The Open Forum: The Open Forum is a discussion group, open to all members of the congregation, which usually meets on the second Sunday of each month at 9.15am for an hour before the morning service. The original idea was a group with a didactic leaning. Subsequently, the agenda for the meetings broadened to include religious, ethical or sociological themes as a result of which we decided to change the name to the Open Forum to make it more inclusive both for participants and as regards subject matter.
Meetings are informal with typically 12 to 15 persons attending. The topic is usually agreed at the previous meeting and may be suggested by a member. After a brief introduction of the topic, possibly supported by a written briefing note, the subject is explored by the group. We do not aim to arrive at a judgement of right or wrong rather to increase understanding. There is no pressure on individuals to contribute to the discussion, though at some point most do. A wide spectrum of views is expressed and welcomed.
We describe our approach as “Education, exploration, searching for and engagine in ‘change’, learning to debate, reason and listen to and learn from each other. Exploring a range of issues to build up an ideas landscape”. Reports on the meetings are to be found in The Sign each month.
If you have a topic you would like to have discussed, bring it to the Open Forum. If you like enquiring into difficult subjects, come along and join in the discussion.