Religion and Socialism - The Diggers

St Werburghs Community Centre

Tuesday, 5th December 18:30 – 20:00

The fourth event of our Religion and Socialism series - The Diggers.


We're going to be looking at The Diggers or The True Levellers - and Gerrard Winstanley - a proto-communist force from the time of the English Revolution. They were murdered by the state for inventing allotments but were they really 'communist'? How far were their demands based in religion? Despite being small in number, they continue to inspire the left today; what can we learn from their example?

There are loads of interesting things to look at before the meeting if you have time. Feel free to choose any of these options:

A short Tribune Magazine article as a quick introduction 

A podcast: Leftie Christians discuss the Diggers in three episodes

(Episode 39 lays the groundwork; Ep. 40 starts discussing the Diggers from 39:00; and Ep. 41 starting from 21:30)

Or a a film if that's more your thing: Winstanley (1975)

And some longer reading - a chapter from The World Turned Upside Down

Doors open from 6pm for a 6:30pm start.


What is the relationship between religion and socialism? Should there even be one? What can a largely secular movement take and learn from faith traditions? How can left wing and faith communities work together to improve society today?

Following on from the insightful panel session at this year’s Bristol Transformed, BT is starting a reading and discussion group along similar themes. Each month we will pursue a different set theme with the discussion based loosely around a choice of reading – Introductory, further and podcast options will be available to suit your expertise, interests and time constraints.

Over the course of the year we intend to cover the Marxist approach to religion, the history of how religious and leftwing political movements have influenced each other and start to consider what the modern left could learn from religious practices.

We welcome participation from all people: those of all faiths, all political beliefs and none are invited to join the discussion.

The sessions will mostly be run in a P4C (Philosophy for Communities) format which means that they are interactive and participatory with the content and direction of the session decided democratically.

Don’t worry if you’re worrying about managing to complete the reading. Do your best. Turning up and taking part is more important.