Magazine Archive: The Hull Unitarian: April/ May 1995


Re: Open Theology Group January 1995

Adrian Worsfold suggests that an open, exploratory, loose, creedless theology group be formed, detached from the Unitarian name and in a public neutral place to avoid being under pressure to show commitment to the existing church group.

l understand Adrian's wish to be completely free from those traditions which tend to exclude non-Christians, and to me the Unitarian name has disadvantages when many of us have grown more pluralistic (l prefer Unitarian Universalist). However, at least until the second B.Y.O.T. [Build Your Own Theology] course is finished few have enough time/ energy to get something new up and running.

Adrian appears to confuse detachment from Unitarianism and forwarding the mission of the Unitarian Church.

The existing discussion group has only once in 8 years discussed the growth and development of the Unitarian Church. Discussion has not excluded, but has been open to a wider field than theology. It has been exploration rather than a quest for a predetermined end. To seek enlightment is Religious Education in its broadest sense.

l like to think that keeping in mind the life of the spirit has sustained the quality of our discussion.

Over recent years the Unitarian Church has transformed itself and continues to do so, embracing a wider spectrum.


[Comment from 2015] I was unaware of this letter appearing. As I told David at the time, he'd taken hold of the wrong end of the stick (which often happens when people are offered the wrong end). The proposal for a critical theology group had attracted men in particular, of which the church then had acquired a very good proportion. A number of women stalwarts took exception to this, considering it to be a new and excluding forum for planning Unitarian futures and new ideas (beyond their own fora!). To avoid this problem, beyond saying it was for everyone, and to overcome its inherent controversy (partly based around a lack of trust in me since I had been removed from Unitarian College and 'let down the church'), those of us interested thus proposed that the theology group be independent of the church and even be held in some other public space. As it was the theology group never happened as the church was rapidly overtaken by Trust Deed controversies, causing a number of those interested in the group to leave altogether and others lessen their involvements. I also learnt to limit my own contributions, eventually leaving in 2004 for nearly six years.


Adrian Worsfold

Pluralist - Liberal and Thoughtful