Nontheist Quakers: Annual Residential Conference 2019

woodbrookeNontheist Friends Network Annual Conference 2019 was held at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, Birmingham from
29th – 31st March 2019.
An open conference and this year in particular, in considering diversity, we wanted to emphasise the participatory nature of our Gathering and small group explorations.

A first reflection on the conference can be found here.

A fuller report to be found here.

Unity, Diversity, Boundaries
An exploration in small groups stimulated by keynote speakers:
Our explorations and discussions led by 3 well known speakers covering the diversity and wide spectrum of different views amongst Quakers in Britain today:

Marisa Johnson (FWCC-EMES) – Marisa Johnson is secretary of FWCC EMES, a role that has allowed her to engage, at first reluctantly, but eventually with passion and conviction, the vast diversity of culture, theology and practice within the Quaker World Community. She will draw on this experience to help us appreciate the gift of our differences within our own Quaker community.
Tony Philpott (Quaker Universalist Group) – Tony Philpott’s academic background is in geography, religious studies and education. Geography taught him the ‘models’ approach in the philosophy of science, and education emphasized the importance of psychology and sociology in explaining human behaviour. Tony incorporated these ideas in his 2013 book ‘From Christian to Quaker’. Tony became a Quaker member when he retired from being a headteacher at the end of 2003. He is at present Clerk of the Quaker Universalist Group.
Hugh Rock (NFN) – Hugh Rock has been a student of religion since retiring from business in 2007. He has a special interest in Quaker Faith and has published a number of articles on the subject in Friends Quarterly, Quaker Studies and other religious journals. Also see the rest of this website including this.

  • Can there be unity in diversity?
  • Are there boundaries to diversity?

These are amongst the questions which will be considered at this year’s gathering.

Rising prices at Woodbrooke mean that this year’s conference (2019) will now  be charged at a cost of £250 per participant. (And unfortunately we are not able to repeat last year’s considerable subsidy).  We believe however that a further opportunity to consider serious spiritual questions in Woodbrooke’s delightful location (not to mention the catering) is something not to be missed.

Our aim: to explore theological and spiritual diversity, and their practical implications, in respectful acceptance of different views, experiences and journeys.

Enquiries, full details, and application forms – contact: Hugh Rock:
email: hugh_rock(at)!Replace (at) with usual @ symbol!!). 07500 914440

2019 NFN Conference BOOKING FORM (Word.doc) (Send to Hugh Rock, address as on Form – NOT to Woodbrooke!)
2019 NFN conference BOOKING FORM (pdf)
(NB. Conference ends on Sunday 31st March, but Friends MAY be able to book B&B accommodation direct with Woodbrooke for Sunday night if they wish)

This, the eighth conference organised by the Nontheist Friends Network, will include opportunities to share and learn about aspects of its work – a forum for Friends who view religion as a human creation.

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