 23 March

How can we study religion?

Dr Angela Jagger

There are many things we can do with religion. We can talk about it, for sure. Endlessly. Some people practise it. Some condemn it. But what does it mean to study religion? How do we explore more broadly and deeply while remaining focused, dispassionate and rational?

To find out we’re asking someone who knows. Dr Angela Jagger is an associate lecturer in religious studies with the Open University. She has a long-standing interest in inter-faith relations and for many years led modules in the MA programme at the St Philip’s Centre in Leicester. Her doctorate explored Christian attitudes to other faiths.

This promises to be a fascinating meeting, bringing together threads that we often touch on in discussion but rarely approach in a systematic and informed way. Prepare for insights.  

The Garden Room at Great Meeting Chapel on Saturday 23 March 2019 2.30 - 4.30 pm

Doors open, with drinks available, from 2.00 pm

The chapel is at 5 East Bond Street, Leicester, LE1 4SX (just across the road from John Lewis). There is a small (free) car park. A donation of £4 per person covers room hire and other costs.

For more information, use the contact details on the right. We're very friendly.

Friday, 4 January 2019

January meeting: Saturday 19 January 2019

An introduction to Wittgenstein

We are delighted to start our 2019 series with the welcome return of Simon Mapp, long-time Sea of Faith member and current vice chair of the board of trustees. This time Simon will be introducing us to the life and works of Ludwig Wittgenstein—a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Not many people are aware that Wittgenstein came to Manchester in 1908 to study practical aeronautics, before he turned more theoretical.

Simon promises a basic biographical introduction, with some depth on Wittgenstein’s early work, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, rather than the later Philosophical Investigations. (Just so you know where to focus if you fancy some preparatory reading.)

Should be an excellent, informative session—from propellers to positivism. Everyone welcome—existing fans, newcomers and the simply curious.  

The Garden Room at Great Meeting Chapel on Saturday 19 January 2019 2.30 - 4.30 pm

Doors open, with drinks available, from 2.00 pm

The chapel is at 5 East Bond Street, Leicester, LE1 4SX (just across the road from John Lewis). There is a small (free) car park. A donation of £4 per person covers room hire and other costs.

For more information, use the contact details on the right. We're very friendly.

Monday, 5 November 2018

November meeting: Saturday 17 November 2018

Open meeting, relaxed discussion


What a year 2018 has been. We’ve had some terrific meetings, thought-provoking speakers, fascinating discussions. Many thanks to all, and in particular to the small group of people who work behind the scenes to make it all happen. Thank you.

There are more fun and exciting explorations to come. Our final meeting of the year is an open session. Everyone is warmly invited to bring a topic that is of interest to them. It might be stimulated by a book or magazine article, a radio or tv programme, an online video or just a personal thought or memory. Share it with the group, and we’ll discuss it. Very relaxed, wide-ranging and stimulating. We can show videos, play audio and circulate articles. Or just listen and reflect.

One thing that we are highly likely to be talking about is the inter-faith walk starting at Town Hall Square that happens earlier that day. People who went last year said it was very good. See the panel on the right.

We will also be discussing our programme for 2019. Things just keep on getting better.

Everyone welcome—existing fans, newcomers and the simply curious.  

The Garden Room at Great Meeting Chapel on Saturday 17 November 2018 2.30 - 4.30 pm

Doors open, with drinks available, from 2.00 pm

The chapel is at 5 East Bond Street, Leicester, LE1 4SX (just across the road from John Lewis). There is a small (free) car park. A donation of £4 per person covers room hire and other costs.

For more information, use the contact details on the right. We're very friendly.

Monday, 10 September 2018

October meeting: Saturday 13 October 2018

How do religious figures achieve symbolic status?

As the highlight of our autumn season we are delighted to be able to welcome Dr Alan Race. He has offered the following fascinating introduction to what is sure to be an excellent and stimulating talk.

Many religions have seminal figures who stand at the origins of the movement or are incorporated into the movement. The varied claims for such figures exceed their historical origins, elevating them to a status which is revelatory of something more than their human origins.  This talk asks how that happens and whether or not the usual exclusivity attached to such processes is really necessary. Current dialogue among theologians suggests alternative ways of viewing the relationships between these figures.

Alan Race is a retired priest-theologian and has had an interest in interfaith dialogue for many years. He has published widely, and his most recent book is ‘Making Sense of Religious Pluralism’ (SPCK, 2013).

Everyone welcome—existing fans, newcomers and the simply curious.  

The Garden Room at Great Meeting Chapel on Saturday 13 October 2018 2.30 - 4.30 pm

Doors open, with drinks available, from 2.00 pm

The chapel is at 5 East Bond Street, Leicester, LE1 4SX (just across the road from John Lewis). There is a small (free) car park. A donation of £4 per person covers room hire and other costs.

For more information, use the contact details on the right. We're very friendly.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

August meeting: Saturday 18 August 2018

The necessity of hope

Without hope, there is despair. Given the choice, most of us would plump for hope. But is hope merely a complex form of self-delusion, distracting us from reason and reality? Will all really be for the best in the best of all possible worlds? Or is hope, as our title suggests, simply essential for us to survive and thrive, enabling us to act positively and change things for the better?

There’s so much for us to talk about. From literature, perhaps Emily Dickinson’s most popular poem, “Hope is the thing with feathers”, or the satire of Candide. There are our own experiences of hope and despair, and our techniques for keeping hope uppermost. And then there are all the philosophical and theological insights from the recent Sea of Faith national conference, "The necessity of Hope", which will be fresh in the minds of some of our group.

Will it be an interesting meeting?

Hope so.


Everyone welcome—existing fans, newcomers and the simply curious.  

The Garden Room at Great Meeting Chapel on Saturday 18 August 2018 2.30 - 4.30 pm

Doors open, with drinks available, from 2.00 pm

The chapel is at 5 East Bond Street, Leicester, LE1 4SX (just across the road from John Lewis). There is a small (free) car park. A donation of £4 per person covers room hire and other costs.

For more information, use the contact details on the right. We're very friendly.

Monday, 26 February 2018

March meeting: Saturday 24 March 2018

Celebranting, language & reality


“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”. From which proposition some may assume we’ll not be discussing Wittgenstein at our March meeting.

But you can never tell. It might mean something else.

We are delighted to welcome Simon Mapp as our guest speaker. A long-time Sea of Faith member and current trustee, he has kindly agreed to talk about his work as a celebrant in both religious and non-religious services. We expect that will spill over into a rich variety of other Sea of Faith and related topics.

Since Simon’s passions include the teaching of theology and philosophy in today’s world, and he lists Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault alongside Ludwig Wittgenstein as among his influences, this promises to be an excellent and varied afternoon.


Everyone welcome—existing fans, newcomers and the simply curious.  

The Garden Room at Great Meeting Chapel on Saturday 24 March 2018 2.30 - 4.30 pm

Doors open, with drinks available, from 2.00 pm

The chapel is at 5 East Bond Street, Leicester, LE1 4SX (just across the road from John Lewis). There is a small (free) car park. A donation of £4 per person covers room hire and other costs.

For more information, use the contact details on the right. We're very friendly.