Chair's Update

Chair's Update

Here is the July update following another very busy meeting of trustees held at St Columba’s URC York on Wednesday 4th July 2012.

Same Sex Marriage: Government consultation and membership survey report

The report on PCN members’ views about gay marriage is now posted on the website. I am grateful to the 190 members who responded to the survey. All 190 said that PCN should make a submission to the Home Office consultation. 177 [94%] were in favour of same sex marriage. 7 [4%] objected to same sex marriage. 6 could not be categorised. 173 [92%] said the government had not gone far enough and that same-sex marriage should be available in a religious ceremony not just civil ceremonies. These findings formed the basis of PCN’s submission to the Home Office. The full report on the survey results is now available on the PCN Britain web site – it makes for some interesting reading. (http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/index.php/news/post/pcn_members_speak_out_on_gay_marriage/)

PCN members speak out on Gay Marriage

PCN members speak out on Gay Marriage

This summer PCN Britain made a submission to the Home Office as part of the government consultation over proposals to introduce same-sex marriage in England and Wales. Before making the submission PCN asked for members’ views. This report, compiled by PCN chair, John Churcher, gives the results of that survey and how PCN expressed them in its submission.

Chair's Update

Chair's Update

Gay Marriage

The Government is asking for views on its proposals for ‘gay marriage’ and all members of PCN Britain will have an opportunity to take part in our own consultation so that we can make an authoritative submission on behalf of our membership. The Secretary and Administrator are already discussing the consultation process that we will be using. In the meantime I have issued a press release under the PCN Britain banner. The release can be seen on the PCN website by following the link on the Home Page. It refers only to my views since I had no opportunity to sound out the membership. Our media adviser, Michael Wright and the PCN officers felt it was important to be heard while the subject was in the news. Should any media organisation contact me then I will be able to highlight our 8 points, especially No 4.

Chair's Update

Chair's Update

The latest Management Committee was held at St Columba’s URC, York on 14th January 2012.

As usual there was a packed agenda with a number of issues reflecting the nature of a growing membership organisation. I am pleased to report that the following voluntary appointments were confirmed:

Michael Wright is the new Media Officer for PCN Britain to help us become more effective in our relationship with the media. Harvey Rae is the new Legal Officer, a retired barrister with 30 years experience working in the Government’s Legal Service advising us on legal issues. Dave Coaker is the new assistant Web Officer and will be helping us to publish items on the PCN website.

New group for the North East of England

A new group is being launched in Newcastle, meeting for the first time in February 2012

It is a great pleasure to learn that another group is soon to be available in Newcastle, with Pat McCullock acting as convenor. The first meeting is planned for Monday 13th February, 7.30pm - 9.00pm, at St Thomas the Martyr’s Church near the Haymarket bus station and Metro. Like all groups in the PCN groups network, the aim is to offer progressive Christians somewhere to meet and talk about their faith without the fear of censorship from more traditional church-goers. If you would like to come along, or simply wish to know more, then you can either turn up on the night or else contact Pat on pat.mccullock@pcnbritain.org.uk


PCN Chair’s Update

This update was sent by email to PCN members at the end of October 2011

Saturday October 29th 2011

I start with sincere thanks to those who took part in the consultation over PCN’s new Three Year Strategic Plan. The trustees met earlier this month at the Bar Convent in York for a twenty-four hour planning session. Your responses were invaluable in helping us to draw up the draft plan, which is currently available for your inspection on the PCN website*. We would value your comments which should be sent to the PCN office.

I’d like to highlight a few of the themes in the plan.

New date for PCN Ipswich group launch

For the first time, a PCN group is to meet in a pub.

A new group is being set up in Ipswich. It will be launched on Monday 17th October at 7.30pm. The venue is the Robert Ransome, a pub in Tower St, Ipswich. It is next to Tower Ramparts Bus Station and has a car park nearby, William St. We are to have part of the upstairs. There is no charge but we are expected to buy at least one drink each! For more information contact the convenor, Liz Smith at liz.smith@pcnbritain.org.uk or 01473 462875.

Like all groups in the PCN groups network, the aim is to offer progressive Christians somewhere to meet and talk about their faith without the fear of censorship from more traditional church-goers.

Launch of new Ipswich group postponed

A new PCN group was due to be launched in Ipswich in early October.  Sadly, the founder of the group, Terence Cooper, has recently died.  But his dream will live on.

An Ipswich group was a longstanding ambition of Terence’s. So we are delighted that a fellow PCN member, Liz Smith, also from Ipswich, has stepped forward to volunteer to convene the group and ensure that his vision is fulfilled. The original date for the launch was Monday October 3rd. However, this date will now have to be postponed. As before we hope that the launch will be an evening meeting near the centre of Ipswich. As soon as the date and venue are fixed we will post it here and on the Ipswich webpage in the “PCN in your area” section. If you are interested in joining please contact Liz by phone on 01473 462875 or by email at liz.smith@pcnbritain.org.uk

PCN Strategy Consultation Response Form

The triennial review of PCN strategy is underway and we want to hear from members what they would like us to do.

Please follow the link below to the Strategy Review document in the resources section. The document contains a summary of progress over the last three years, with some options for the future. Then in the Response section we invite you to put forward your views and priorities. If you are a member of PCN Britain, please take a moment to think about our future. If you are not a member but feel you would like to share some thoughts about us, then please feel free to do so by emailing us at info@pcnbritain.org.uk
Link to the Strategy Review and Response Form: http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/index.php/resources/category/C21/

Tribute to Adrian Smith

It was with considerable sadness that PCN Britain has learned of the death of one of its members, Father Adrian Smith, earlier this year.

A Catholic priest and former missionary in Africa, Adrian Smith went on to become National Director of the Movement for a Better World. He was best known for his 16 books, especially Tomorrow’s Christian and Tomorrow’s Faith, which have inspired many a PCN discussion. He was a leading force in CANA, (Christians Awakening to a New Awareness), and wrote of the implications of this new awareness for Christian belief. An early member of PCN Britain, he contributed by leading seminars and writing for our Newsletter. A Catholic colleague, Father Patrick, praised Adrian for his ability to disobey in the interest of more fundamental values. “Adrian, the silent rebel, always chose the non systemic man, Jesus, above the process… He was a prophet of an inclusive, caring and searching church”

PCN launches new liturgy appeal

PCN Britain is aiming to publish new liturgy for public use through this website.

When did you last find yourself singing a hymn or listening to a collect which made you cringe? We believe there is a need for new liturgical forms and metaphores to match the emerging progressive understanding of Christianity.

Anyone is welcome to submit material for inclusion in the Liturgy section. We welcome individual prayers and hymns as well as “complete” liturgies such as Communion. We would like to include liturgy relating to occasions of deep emotion and spirituality, such as healing, the birth of a child, loss and dying. Material should wherever possible be original, offering a genuine alternative to existing liturgy. We do not rule out drawing on existing words but you will be asked to attribute the source and gain permission for its inclusion. Decisions about inclusion in the project will be made by the Liturgy Project subcommittee of PCN led by Angela Smith, a PCN Trustee.

For advice, declaration forms relating to copyright and where to send your submission, please click on this link: http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/index.php/resources/detail/how_to_take_part_in_the_pcn_britain_liturgy_project/

Dominic Crossan leads PCN conference in Sept 2011

Here's a chance to get a taster of our September conference speaker.

John Dominic Crossan's work on Christian history challenges us to rethink what Jesus meant to those who knew him while he was alive. PCN Britain has invited him to lead a conference in Leeds from Sept 16th - 18th 2011, at St Andrews URC in Roundhay. For details of the conference and how to book please go to the event page.

To hear a Youtube clip of Crossan, got to http://youtu.be/56cojvbaP5Y

PCN author writes about Christmas

PCN author writes about Christmas

Adrian Alker's contribution to the Together in Hope study guide series explores the place of myth within the gospels and how its meaning can contribute to the shaping of a progressive Christian faith.

Adrian Alker is a longstanding member of the PCN Britain committee. Explaining his approach to the Christmas narratives he writes, "In chapter one I explore the place of myth and story within the gospels and attend to questions of truth and meaning and how this can contribute to the shaping of a progressive Christian faith. Chapter two covers some of the main themes and ideas emerging from Matthew’s gospel and chapter three highlights some of the special characteristics of the Lukan narrative. In chapter four I offer a number of themes which emerge from the Christmas stories and explore how these ideas and concepts can be expressed through liturgy in the Christmas season. The book ends, as do all the books in this series, with suggestions for further reading and resources available for more study and practical use. At the end of each chapter there are some questions which may be helpful in promoting discussion if this book is being used by a group of people or as a study course."

Adrian is an Anglican priest. He began his ministry in Liverpool, and was then five years as Diocesan Youth Officer in Carlisle, where he got involved in Christian education. Although always of a liberal, questioning frame, a great inspiration to him over recent years has been the writing of Marcus Borg and the work of the Jesus Seminar people in the States. Borg’s acceptance of an invitation to come to St Mark’s led to the founding of St Mark’s Centre for Radical Christianity. He says that “The whole thrust of my work as a priest at St Marks was how liberal Christianity can be a real force for good in a parish context.” Adrian is currently Director of Mission Resourcing in the Anglican Diocese of Ripon and Leeds, supporting parishes to engage with contemporary issues of faith and life.

Bishop Spong visits Glasgow

A report is now available of Jack Spong's visit to Glasgow in June 2011. You can also hear part of his last lecture and buy CDs of all his lectures on this website, (see below)

Jack Spong was the controversial Bishop of Newark in the United States. His open minded progressive approach to theology was refreshing. He offered an enlightening antidote to the oftentimes prejudiced and literalist approach of some in the Episcopalian and more fundamentalist churches. Eight years ago, Jack came to the UK to launch the “Progressive Christianity Network Britain” and he has been touring the UK regularly ever since. This was his last visit. On 2nd June 2011, he spoke to the Thinking Allowed meeting at Cairns Church in Milngavie, Glasgow. From 3rd to 5th June he led a conference at Orchardhill Church in Giffnock, Glasgow. Among those attending the conference was John Hetherington who is the convenor of PCN Britain's Kendal group and secretary of the South Lakeland Interfaith Forum. To read his report please go to http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/index.php/resources/detail/bishop_jack_spong_in_glasgow_2011/ To purchase a recording of Jack Spong's lectures, please go to http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/index.php/shop/ To listen to an excerpt from his lectures, please go to http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/index.php/resources/detail/listen_to_jack_spong_on_the_call_of_the_spirit_to_a_new_humanity/

New group for Dundee University

PCN Britain is pleased to welcome “Thinking Allowed” to the PCN Britain group network.

The new group will meet for the first time on Tuesday, 13th September 2011 in the Common Room, The University Chaplaincy, University of Dundee, DD1 4HN. Convenor, Angela Smith, says: "We will meet on Tuesday lunchtimes during semester from 1.05 until 1.55. All are welcome from 12.05 onwards for informal chat (whilst eating lunch) before the start of meetings. The group is open to everyone interested in exploring questions of faith and spirituality. You do not need to be a member of PCN Britain or belong to any church. For contact details and information about the programme please go to http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/index.php/locations/groups/dundee_university/ THINKING ALLOWED seeks to provide a welcoming forum in which there is opportunity to: Explore matters of faith Meet other thoughtful, enquiring minds Be yourself Have the freedom to remain silent Enjoy support Have a sense of belonging Network with others Celebrate diversity

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