Monday 26th April, 2010
PCN News Update April 2010
• Letter from the Chair and Committee
• From the PCN Website
This is a report to members of PCN-Britain concerning the discussions and decisions of the Management Committee in York on March 20th
Having expressed the wish to involve more members in PCN’s development, we were pleased to learn that two have expressed interest in being part of a young persons’ task group and a third has volunteered to help with governance advice.
The Committee reiterated its view that PCN local groups should be free from central direction. It will maintain the long-standing relationship between itself and the local groups as one of encouragement, support and enabling. The extensive coverage of group activities, as detailed in the latest Newsletter, was welcomed enthusiastically. The Committee will seek the opinions of Group Convenors concerning resources they have found useful so that a resource list can be collated and made available to the Network.
Related to this is the planning of a proposed Group Convenors’ Gathering later this year providing a chance for informal exchanges and so that the Management Committee can continue to listen to Group Convenors. The Vice Chair will be seeking the advice of Group Convenors on how to organise the gathering. Responses will be discussed at the next Management Committee meeting to be held on May 1st. All copies of the current PCN leaflet have now been used and it was agreed that its replacement would be redesigned and made available to Group Convenors and others as soon as possible.
For various reasons, including the change to our financial year, and as agreed at the last AGM, this year’s AGM will be brought forward to Saturday July 17th. The venue for the meeting has yet to be confirmed but it will be in the north of England, probably York. Notice of the AGM will be placed in the June Newsletter as well as being sent individually to each member. Now is the time for members to consider offering themselves for election to the Management Committee or to the more informal task groups.
There is an on-going review of PCN-Britain’s Honorary Advisers/members. Attention was drawn to the memorial service being held at Cheltenham’s URC church for the late Fred Kaan, a PCN-Britain Honorary Adviser. The Secretary will represent PCN-Britain in company with members of the Gloucestershire Group.
The Admin. Assistant gave his report in which he referred to the current list of local groups: 39 established, 3 launching and 11 places with an interest in starting one. It was noted that one group, North Somerset, has dropped its PCN affiliation. (If you live in the Bristol area and would like to start a group, please get in touch). Membership renewals currently show that of last year’s 431 members, 244 have already renewed. Five have died or resigned. So far this year there have been 49 new members, which compares very favourably with 57 for the whole of last year. Due to the demands of our increasing membership, development of the website and email services, servicing the Officers and Management Committee members etc, it has become obvious that the Admin. Assistant’s workload has increased considerably since appointment. It was therefore agreed to increase the number of hours for which the Admin. Assistant is paid from 11 to 15 hours per week.
The new joint publication project, a follow up to the very successful ‘Together in Hope’, is progressing. There will be a series of study guides in which the text will be written by ordinary people rather than personalities. Each study guide will be thirty pages long and divided into several short chapters. The lead authors for the first few books have been appointed. They would like to hear from PCN members interested in writing a chapter or even a few paragraphs. For more information see below
National and regional events were also discussed, including Marcus Borg’s visit to Edinburgh in September and other possible speakers during 2011. The possibility of a 2011 Progressive Christianity major convention involving a number of partners was also discussed. It was agreed that PCN-Britain should “get its feet wet” this year by taking a stand at Greenbelt.
On the matter of finance, the Treasurer gave the Management Committee the final accounts for 2009, prepared by his predecessor. Current management accounts were also presented, showing a healthy balance as a result of both the income from the Spong tour and the increase in membership.
Discussion of communication issues covered a range of topics including another excellent Newsletter as well as the potential of social media to reach a new generation. This resulted in the agreement that the new webmaster should develop a PCN-Britain presence on Facebook.
Dates for future Management Committee meetings
May 1st: London, St James Piccadilly.
July 17th: Alongside the AGM in York, guest speaker Dave Tomlinson, author of Re-enchanting Christianity.
September 25th: London
From the PCN Website
The Pagan Christ by Tom Harper
PCN’s honorary secretary, John Hetherington, has written an interesting review of this book which appears in our web forum. John is attracted by the way Tom Harper, rather than trying to de-mythologise the gospels, sets out to re-mythologise them. The subtitle of the book is “Recovering the lost light”.