Record of meeting, 19 August 2009

We met on 19 August at David Lambourn’s house. Present were David Belcher, John Challenor, Sara Clethero, Stephen Cox (welcome!), Paul Graham, George Gregg, David Lambourn, Simon Mapp, Andrew Teverson and Stephen Williams, with apologies from Andrew Homer and John Howard.

As agreed, those of us who had attended the national SoF conference last month offered our various, generally positive feedback of the event (including some of the different workshops we had attended). It led on to a wider discussion about science and religion, developing a number of themes from the conference. We spent some time on different ways of understanding “belief in God” and were pointed to the book How to Know God by Dipak Chopra. We are expecting the main talks from the conference to be reproduced in the next edition of Sofia which can be shared at our next meeting.

David Belcher reminded us of the regional conference on 12 September. Details have already gone to those on Email; we liked the new title with the emphasis on stories and narratives (as we found at our last meeting, the Faiths/Beliefs distinction is quite confusing!).

We went on to look at future arrangements for meetings of this group. Stephen Williams pointed out that he had been convening the group for over five years. For much of that time, the group had been quite small with just 4/5 regular members and we had developed ways of doing business that suited that size of meeting. We are now rather larger and everything to do with the meetings, the content of our programme, time and venue, minutes, catering etc, should be up for review. We discussed some of these issues and will return to them at our next meeting. Stephen also gave notice that he would like to pass the convenorship on to someone else. As part of the project of moving the group forward this would be a good opportunity for someone with a different slant to take over the role; also, now that Stephen is a trustee and national treasurer, it seems better not to have too much concentrated in one person. (As a precursor to a change of convenor and so as not to set up expectations for a successor, Stephen will no longer aim to provide such a detailed write-up of our meetings).

As well as a further discussion on our future programme, we will also spend time at our next meeting on feedback from the regional conference. As previously arranged, that meeting will be on Wednesday 7 October 2009 at 1930 at David Lambourn’s house, 28 Frederick Road, Edgbaston.

The meeting after that will be on Wednesday 11 November when we will discuss Don Cupitt’s latest book Jesus and Philosophy. (Hopefully most of us will have had the opportunity to acquire or share a copy before then).