Sea of Faith London Day Conference 2020

While this conference is organised by the Sea of Faith it is not an exclusively Sea of Faith event. Speakers do not necessarily endorse a Sea of Faith line on any subject and we attract attendance from a wide range of backgrounds to these events - both religious and non-religious.

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

Sea of Faith is a registered charity, no. 1113177

Saturday 25th March at St John‘s Church, Waterloo, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Don Cupitt

Don Cupitt is an English philosopher of religion and scholar of Christian theology. He has been an Anglican priest and a lecturer of the University of Cambridge. He is now a Life Fellow of Emmanuel College and is known as a prolific writer, broadcaster and commentator.

His latest book is The Last Testament

Richard Holloway

was Bishop of Edinburgh from 1986 and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church from 1992 until 2000 and is now regarded as one of the most outspoken and controversial figures in the Church, having taken an agnostic worldview, commenting widely on issues concerning religious belief in the modern world. His own theological position has become increasingly radical and he has recently described himself as an "after-religionist".

His best-selling autobiography is called Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt

Stephen Batchelor

Stephen Batchelor is a British author, teacher, and scholar, writing books and articles on Buddhist topics and leading meditation retreats throughout the world. He is a noted proponent of agnostic or secular Buddhism. Stephen engages in a critical exploration of Buddhism's role in the modern world, which has earned him both con- demnation as a heretic and praise as a reformer.

His recent memoir is titled Confession of a Buddhist Atheist.

The Conference

Secular Religion: an oxymoron or the future?

Is the definition of ‘secular’ ‘that which is not religion’?

Is the definition of ‘religion’ that which is not secular?

Is ‘secular religion’ a contradiction of terms, an oxymoron; or is there a definition or re-definition of ‘secular religion’ that makes the phrase useful in describing an attitude, outlook, or way of life, that is relevant in today’s godless society?

Can one be a Buddhist and not believe in karma and re-incarnation?

Can one be a Christian and not believe that Jesus is God and our Saviour; not believe in heaven, life after death, or God?

Can one be a secular monk, priest, or bishop?

Is our plenary session panel a trinity of heretics, or an aggregate of insight and wisdom?

How can we positively and practically re-define religion (if necessary) to be satisfying, life-enhancing and valuable?

Is it necessary to conserve the form, or substance, or both of traditional religion?

If not, what form or substance could replace or progress tradi-tional religion

Our world-famous trio of authors and speakers will stimulate and challenge you!

The Venue

St John‘s Waterloo, Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8TY

St John‘s Church is situated in Waterloo Road at the south end of Waterloo Bridge and adjacent to IMAX cinema. It is opposite Waterloo Station (BR main line and Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee Underground lines).

You will find a map here.

Coming by Jubilee Line follow the Way Out sign for Waterloo NOT South Bank. At exit turn left onto Waterloo Road. Coming by Bakerloo or Northern Line follow Way Out sign for Trains NOT South Bank. You exit onto Main Line Station from where you take Exit 2 to Waterloo Road.

Buses 1, 4, 26, 59, 68, 77, 139, 168, 171, 172, 188 and 381 stop nearby.

There are no parking facilities at St John‘s.


Coffee and tea will be provided during registration and the afternoon break.


You may bring your own packed lunch and drink. There are a number of cafes and pubs in the area where lunch can be bought.

Further information

Email us, use the contact form or phone 020 8422 1591

The Speakers -