Recent Articles

Marcus Borg’s place in history

Marcus Borg’s place in history

A report on the first Marcus Borg Memorial Lecture by Diana Butler Bass before an audience in Birmingham on Saturday 14th May 2016

The Marcus Borg Memorial Lecture is the brainchild of Adrian Alker, chair of the Progressive Christianity Network Britain. Modern Church, Free to Believe and the St Mark’s Centre for Radial Christianity joined PCN Britain in staging this event. It was hosted by Carrs Lane Church in Birmingham and attended by over 200 people. This report covers the first of the two talks that Diana Butler Bass gave. She is a historian focusing on the history of Christianity and is a leading voice in progressive Christianity. You can watch a video of Marianne Borg introducing Butler Bass in our video resources section. You can also download or purchase a CD of both talks. See also http://dianabutlerbass.com/
Become an SCM Link Church

Become an SCM Link Church

The Student Christian Movement is offering churches in university towns the opportunity to enhance their student contact by becoming an SCM Link Church.

Do you want to reach more students and provide a welcoming space for them to serve and be part of your community? Link your church with SCM for free and you'll receive several benefits including a profile on their website, ongoing support and advice to engage students, a bi-monthly newsletter specifically for churches, information about training in your area, and resources and publicity materials. Visit http://www.movement.org.uk/connect-church/register to complete the form.
Two ways in which you might be able to help the Student Christian Movement

Two ways in which you might be able to help the Student Christian Movement

SCM is seeking to employ a Manchester based Regional Development Worker and also to recruit volunteers to join their Council of Reference, which provides advice to SCM trustees.

The Regional Development Worker will cover the North West of England to start in September. The post is full time (35 hours per week) with a salary of £20-22,000 depending on experience. The Regional Development Worker will be joining a small dynamic staff team, developing our work with students in the North West of England. The successful candidate will expand our network of student groups and link churches, organise events, deliver training and work with students, local churches and chaplaincies to improve and develop student outreach and engagement in the region. Experience of Christian student work within a church or chaplaincy context would be an advantage.

Chair's Update April 2016

Chair's Update April 2016

In April's update Adrian Alker talks about the varied events that PCN is organising or in which we are participating.

Dear friends across the PCN membership

As you know our administration team now has a different configuration in that Sarah Guilfoyle is now our administrator and Andy Vivian, whose retirement we marked at our AGM, is continuing in a voluntary capacity to serve the network as the web editor. I am sure, like me, you are grateful for such a strong and competent team, always ready to help members and trustees.

The AGM at Leeds gave us an opportunity to thank retiring trustees Angela, John and Robin, and to formally elect Gareth, our treasurer as an elected trustee and Dave our PV editor. It was very good to be in the Mill Hill Unitarian Church, to meet its minister (a PCN member) and to learn of their city centre work. We were grateful for the presentation on inequality in our society by Professor Rich Harris and his helpful slides of statistics can be found here on the PCN website. Good too to watch the film The Divide. If you haven’t yet seen the film, do watch out for local screenings – they can be found on www. thedividedocumentary.com

Tickets for Brian McLaren tour go on sale

Tickets for Brian McLaren tour go on sale

October 8th - 15th 2016. All eight venues are now confirmed. London, Exeter, Cardiff, Birmingham, Largs, Manchester, Newcastle and Harrogate.

Please help us to spread the news by downloading the flyer.

People by the millions are migrating out of traditional religion - some into secularism, some into experimental forms of non-religious spirituality. But even within religious communities, people are on the move, migrating in exciting new directions.

The Holy Box

The Holy Box

A poem for Easter by Sydney Carter (1915 - 2004)

Although this poem was written almost fifty years ago, the message has a vibrant resonance with modern progressive Christian thinking. Carter was a man ahead of his time, a rebel, who's hymns have finally reached the mainstream but who's poetry remains neglected.

The Holy Box, from the collection Love More or Less, was first published by Stainer and Bell in 1971.

Brian McLaren to tour the UK at PCN’s invitation

Brian McLaren to tour the UK at PCN’s invitation

Often cited as one of the most influential Christian leaders in the West, Brian McLaren will be here in October 2016, speaking on his upcoming book, 'The Great Spiritual Migration: Re-imagining a Faith that will Save Us'

Brian McLaren argues for a new kind of Christianity. For centuries, Christianity has presented itself as a system of beliefs. That system of beliefs has supported a wide range of unintended consequences - from colonialism to environmental destruction, from subordination of women to stigmatization of LGBT people. What would it mean for Christians to rediscover their faith - not as a system of beliefs, but as a just and generous way of life, rooted in contemplation and expressed in action, that makes amends for its mistakes, and is dedicated creating a beloved community for all? ...

Is a Radical Church Possible? by Adrian Alker

Is a Radical Church Possible? by Adrian Alker

In his new book, PCN's Britain's chair, Adrian Alker, argues that churches should listen to the radical voices within. Far from undermining the institution, they offer the churches' best hope of survival.

Mainstream Christian denominations are facing critical decline in the UK. Church leaders call for new strategies for growth but will these be effective? In this book, Adrian Alker calls for an honest look at the life of Jesus and the faith of the Church and suggests a radical and more honest reshaping of the churches to enable them to face the challenges of the present day.
An opportunity to work for Gladstone's Library

An opportunity to work for Gladstone's Library

The Library aims to create an inclusive and ecumenical community and resource. There are currently vacancies for volunteer chaplains and library interns

The Library is situated in Church Lane, Hawarden, Flintshire CH5 3DF. The closing dates for these vacancies are 14th and 15th February 2016, respectively.

Reception hours are 8:30am until 5:00pm seven days a week. Phone: 01244 532350. Email: enquiries@gladlib.org. The email addresses for applications are given below, following each job description.

The rest of this entry has been written by Gladstone's Library

New progressive Christian discussion group launches in County Durham

New progressive Christian discussion group launches in County Durham

Halfway between Darlington and Barnard Castle and just 10 minutes from the A1, this new group starts meeting next week in the village of Gainford

The new group in Gainford is being launched on Tuesday 2nd February by Neil Russell, a retired priest and former Honorary Canon of Lincoln. It arises out of interest expressed by non Christians in the village as well as local church members. The group is to be called QF (Questions of faith) and will introduce members to progressive theology, with the help of DVDs and speakers. The first meeting is at 4, The Padocks, Gainford, DL2 3GA and starts at 7.30pm.

Inclusive words need to be matched with inclusive actions

Inclusive words need to be matched with inclusive actions

In a letter to the Church Times, the leaders of Inclusive Church, Modern Church and PCN Britain are calling on the Bishops of the Church of England to be proactive in reaching out to the LGBTI community.

Dear Sir,

In the statement following their meeting, the Primates of the Anglican Communion have expressed their profound sorrow for the deep hurt caused within the Church towards people on the basis of their sexual orientation and they affirm that God’s love for every human being is the same regardless of their sexuality....

Marianne Borg to speak at the Diana Butler Bass conference

Many of you have already booked for the special one day event on May 14th at the Church at Carrs Lane in Birmingham in honour of Marcus Borg, when our guest speaker is Diana Butler Bass, but we are also to be honoured by the presence of Marianne Borg, Marcus's widow.

Marianne, an Episcopalian priest is setting up a foundation to continue the work of Marcus and she would like to come to the UK and meet many of us who have been influenced and inspired by Marcus’s writings.

This is a great honour to have her present and she will also be speaking about her hopes for the foundation. Marianne and Diana are clearly close friends and it is Diana who has let me know of Marianne’s intentions. Marianne will be travelling over 4,800 miles to meet us. I hope you might be able to make the rather shorter journey to Birmingham on that day, so that together we can offer not only our condolences but also our gratitude to Marianne for all that Marcus was and said and wrote.

Tickets for the event are available in the PCN Britain shop. Finding God in the World - A Spiritual Revolution

Gay Anglicans and the Primates' Meeting

Gay Anglicans and the Primates' Meeting

You are invited to sign retrospectively the open letter which was sent last week by 105 senior Anglicans to the English Archbishops urging them to take the lead in trying to end the second class treatment given to gay Christians.

You can add your name retrospectively to the list of signatories to the Open Letter by going to the special website set up for this purpose. (Putting your name in the comment section below will not achieve this purpose.)

This is the text of the letter with the original 105 signatories

New PCN group launches in West Sussex

New PCN group launches in West Sussex

The first meeting will be in February 2016 in The Chapel at Billingshurst

Thursday February 4th sees the start of a second PCN group in West Sussex. The Billingshurst group will meet on the first Thursday of every month in ‘The Chapel at Billingshurst’ at 8pm.

At their inaugural meeting the group will discuss PCN’s Eight Points, newly revised in 2015, and also look at different approaches to meditation. The meeting will endeavour draft out plans for future meetings depending on the interests of those present. The convenor, Stuart Coupe, says the group is open to all.

Chair's Update December 2015

Chair's Update December 2015

In December's update PCN Chair, Adrian Alker, looks ahead to 2016 and outlines the varied conferences and events that are planned.

Christmas 2015

As you will have read in the current edition of Progressive Voices, we have appointed Gareth Hexter as our treasurer and we have co-opted him as a new trustee. The trustees met for 24 hours at the Hayes conference centre in Swanwick Derbyshire in November and it is heart-warming to have such a dedicated group of trustees working on behalf of PCN.

I am also delighted that Sarah Guilfoyle, our present administrative assistant has accepted the invitation of the trustees to take over the reins of administrator after Andy retires from that role and I will be finalising arrangements with Sarah in the New Year. We shall however need someone to take the minutes of the trustees meetings from June 2016. We meet four times a year. PCN will pay the full expenses of someone who might feel able to support the network in such work. Could that be you?

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