About this website

Haddon Willmer 

I was told Bible stories as a child, and that put me on the way to becoming a bit of an historian and theologian together. Luther (in history not RE lessons) grabbed me at school, and then Augustine, Barth and Bonhoeffer at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and after that, others as my teaching developed at the University of Leeds. There I moved from church history to concentrate on theology, specially trying to think the realities of politics from the heart of Christian faith – which is what? For fifty years, politics and forgiveness has been an abiding and puzzling concern.   

I have been active in church, mostly in its Baptist form, increasingly critical and disappointed, but still trying to be constructively faithful, in exploration and experimentation.  

I am married to Hilary, who has been active in Christian social engagement in Leeds for three decades, founding Nightstop and leading PACE – parents against child sexual exploitation. We have three children and eight grandchildren who have given us an exciting if testing life.  

I have scribbled, sketched, and talked all my life, and now have piles of paper and memories. Nathaniel and Jess have seen some of my work and thought it was worth sharing. They suggested a website and volunteered to make it happen, so here it is. I am deeply grateful and cheered by their interest and friendship. In the university, as I got older, I became increasingly aware of the blessing of working with younger people. After I retired from Leeds, in 1998, I felt momentarily bereft, but then for several years, I taught part-time at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, with a run of great doctoral students from round the world. After that, I felt a bit stranded in a desert of obsolescence. Now this website appears as a flowering oasis, a place of refreshment and profitable interchange.   

Nathaniel Darling

I study economic history as a postgraduate student. I am married to Jess, and we live in London, where we are part of a nearby Anglican church. I grew up going to the same church as Haddon. I remember when, after I made an attempt at preaching aged seventeen or so, Haddon took the sermon seriously enough to offer critical comments. This opened up theological questions and possibilities and marked the beginning of a friendship and correspondence I have valued greatly in the decade since then. That much of Haddon’s writing was not more widely available seemed a shame and easily remedied. So I am glad to be able to play a part now in sharing it here.  

Jess Scott

I teach Christian theology at the University of Nottingham, having previously studied theology at Cambridge. I have, in one way or another, been in conversation with Haddon since my undergraduate degree – sending him drafts of work, reading and replying to notes and papers, and being challenged by his questions. The experience of benefiting from this kind of accompaniment is part of what convinces me that theology is a social task, in need of multiple perspectives, imaginings, honest human questions, and friendship. If Nathaniel and I can, in our administering and editing of this website, help position Haddon’s work so that it can more readily meet the thought of others in this shared work of speaking words about God, I will be very glad.