The Religious Society of St. Simon

The Religious Society of St Simon was founded under the name Society of Free Christians in 1999 by Revd. George Stephen Callander, broadly following the spirit of the Revd. Joseph Morgan Lloyd Thomas and the Society of Free Catholics. The intention of SFC was to promote liturgical worship in the Catholic tradition within liberal Christian, non-credal, non-judgemental theology.

SFC was founded in parallel with the Society of the Divine Spirit, and for a time was the focus of that society's worship before the formation of the English Liberal Free Church, which subsequently adopted the name The Liberal Rite in 2007. Members over the years have come from different Christian traditions, both trinitarian and unitarian.

In November 2006, the Society underwent re-organisation. The Catholic elements of the Society were re-constituted as the Religious Society of St Simon. Meanwhile, the more explicitly ecumenical and interfaith elements continued a separate existence as the Society for Humanistic Potential. 

Today, the Religious Society of St. Simon is a dependent religious society of the OCAC. Membership is free of charge and open to professed Christians who publicly support the Society's aims and wish to commit themselves to its principles. Associate Membership is open to those of any faith who recognise the common people, situations and beliefs that transcend the religions and the common origins of those beliefs. Membership is open to both clergy and laity and the understanding of the term "Catholic" is interpreted widely across denominational barriers. Members of the Society use the postnominal letters RSStS.

Statement of principles

  • The Society believes the uniting influence of liturgical language and worship in the Catholic traditions drawing members God-wards to be of more importance than the divisive influence of rigid dogmas or theological constraint.

  • The Society believes the uniting influence of common beliefs and characters across the religions to be proof that the major religions have more points in common than is generally accepted. Although a Christian Society, we recognise the importance of the other world religions, when they act in an inclusive, peaceful and ecumenical outlook.

  • The Society actively encourages freedom of religious thought and practical expression.

  • The Society believes in the living liturgy as well as the heritage and historic liturgies.

  • The Society is wholly inclusive and supports the full and equal ministry of all people.

  • The Society actively encourages religious study and research.

  • The Society believes that disruptive, hostile or disrespectful beliefs are irreligious.

The Constitution Document may be seen here.

Patron:
Rt. Revd. Adrian Glover, RSStS (OCAC and Cross Denominational Mission)