Theology versus Sex

Wednesday 7th September, 2016

Theology versus Sex In the lead letter of today's Guardian, PCN chair, Adrian Alker, while paying tribute to the late Bishop David Jenkins, also calls for less preoccupation with sexuality in the Church of England and more honest debate about theology.

Two Anglican bishops in the news: a report that the former bishop of Durham, David Jenkins, has died aged 91 managed to make at least the Guardian online (Report, 4 September); but it was the present bishop of Grantham, Nicholas Chamberlain, who succeeded in making it into print (Business as usual for bishop’s first sermon since coming out, 5 September). Sex has always trumped theology when it comes to selling newspapers.

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Three appreciations of Bishop David Jenkins

Wednesday 7th September, 2016 | Author: Michael Wright

Three appreciations of Bishop David Jenkins Bishop David Jenkins died last Sunday. This blog contains tributes from three admirers in his former diocese of Durham.

When David Jenkins lectured, his speaking speed was like an express train. It was often hard to take in what he had just said that challenged, enthused, encouraged or enlightened me before he was off on the next thought of significance. He was in the tradition of scholar bishops of Durham such as Lightfoot, Henson, Ramsey and Ramsay – but he was very much a one-off.

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Why I wrote The Great Spiritual Migration

Tuesday 30th August, 2016 | Author: Brian McLaren

Why I wrote The Great Spiritual Migration On the eve of his UK tour, Brian McLaren writes about the title of his new book, a theme which he will develop in eight locations around Britain in October.

The human story is a tale of people in motion. 

Anthropologists tell us that our ancient ancestors lived in southern Africa some two hundred thousand years ago, but it didn’t take long before many began migrating north, eventually crossing into the Middle East. Some then migrated west across Europe and others moved east across Asia. And that, we know, was just the beginning.

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What must the Church of England do to stop its decline?

Monday 15th August, 2016 | Author: Adrian Alker

What must the Church of England do to stop its decline? Twenty years ago, those who had no religious interest would often describe themselves as CofE when questioned about their faith allegiance. That has changed; such people are now far more likely to opt for the ‘no religion’ category.

Writing in the Church Times (Jun 17th 2016), Canon Alan Billings puts this trend down to widespread disillusion with the Church of England, fuelled by its attitude to homosexual partnerships and its poor record on child abuse.  He calls on the church’s leaders and members to take time to listen to those of ‘no religion’. ‘In truth we known next to nothing about them.’ 

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How I fell in love with Modern Church

Thursday 28th July, 2016 | Author: Julian Wood

How I fell in love with Modern Church Julian writes about how he found his way to PCN's partner organisation Modern Church.

Mark 12:31, The Message

29-31 Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.”

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Spiritual but not Religious?

Wednesday 13th July, 2016 | Author: Adrian Alker

Spiritual but not Religious? PCN chair, Adrian Alker argues that churches should forgo their love of unbelievable creeds and set rituals. He calls on religious leaders to focus on practice rather than belief. In this way they might reconnect with the increasing numbers who claim to be spiritual but not religious.

This article was first published in Sofia 120 (June 2016), the journal of Sea of Faith. Reprinted with permission.

Churches in the United Kingdom, as elsewhere in much of Western Europe and North America, face an accelerating loss of members.

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After Brexit - Can we find a broad and middle way?

Monday 11th July, 2016

After Brexit - Can we find a broad and middle way? As the UK faces an uncertain future, and its two major political parties hold internal contests for their leadership, a senior Anglican professor claims that the need for a new, progressive social-democratic political party ‘has never been more urgent’.

The Very Revd Prof Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, has made the claim in an article published on the website of Modern Church, a society promoting liberal Christianity, of which he is a Vice President.

In the essay, called After Brexit - Can we find a broad and middle way?, Prof Percy notes the absence from the debate preceding the EU Referendum of words such as ‘community’ and ‘union’:

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Brian McLaren speaks about his UK tour this October

Monday 11th July, 2016 | Author: Brian McLaren

Brian McLaren speaks about his UK tour this October In this video Brian McLaren explains why the church needs to stop being protective of its nostalgia and to start dealing with the way religious institutions have contributed to division and strife. In the end, he says, justice, joy, peace and the Holy Spirit are what matter.

Brian McLaren will be speaking in Harrogate on Saturday October 15th.  This is the last of eight venues, starting in London on Saturday October 8th. 

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Religion in Crisis - what Crisis?

Tuesday 7th June, 2016

Religion in Crisis - what Crisis? PCN Trustee, Tony Rutherford, dreams up a new vision of religion in general and of the Church of England in particular based on a conference in 2015 led by Linda Woodhead, Professor of the Sociology of Religion at Lancaster University.

In July last year, I attended an exhilarating weekend at Gladstone’s Library. We were about 30 people including self professed heretics, non-conformists, retired and active priests and lay people.  Linda began by suggesting that religion is like a three legged stool. One leg is the everyday life, one is ritual and the third is a belief system or narrative.  All three need to be present or the stool fails.  The word Crisis of the conference title is offered to mean a breaking point - as in a fever - or a point of transition. In Britain, the Crisis is formed of diminishing church membership and attendance, to the point where non-Christians now outnumber Christians. At the same time, atheism is not growing - less than half those who say they are “non-religious” are atheists.

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Letter from a refugee kitchen in Athens

Tuesday 26th April, 2016

Letter from a refugee kitchen in Athens PCN member, Bob Harvey has volunteered to get personally involved in helping refugees. He helps to prepare meals which are then distributed each evening in the city's Victoria Square.

Two new volunteers appeared at our store-room this morning: a girl from Denmark and another from Switzerland. They had been working on a project on Lesvos, and most of their group had transferred the operation to Athens where the need has been increasing.

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