Recent Blogs

Masculine worship - an unworthy trend

Masculine worship - an unworthy trend

Historian, Robin Bunce, unveils how gender inequality flourishes in churches which embrace a theology of gender complementarianism

This summer, my 14-year-old daughter went to New Day, an annual Christian festival for young people which takes place in Norfolk. At the first session she took out a piece of paper and divided it in two. At the top of one column she wrote ‘Women’, at the top of the other she wrote ‘Men’. As a man took to the stage she put a mark in the ‘Men’ column.

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Creating a world beyond the beliefs that divide

Creating a world beyond the beliefs that divide

Gretta Vosper has been in the UK making a case that theistic language has become a stumbling block to the most important aim of Christianity.

Gretta Vosper led two weekend conferences in England this month, one in Leeds facilitated by PCN Britain and one in Birmingham, run by Carrs Lane Church.  Andy Vivian attended the Birmingham event and writes about some of the insights from the conference that have stuck with him.

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Honestly, face the facts

Honestly, face the facts

A respected survey of British adults has discovered that for the first time those calling themselves non-religious are in a majority. PCN chair, Adrian Alker, makes a plea for Christians to take an honest look at their faith and to engage with atheist opinion.

The latest British Social Attitudes survey (BSA) reports that the percentage of people who describe themselves as ‘not religious’ is at its highest since the survey began. In 2016, 53% of respondents said that they did not belong to any particular religion. Back in 1983 that figure was 31%.

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Resistance Bible Study

Resistance Bible Study

A US view on the need to reclaim bible study from conservative fundamentalists.

The alliance between the Republican right and the evangelical/fundamentalist church in America is often credited with getting Donald Trump get elected.    For many liberals in the US, Christianity has now become part of their nation's problem.  ​Jim Burklo is a progressive Christian author and academic.  He recently offered this set of readings to his students as a way to redress the balance and to show Christianity in a politically progressive light.

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Politicians and Religious Faith

Politicians and Religious Faith

PCN chair, Adrian Alker, challenges the idea that being a politician and a faithful Christian are incompatible.

The resignation of Tim Farron as leader of the Liberal Democratic party, citing the impossibility of reconciling his position with also being a ‘faithful Christian’, has set a number of hares running around this field of faith and political allegiance. What might members of the Progressive Christian Network make of this?

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Manchester attack

Manchester attack

What has Christianity to say to a grieving nation and families overwhelmed by grief? The chair of PCN Britain, Adrian Alker, offers this commentary.

The atrocious and heartbreaking attack at Manchester Arena has left us all shocked, saddened and, yes, angry, at the loss of so many young lives. Of course we read and see via the media similar outrages across the world. A few days after the tragic event in Manchester, a similar number of children – all Coptic Christians –were killed by Islamic extremists in Egypt, where the minority Christian population lives in fear.  But Manchester, a drive away, brings home the horror of such murderous ideology of Isis and associated terrorist groups.

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Marriage and same sex relationships

Marriage and same sex relationships

Pre-occupation with who is allowed to marry has led us to ignore a much more significant issue - the side-lining of marriage itself, says Harry Houldsworth

Adrian Alker, the chair of PCN Britain, is to be applauded for his criticism of the House of Bishops Report on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships.  My only reservation is that, once again, a single issue has been permitted to deflect attention from the fact that marriage in any form has been under sustained political and legal attack for many decades. The highly emotive language used in this latest debate is doing little to stop the institution of marriage being further undermined...

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Philip North was right to withdraw as Bishop of Sheffield

Philip North was right to withdraw as Bishop of Sheffield

The experience of this flawed appointment should be a test case that ends the ongoing prejudice and discrimination in the Church of England, says PCN Britain chair, Adrian Alker

I very much welcome the gracious decision of Bishop Philip North to withdraw his acceptance of the post of Bishop of Sheffield. This has doubtless been a painful process for him as well as the many women and men in the diocese of Sheffield who opposed his nomination. It is to be hoped that Philip North’s ministry in the Blackburn Diocese will continue to flourish...

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It’s a Man’s Church

It’s a Man’s Church

Rhian Taylor charts the ebb and flow of empathy for Philip North over his aborted appointment as Bishop of Sheffield.

After considerable controversy Rev Phillip North resigned from his forthcoming appointment as the Bishop of Sheffield.   This was due to criticism that as a member of Forward in Faith and The Society, organisations that don’t accept women priests and bishops, he would not be able to adequately support the clergy in Sheffield, a third of whom are women. The immediate response to his resignation seems to be a call to greater tolerance and a concern that this response has not shown enough tolerance to those of a traditional perspective... 

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Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday

In this sermon, John Churcher, former chair of PCN Britain, encourages church going Christians to act like mothers, making sacrifices in order to nurture the future of the Church.

Being a mother is not easy. Mothers usually want the very best for their children and they will sacrifice even their own self and their own life to protect and to nurture their children and provide a better future for them than they themselves have experienced.  Surely, that is also what we should be doing for the Christian Church today,  sacrificing many of the words that remains precious to us to protect and to nurture the future of the Church in an increasingly secular world?  

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How I Become a Heretic - with help from Jesus

How I Become a Heretic - with help from Jesus

The title of this blog is the title of a PCN conference that Robin Meyers will be leading in Bristol in May. Here he sheds some light on his spiritual journey.

I was a tow-headed twelve-year-old preacher’s kid and Sunday school was not optional. My teacher was Mr. Nigh, a salt-of-the-earth but slightly grim Calvinist holding forth in a stuffy classroom at the Riverside Church of Christ in Wichita, Kansas. He was teaching us about forgiveness, expounding on Peter’s question to Jesus in Matthew 18:21 about how many times a person should be expected to forgive another person before the warranty runs out. My mind was elsewhere....

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