Adrian Alker was the Chair of PCN Britain for seven years and still serves as a Trustee. He lives in Sheffield where he was vicar of St Mark's, Broomhill, for many years.
Adrian was ordained as a Church of England priest in Liverpool Cathedral in 1980, following a career in local government as a senior careers adviser. After his curacy in Liverpool (where he assisted in the funeral of the great Bill Shankly!) he worked as a Diocesan Youth Officer in the Diocese of Carlisle, taking young people on memorable visits to Taize and to Madras in south India.
In 1988 Adrian was appointed vicar of St Marks Broomhill, Sheffield, where he served that remarkable congregation for twenty years. Always of a liberal, questioning frame of mind, Adrian was greatly inspired by the writings of Marcus Borg and the work of the Jesus Seminar in the USA. Borg’s acceptance of an invitation to come to St Mark’s led to the founding of the St Mark’s Centre for Radical Christianity. Adrian comments "The great joy of my work as a priest at St Marks was to see how radical, open hearted Christianity can be a real force for good and for growth in a parish context."
In 2008, Adrian became Director of Mission Resourcing in the Anglican Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, supporting parishes to engage with contemporary issues of faith and life. Having retired from that post, Adrian and his wife Christine now live again in Sheffield and enjoy revisiting the lovely Peak District.
Adrian convenes the editorial group for the Together in Hope publications and has been a trustee of PCN Britain since its inception. He is currently completing a book entitled, ‘Is a Radical Church Possible?’, due to be published in the autumn of 2015.
Articles by Adrian Alker
Like many PCN members I have lived through the inflationary years of the 70’s, through various financial crises, through strikes and Thatcherism but never have I felt that our society was so grossly unequal as now; never a government so incompetent and a Prime Minister so devoid of a moral compass.. I am a comfortable pensioner – a secure church pension, free bus travel, a mortgage paid, children grown up and long since left the nest. And yet the government seeks to give me a 10% increase in my welfare through a triple lock pension whilst I see young friends and family members struggle with daily costs of living.
Alongside the successful roll out of the Covid vaccination programme comes the increasing hope of the return to normal life. It has been a long and unprecedented interruption for every organisation, every business, every charity, with losses to be counted in personal, social and economic terms. For many churchgoers the hope is now of a welcome resumption of services and the many aspects of church life.
Hang on, I thought. If I was not a person of faith, would this make any sense?
Adrian Alker reflects on the power of story to change livesTODAY, across all platforms, the life stories of the famous and the infamous are as popular as ever.
‘The God that I have met in Jesus calls me to live fully, to love wastefully, and to be all that I can be’.
Environmentalists around the world are warning that we cannot afford a carbon rebound
‘progressive Christianity’ should be considered tautologous...how could a follower of Jesus Christ, not be considered to be progressive
the average hourly wage for many care staff is £8.10... One in four social care workers are on zero-hours contracts
‘We are people who…. seek to build communities that accept all who wish to share companionship without insisting on conformity.’
Humanists ask BBC to open up Radio 4’s Thought for the Day to non-religious voices.
Blackburn Cathedral launches own brand gin as 51,507 die from alcohol-specific deaths.
The church is in crisis. The old stories of divine intervention won’t stack up any longer. Yet if the church is to survive, another narrative will be needed, writes PCN chair, Adiran Alker
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has been hearing evidence from the Church of England. It has led Adrian Alker, chair of PCN Britain, to reflect on the hierarchical structure of his former employer
PCN chair, Adrian Alker, welcomes the Ozanne Foundation and hopes it won’t be long before the CofE opens its doors to same sex couples wishing to marry
PCN Chair, Adrian Alker, calls on all churches which claim to be inclusive, to say so publicly. He shares a parishioner's letter which could be adapted by any church member to persuade their church council to take action.
"If the church really cared more about showing the transforming love of God and less about trying to paper over the cracks of sexual and gender discrimination, then we might begin to have some relevance" writes Adrian Alker
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.
PCN chair, Adrian Alker, challenges the idea that being a politician and a faithful Christian are incompatible.
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 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
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.
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 is the text of a letter from the chair of PCN Britain, Adrian Alker, which was printed in the Guardian today and in the Church Times last week.
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