Faith is a personal journey, which is respected in All Souls.
All Souls respects the integrity of the individual belief. We are a Christian Church but we have a Universalist view of faith and the private conscience. our members and attendees whilst in general are Christian we also have Jewish, Humanists, Agnostic, Shinto and others.
Our minister does not preach a prescribed doctrine, as is the case in many Christian Churches, but teaches an open and challenging faith along with our sister churches - Unitarian Universalists, Dutch Remonstrants and Liberal Protestants.
However we find a common bond with those of a liberal persuasion in other churches such as Methodist, Church of Ireland, Church of England, Presbyterian and Quaker.
Some of our members are involved with Changing Attitude Ireland - which works within the Church of Ireland for the full acceptance of Gay Christians.

 

All Souls is a caring, open-minded community that encourages seekers to follow their own spiritual paths. Our faith draws on many religious sources, welcoming people with different beliefs. We are united by shared values, not by creed or dogma.
All Souls recognises the diversity in religious belief. Our members support one another in our individual search for truth and meaning as we build a beloved community. We have historic roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions and share many values and worship with fellow Christians. We support Interfaith worship and reaching out to other faith communities - especially those in the Belfast Jewish Community.
All Souls is a church that cherishes reason and tolerance in our communities. We strongly oppose misogyny, sectarianism, racism and homophobia. We are a non-creedal religious tradition, we encourage people to discern their own beliefs about various spiritual topics.. All Souls’ members hold wide-ranging opinions on topics like the afterlife, God, and scripture. What unites us is our acceptance of diverse spiritualities and our commitment to making the world a better place for everyone by our witness here in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

NON SUBSCRIBING PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF IRELAND
All Souls is a member of Synod of Munster, which acts as a Presbytery within the Non Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland. We through our membership of the NSPCI can trace our roots back to the earliest Presbyterians in Ireland. The history of Presbyterianism in Ireland can be traced back to 1613. The first Non Subscribing Presbytery was formed in 1725 and our most notable historical leader, Doctor Henry Montgomery took a leading part in the controversy in the 1820s that led to the formation of the Non Subscribing Remonstrant Synod of Ulster. Our denomination refuses to impose compulsory adherence to any creeds in respect of our Christian faith.

Our ethos is faith guided by reason and conscience and we advocate a liberal and tolerant Christianity. The NSPCI is affiliated to the following:
  • The International Association of Religious Freedom
  • The Unitarian Christian Association
  • The Irish Council of Churches
  • We have a special agreement with: The General Assembly of British and Irish Unitarians and Free Christians.
  • We are represented on the Social Forum: Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

Unitarianism!

Niall D.Haldane, the Hon. Secretary, at a reading from the eagle, questioned why  the very strong Unitarian strand in the life and history of All Souls' had rather faded away: is it too controversial?

"When I am asked about the All Souls’ and try to explain who we are or what we stand for I still sometimes get the remark: 'oh you mean the Unitarian Church near Queens'"!

 Our website www.allsoulsbelfast.org begins with the statement:

“All Souls is a member of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland.

We also share a special relationship with General Assembly of Unitarians and Free Christians of Britain and Ireland

 Dr Agnew, who brought the two Congregations of York Street and All Souls’ together, studied at Manchester College, an avowedly Unitarian institution.

 The Rev. Chris is a disciple of the Dublin Unitarian Church, which along with Unitarian Church Cork, is a sister church within the Non-subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland.

The Rev Chris was the keynote speaker in November at the European Unitarian Universalist Fall Retreat in Cologne and has been asked to speak at several Unitarian events in the coming months.

Representatives of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches attend the Denominational Synod and “The Inquirer” is available on the table at the back of the Church.

"The Object of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches

We, the constituent congregations, affiliated societies and individual members, uniting in a spirit of mutual sympathy, co-operation, tolerance and respect; and recognising the worth and dignity of all people and their freedom to believe as their consciences dictate; and believing that truth is best served where the mind and conscience are free, acknowledge that the Object of the Assembly is:

To promote a free and inquiring religion through the worship of God and the celebration of life; the service of humanity and respect for all creation; and the upholding of the liberal Christian tradition.

To this end, the Assembly may:

·         Encourage and unite in fellowship bodies which uphold the religious liberty of their members, unconstrained by the imposition of creeds;

·         Affirm the liberal religious heritage and learn from the spiritual, cultural and intellectual insights of all humanity"

Surely such objectives are compatible with the aims and objective of All Souls’ and do not exclude any of our Congregants.

The Hon. Secretary is not advocating a divisive renaming or “rebranding”, but perhaps All Souls’ should be more open, positive and tolerant about its strong “Unitarian” tradition and links!