Recent Articles

In the UK 14 million people live in poverty and 1.5 million are classed as destitute.

In the UK 14 million people live in poverty and 1.5 million are classed as destitute.

The alleviation of poverty should never be a party-political issue says editor of The Tablet...

The alleviation of poverty should never be a party-political issue. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, about a fifth of the population, 14 million people, live in poverty, and 1.5 million are classed as destitute, which means being unable to afford the essentials. Poverty brings insecurity, loss of opportunity and exclusion as well as financial hardship. Those on the lower rungs of the ladder are always aware how near they are to the bottom and how easily they could end up there.

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PCN Britain Film Project and Film Fund

PCN Britain Film Project and Film Fund

We often hear it said , ‘Where are the young people?’ at our conferences or in our groups. This is one way in which we hope to engage with…...

You will be aware that the Westhill Trust awarded us a grant to help us fulfil our aim of producing a series of short 5-minute films which will focus on the stories of young people facing the challenges of 21stcentury life and what a progressive Christian faith might have to say in response to their stories. We have now agreed to accept a tender for that work from a media company called Shortform based in Manchester. This is an exciting young company whose excellent professional work you can see on their website (www.shortform.co.uk). We are budgeting to spend up to £20,000 on this venture. We have secured £11,500 from Westhill, we are hopeful of another £1000 in grant aid, we intend to take £5000 from our limited reserves and hope that you, our members, might feel able to contribute to the project in order to make up the shortfall. And so we are launching a Film Project Fund(as we did with the Marcus Borg Memorial Fund which is now closed) and inviting individuals and PCN groups to donate to the Fund, by sending cheques or money transfers to PCN via the website/office. You will see the details on the website. We hope the films will be ready to be seen by the time we are at Greenbelt in August. We will keep you informed about the progress of the project and how these films can be a resource to PCN groups. We often hear it said , ‘Where are the young people?’ at our conferences or in our groups. This is one way in which we hope to engage with young people in their teens, twenties and thirties. Please support our venture. Adrian Alker Donate to Film Project Fund here

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” a more human and fraternal world in which no one is excluded or marginalized.”

” a more human and fraternal world in which no one is excluded or marginalized.”

Pope Francis reflects on the meaning behind the elements that make up the nativity scene....

In his letter “Admirabile Signum” Pope Francis reflects on the meaning behind the elements that make up the nativity scene. He begins with the background of “a starry sky wrapped in the darkness and silence of night.” We think of when we have experienced the darkness of night, he says, yet even then, God does not abandon us. “His closeness brings light where there is darkness and shows the way to those dwelling in the shadow of suffering.”

The presence of the poor and the lowly, continues the Pope, is a reminder that “God became man for the sake of those who feel most in need of His love and who ask Him to draw near to them.” From the manger, “Jesus proclaims, in a meek yet powerful way, the need for sharing with the poor as the path to a more human and fraternal world in which no one is excluded or marginalized.”

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OPEN TABLE IS CROWDFUNDING!

OPEN TABLE IS CROWDFUNDING!

Open Table, a safe sacred space for LGBTQIA+ Christians & all who seek an inclusive church....

In 2008 we lit the spark that started Open Table, a safe sacred space for LGBTQIA+ Christians & all who seek an inclusive church. We’re crowdfunding until the end of 2019 to make 2020 our best year yet! If you value Open Table, please share this message, and give if you can.

The first Open Table community began at St Bride’s Liverpool in June 2008. Open Table has grown into a network of ecumenical Christian worship communities which offer a warm welcome to people who are: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer / Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA) and all who seek an inclusive Church.Open Table communities now gather across England and Wales, hosted by inclusive churches in four denominations (Anglican, United Reformed Church, Baptist, Methodist).

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Alive in God: A Christian Imagination - new book by Dominican theologian Timothy Radcliffe

Alive in God: A Christian Imagination - new book by Dominican theologian Timothy Radcliffe

For millions of young people Christianity .. means nothing at all. ....“as outmoded as a typewriter”....

Speaking to Maggie Fergusson for The Tablet Radcliffe says, “For millions of young people Christianity .. means nothing at all. It is, as Radcliffe admits, “as outmoded as a typewriter”. If pushed to consider it at all, most would probably share Stephen Hawking’s belief that we are just “chemical scum on an average-sized planet”. So what has a religion hedged about with guilt-inducing, tripwire rules to offer?

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Churches Together in England (CTE) rejects Quaker nominee

Churches Together in England (CTE) rejects Quaker nominee

The grief this situation is causing Quakers must not be underestimated by other churches. - Mark Lilley, Quaker Committee on Christian and Interfaith…...

Churches’ plan for new President falters because of equal marriage

Plans to appoint a further President for Churches Together in England (CTE) have faltered because not all denominations in membership of CTE would accept a nominated President, who is a Quaker in a same-sex marriage.

The Quaker appointee has been rejected because she is married to a woman.

The Churches have rejected the Quakers’ appointee Hannah Brock Womack, because she is married to a woman. An active Quaker, she is a young, radical peace activist, who campaigns against the arms trade and works in the voluntary sector.

The CTE Member Churches bring together a richness of traditions and understanding. Some Churches agree with Quakers’ strong stand for same-sex marriage.
CTE, which offers an ecumenical space for sharing between the Churches, on a range of religious issues, has a recognised process for appointing Presidents.

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Ecclesiastical Competition…£120,000 | 120 charities | 12 days

Ecclesiastical Competition…£120,000 | 120 charities | 12 days

Once again our 12 days of giving is designed to provide vital funding to charities by donating £1,000 to 120 charities over 12 days in the run…...

Nominate a charity

With your support, we can help to change people’s lives for the better. With your support, we can help to change people’s lives for the better. You can nominate any UK, Irish, Channel Islands and Isle of Man registered charity you choose. Nominations will remain open until midnight the day before each draw. Draws will take place each weekday from 5 – 20 December 2019.


The more nominations a charity receives the greater the chance of them winning, So please do spread the word and encourage your friends, family, colleagues and anyone else you can think of to nominate too!

www.ecclesiastical.com/movement-for-good/12-days

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Quakers condemn irresponsible US announcement on Israeli settlements

Quakers condemn irresponsible US announcement on Israeli settlements

Our Quaker commitment to peace and equality compels us to speak out...

Following the announcement this week from US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo on Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land, Quakers in Britain have repeated their view that the settlements are a serious obstacle to peace.

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain said:
“Our Quaker commitment to peace and equality compels us to speak out about the US government’s announcement that ‘the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.’’

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Open Table : Safe sacred space for LGBTQIA+ Christians

Open Table : Safe sacred space for LGBTQIA+ Christians

Open Table is a network of ecumenical Christian worship communities which offer a warm welcome to people who are: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender,…...

Open Table aims to create a safe sacred space for you to explore your faith and what it means for you. Whoever you are, wherever you come from, you are welcome here.

Open Table is for Christians who are here, who will not go away, and who simply ask to be recognised and accepted. Our vision is of a world where LGBTQIA+ people are fully included within our church traditions and communities. Until then, we will continue to nurture safe, sacred, sacramental, sustainable space where LGBTQIA+ Christians can ‘come as you are’.

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Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and His Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church.

Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and His Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church.

a well-funded opposition fighting his agenda which emphasises concerns such as the environment and welcoming migrants...

Austen Ivereigh, former Tablet editor has said “Catholics are with the pope. That used to be the traditional understanding,” Ivereigh said. But that understanding has been challenged. He noted there is “a struggle going on. This pontificate is a place of spiritual combat.” Ivereigh has pointed to a well-funded opposition fighting his agenda which is emphasizing concerns such as the environment and welcoming migrants.

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General Election - Quakers in Britain - News Release -29 October 2019

General Election - Quakers in Britain - News Release -29 October 2019

As the scramble towards a general election begins, Quakers across Britain are set to question parliamentary candidates on key topics....

The general election, called for 12 December, is an opportunity to influence future decision-makers.

Quakers seek something of God in everyone and that leads them to work for justice for all. Their commitment to truth, peace, equality and simplicity leads to five priorities:
· Climate crisis
· Migration
· Criminal justice
· Peace and disarmament
· The nature of the debate

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Canon Robin Gibbons preached at the special Matins held at Christ Church, Oxford on the day of Newman’s canonisation

Canon Robin Gibbons preached at the special Matins held at Christ Church, Oxford on the day of Newman’s canonisation

John Henry will also be seen as a teacher ..a seeker ... a more balanced voice showing how faith and reason co-exist....

Canon Robin Gibbons preached at the special Newman Matins held at Christ Church, Oxford on the day of the canonisation of St John Henry Newman in Rome. In many ways this was an historic moment, a recognition by the Anglican community of their receptivity and love of one who did so much for Anglicanism but also who is bringing the two churches closer together. Canon Gibbons is one of Christ Church’s Ecumenical Canons and the first Catholic priest ( Henry Mayr Harting being the first Catholic lay Canon as Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History form 1997-2003). Even though he transferred form the Latin to Eastern Rite, he remains Catholic. “It was in many ways a very historical and moving moment for us in Christ Church and from it comes a desire to know Newman and to forge closer ecumenical bonds, and to somehow commemorate him in the place he began his ordained ministry,” he told The Tablet. “I am sure that in years to come, many will make pilgrimage to Oxford on a Newman journey, the close ecumenical ties we now begin to have in the Cathedral are partly a sign of his inspiration.”

Full sermon with this item:

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PCN Chair laments Bishops’statement on Brexit

PCN Chair laments Bishops’statement on Brexit

Church Times leader comment should, alongside the Bishops’ statement, be sent to all parishes....

Revd Adrian Alker writing to The Church Times:

Sir, — If there had been a referendum on reintroducing capital punishment, would the Bishops have endorsed that? That the College of Bishops sees fit to endorse a referendum result that has so divided the country, where political parties disagree profoundly about the possible result of a no-deal exit from the EU, and where many parish churches serve communities that will, according to most economic forecasts, suffer economic and social hardships by leaving the EU, have the Bishops taken leave of their senses? Will the Scottish Episcopal Church, in a nation where the majority of people voted Remain, issue a contradicting statement?

Surely, a wiser course for a national Church would have been a pastoral call to the people of these islands to take heed of Paul’s advice to the Colossians for us all to be clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. A wiser course, as seen in the statements of the Bishop of Leeds, would have been clear on what to call out: namely, belligerent language and a crude and dangerous attempt to polarise the debate as between “the people” and Parliament.
Church Times leader comment should, alongside the Bishops’ statement, be sent to all parishes.

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Civil society leaders issue warning on the prorogation

Civil society leaders issue warning on the prorogation

Quakers in Britain have joined a host of civil society leaders, warning that proroguing parliament risks eroding democratic accountability. They…...

“Civil society organisations provide support, advice and services. However, another vital role for the social sector is to amplify the voices of the communities and causes we serve. People and issues that are too often ignored or unheard by those in positions of power. A thriving civil society is an indicator of a healthy democracy.

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Bishops issue open letter on Brexit

Bishops issue open letter on Brexit

Seeing the evidence of division in every part of England...

A group of Church of England bishops has issued an open letter on the prospect of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit and the need for national reconciliation, notwithstanding the potential prorogation of Parliament. The full text can be found below:

The Archbishop of Canterbury has conditionally agreed to chair a Citizens Forum in Coventry and, without prejudice for any particular outcome, we support this move to have all voices in the current Brexit debate heard.

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Hypocrisy of ‘spiritual tourism’ destroys the church, Pope Francis says.

Hypocrisy of ‘spiritual tourism’ destroys the church, Pope Francis says.

The sharing of goods, Francis said, is “far from being an activity of social assistance” but rather “the indispensable expression…...

Vatican City — Christians who focus more on being superficially close to the church rather than care for their fellow brothers and sisters are like tourists who wander around aimlessly, Pope Francis said.

People “who are always passing by but never enter the church” in a fully communal way of sharing and caring engage in a sort of “spiritual tourism that makes them believe they are Christians but instead are only tourists of catacombs,” the pope said Aug. 21 during his weekly general audience.

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