Sea of Faith London Day Conference 2020

‘In the Beginning was Music?’  -  Music and Religion

Sea of Faith is a registered charity, no. 1113177

Saturday 28th March at St John‘s Church, Waterloo, 10.30am – 4.30pm

The Conference

We thought we could build a Conference around the idea of our need for music to help shape and enrich our lives and how religions are built on not only stories and poetry (our last Conference) but music also.

How and why does music transport so many of us into a sense of transcendence?

Why is music so intrinsically bound up with religious expression and belief?

Can we explain the ‘religious’ power of music, or can we only experience it?

Our speakers and performers will stimulate and challenge you with their ideas on “faith in music; and music in faith”!

Our Speakers:

Patti Whaley, BA, MA Musicology

A chartered accountant, IT specialist and Charity manager (formerly Chair, ActionAid UK; Treasurer, Food Ethics Council; Deputy Secretary General, Amnesty International), Patti is a local church organist. She has a B.A. & M.A. in Musicology and an ABRSM Diploma in organ performance (distinction).

She is a former Chair of the Sea of Faith Network.

The Revd Stephen Mitchell with Elaine Henson

Published author (including "God in the Bath" and "Past Perfect") and former Rural Dean & Canon, Stephen has always been a musical vicar. He has a degree in Music and taught music in a secondary school before reading Theology at Cambridge.

Stephen is also a former Chair of the Sea of Faith Network.

Elaine is a music graduate of the Universities of Exeter and Durham and a singing licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Katie Hainbach, Head of Music and Arts, Alyth Synagogue

A mezzo-soprano, Katie is an experienced opera singer, teacher and choral conductor.

She has a BA (hons) in Music Studies (including a distinction in Music Pedagogy) and a MMus in Vocal Performance.

Katie has performed on radio and television in the UK and Ireland.

She has travelled around the country doing music for people with dementia and other community music.

At the Alyth Synagogue, Katie is responsible for the choirs, musical and acting groups.

The Venue

St John‘s Waterloo, Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8TY

St John‘s Church is situated in Waterloo Road at the south end of Waterloo Bridge and adjacent to IMAX cinema. It is opposite Waterloo Station (BR main line and Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee Underground lines).

You will find a map here.

Coming by Jubilee Line follow the Way Out sign for Waterloo NOT South Bank. At exit turn left onto Waterloo Road. Coming by Bakerloo or Northern Line follow Way Out sign for Trains NOT South Bank. You exit onto Main Line Station from where you take Exit 2 to Waterloo Road.

Buses 1, 4, 26, 59, 68, 77, 139, 168, 171, 172, 188 and 381 stop nearby.

There are no parking facilities at St John‘s.


Coffee and tea will be provided during registration and the afternoon break.


You may bring your own packed lunch and drink. There are a number of cafes and pubs in the area where lunch can be bought.

Further information

Email us, use the contact form or phone 020 8422 1591