Fellowship of Non-Subscribing Christians launches

Last night, in the Cheshire town of Stalybridge, a new fellowship launched publicly: the Fellowship of Non-Subscribing Christians.

“Non-Subscribing” in the sense of not subscribing the Westminster Confession of Faith, and thus shorthand for a particularly Irish form of liberal Christianity, distinct from (but co-operative with) British Unitarianism. Nevertheless, this new fellowship isn’t formally linked to the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland, and the fellowship extends its work over Ireland and Great Britain. Alas, nothing said about the United States or Canada!

 July 2. They have photos of their event up on Flickr.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. There is some concern within British Unitarianism about this new group. I asked one of its organisers why the above event how come it came to be held outside the already-existing Unitarian Christian Association, which is affiliated to the British GA: to date I’ve received no answer. The rationale for this Fellowship seems to be that British Unitarianism has become too far removed from its Christian roots. There is concern this new fellowship is entertaining some kind of break-off from the British GA.

  2. I am a longstanding Unitarian (more recently a practicing Quaker), and I have joined the Fellowship of Non-Subscribing Christians on invitation of Reverend Bob Pounder.

    I don’t believe the Fellowship is deliberately trying to engineer conflict / schism amongst Unitarians and there is very little evidence for that view. Rather, it provides a place for those remaining Unitarians of a liberal Christian view to find friendship and mutual support – AND connection with a vibrant liberal Christian church, which has a similar heritage, in Northern Ireland.

    As it happens, I’m also a member of the UCA, the Progressive Christian Network of Britain and Free to Believe. I will support liberal Christianity wherever I find it and I am sure other members of the Fellowship feel the same.

    I note, Tim, you say you’ve asked one of the organisers of the Fellowship to clarify things, and would ask whether you have contacted them directly – or whether you are talking about the public request on the UK Unitarians Facebook group? I can understand folk not wanting to get bogged down in debate on that particular forum given the tone it often descends into – and that might be why you have had no response.

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