From Death Cafe to Pub Theology – Richard Laugharne

In the Group Parish of St Germans, we have been meeting monthly at a local hostelry for about 9 years for Pub Theology. This started as a Death Cafe, part of a national and international model of conversation to talk about our own deaths. Initially sometimes there would only be three of us but that was enough for a good conversation and over the years we have had between four and twelve people.


The topics have naturally varied: generic topics such as love, politics, evil, sex and economics. Direct biblical discussions on fruits of the Holy Spirit, strange stories in the Bible (Jonah, the flood, Job, Abraham and Isaac), the Pentateuch (five different meetings!), angels and books of the Bible seldom read (Lamentations, Jude, Leviticus (again!) and Obadiah I recall). Recently we have had Christian Univeralism and how the church should respond to the cost of living crisis.


In lockdown we met on-line fortnightly which was demanding but much appreciated and interestingly increased attendance.


It is easy in church not to actually discuss theological matters and my experience of Pub Theology is that people want to talk about ideas and wrestle with what we believe. It is important to facilitate the meeting so that it is a genuine conversation and all views are respected. The feedback has been good. 


Ultimately we need fora to think through what we believe, acknowledging we will not agree on everything. I find thinking through community conversation stimulating, creative and one of the many ways God can reveal the truth we all seek to live.


Richard Laugharne 


St Germans

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