Recent Articles

“Pick for Britain” - Grapes of Wrath revisited?

“Pick for Britain” - Grapes of Wrath revisited?

5am starts, 10 hour days, poverty wages and no running water—the grim reality of “picking for Britain”

​Our chair Adrian Alker has started a discussion on the future shape of the society we want to see. It is an urgent discussion the necessity and urgency of which was brought home to me by an article in Prospect Magazine written by Herbie Russell ( May 30, 2020) To me it seems the scenario revealed in the 1930’s work by Steinbeck “Grapes of Wrath” was being lived out in 21st century England. Herbie records how Environment Secretary George Eustice launched the official “Pick for Britain” campaign, encouraging the population to take up work on farms across the country. The media had made bleak premonitions of “a disastrous situation” in which “mountains of food are left to rot”. These warnings could find themselves realised if the call failed and, Herbie says, signalling an intensification of the recruitment drive last week the government wheeled out Prince Charles donning his humblest, most rumpled coat,

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Questions arising from the AGM papers

Questions arising from the AGM papers

There were two questions that were asked in response to the Annual Report.

1. The accounts mention the costs of PayPal, so is it necessary to offer payment that way? Can we advise everyone that it is less expensive for PCN to use card etc.? From PCN Treasurer Peter Stribblehill: The accounts show the amount we pay to PayPal so that members are aware that using the service comes at a cost. It is a convenient way for them to pay for membership, conferences, publications etc and so serves a useful purpose.

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News from St. Mark's CRC

News from St. Mark's CRC

We’re sad to tell you that one of PCN’s partners, St Mark’s CRC (Centre for Radical Christianity) based in Sheffield since 2003 has decided to close down because of factors such as changes in the church locally and nationally, and a declining membership.

Over its lifetime CRC mounted many interesting and stimulating day conferences and smaller evening seminars. However, over the last two years, and thanks to a grant from the Jim Cotter Trust, CRC has been able to build and launch an insightful and inspirational new website of theological and spiritual resources https://www.crconline.org.uk/ (accessible on PCs, tablets and smart phones). The website operates under three major groupings:
  1. Questioning Church;
  2. Deepening Spirituality;
  3. World of Diversity.
Please take a look at what’s there. Contributions are also welcome – follow the Submit a Resource drop down tab. Thank you for your support of CRC over the years and we look forward to your continued interest via the website.

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Revd David Charles-Edwards - Rugby PCN group remembers

Revd David Charles-Edwards - Rugby PCN group remembers

“Unity in diversity” was his mantra and he did not seek to impose his views

On 9th March the Rugby PCN group met to share our memories of our friend David Charles Edwards and to think of his family following his sudden death from heart failure on 6th March. We will miss his presence greatly. David had been one of the founding members of our group in 2004 and a driving force in publicising its ethos to the wider community and contributing to the programme. David influenced and supported many people in their spiritual and life journeys and we felt we wanted to share our knowledge of his own journey with the wider PCN community as a tribute to him.

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News about PCN Britain's 2020 AGM

News about PCN Britain's 2020 AGM

This year, given the coronavirus pandemic, the Trustees have decided to hold a remote Annual General Meeting.

This year’s Annual General Meeting was scheduled to be held on the 21st March but was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Having consulted the Charity Commission, given the peculiar circumstances in which we find ourselves, the Management Committee has decided to conduct a remote AGM by post and email. So that the purpose of the AGM can legitimately be fulfilled, each member will have the chance to ask questions and receive answers before casting any votes. Information was sent to members by email, or by post where we do not hold an email address, on the 11th May 2020. If you think that you shoudl have received this information and have not, please contact the office.

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Church leaders united in response to Covid-19

Church leaders united in response to Covid-19

Church leaders from denominations across Britain and Ireland, have today issued this statement for Easter.

Holy Week Statement from British and Irish Church leaders God's world is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. In the nations that make up Britain and Ireland the Covid-19 virus continues to affect people at an alarming rate, health services along with many of our institutions and organisations, both local and national, are under extreme pressure and people are getting used to living in a very different way, many in extreme isolation. As with all such crises, there is a danger that the most vulnerable in society will be most badly affected. We join our prayers with all those who pray in our own churches and communities and around the world.

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Unlikely Family

Unlikely Family

UNLIKELY FAMILY tells the heartwarming story of a church in the heart of America’s “bible belt” that decided to throw off the shackles of guilt, shame and fear

Andy Kinslow and Russ Kirkpatrick have produced a feature length documentary on the first 20 years of the St. Jerome Parish in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the United States. The film, Unlikely Family, is now streaming on Amazon in the UK. It is showing on Amazon channels in the United States, Great Britain, and multiple other territories, including Canada, Australia, and the Philippines. This inspiring story (See synopsis below) about how The Parish Church of St. Jerome was started, and its first 20 years, was produced as part of the 20th anniversary of the church. The version that was shown at theaters and film festivals was the “Director’s Cut.” When California Pictures picked it up for distribution it was re-edited to make it more appealing for an international audience. The main difference is more interviews with religious scholars. Follow this Unlikely Family as it challenges the archaic ideology that being openly gay — and Christian — is incompatible.

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The times they are a changing

The times they are a changing

Irish RC diocese shows overwhelming support for married priests and women deacons and priests, and more inclusive Church

A survey in Irish RC diocese shows 85% back married priests,81% believe priests who have married should return, 80% support women as deacons and 69% women as priests. 86% want a church more inclusive of gays. Bishop Fleming says they were inspired by Pope Francis’ vision of synodality as well as his criticisms of clericalism. Elsewhere Bishop Dermot Farrell of Ossory has said the Irish Church needs “a bold creative response rather than fleeing from the reality of the distressful present.” Speaking to Religious gathered for a celebration of World Day of Consecrated Life, he said: “Our Lord is the Lord of risk. Bold decisions must be taken today, even if it is painful to do so, and we risk making the wrong decision. Otherwise we die of irrelevancy.”

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PCN BRITAIN AND THE CORONAVIRUS

PCN BRITAIN AND THE CORONAVIRUS

TO ALL MEMBERS AND FRIENDS ACROSS THE NETWORK

As the situation regarding the coronavirus worsens, the trustees of PCN have made the following decisions as of today, March 18th: 1. The AGM and Film Launch, due to take place on Saturday 21 March has already been cancelled. 2. We have decided to postpone the conference, ‘Thinking Science, Thinking Faith’, which was due to take place in York on April 25th. All those who booked will have their money refunded. We hope the conference will go ahead at a time when it is safe to do so. 3. The third major PCN gathering is due to take place on Saturday 10th October, when we have invited the Revd Deshna Shine, Executive Director of the Progressive Christianity organisation in the USA to speak at the fifth and final Marcus Borg memorial conference. This is scheduled to take place at the Church at Carrs Lane in Birmingham and our hope is that this conference may go ahead. Please do book the date in your diary and we will keep you informed of developments. 4. It is greatly disappointing that we will be unable, at present, to mount a number of film launches, when we bring folk together to watch the films we have commissioned. The only compensation is that we have time now to complete all six films, to give them subtitles and to launch them on a new dedicated website, which is in the process of being developed. We will be developing ways in which we create an online forum for discussion about the issues raised in the films. Those in groups might want to set up virtual meetings when each member can view the films and exchange their views etc. We will let you know when ‘Made of Stories’ kicks off! May I repeat that our first concern is for the wellbeing of all our members, who are used to coming to PCN events and also attending local groups. All such gathering activity will probably cease for the time being. However we are determined that our on-line presence and other ways forms of communication with each other will continue. We shall use this time to make improvements to our website and put greater effort into fulfilling our aims through various media platforms. And, as trustees, we once more thank you for your membership and wish you well at this time. Adrian Alker, Chair of the trustees

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PCN Britain's AGM is cancelled

PCN Britain's AGM is cancelled

It is with great regret that we have decided to cancel the AGM and film launch.

PCN BRITAIN AND THE CORONAVIRUS As with all other organisations, the trustees of PCN Britain have discussed the dangers posed by the Coronavirus to those who travel on public transport and meet with others in small or larger gatherings. We are aware that many of our members are aged over 70 and that some do have underlying health issues. Our first concern is for the wellbeing of all our members and it is therefore with a heavy heart that we have decided to cancel the AGM and the Film Launch, due to take place in London on March 21st, when we are told that the virus will be reaching its peak in the UK. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused and we realise that many people, like myself, will have paid for travel in advance or even booked accommodation.

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Chair’s Update to PCN Members from Adrian Alker

Chair’s Update to PCN Members from Adrian Alker

as the trustees discuss what our priorities should be I would love to hear from you!

Dear Friends, Already in this year there are a number of events to remind you of in this brief update. Our Film Shorts to be launched at the AGM You will know by now that the films will be launched at the PCN Annual Meeting which takes place on Saturday 21 March 2020 at St Luke’s Church, Holloway, London. You will have received full details about the day from Sarah and in particular I do want to thank again all of you who have contributed financially to the project and hope to see you at the launch of the films. Please don’t forget to let Sarah (sarah.guilfoyle@pcnbritain.org.uk) or myself (adrian.alker@pcnbritain.org.uk) know that you are coming for catering purposes. After the AGM the films will be available for groups to use how they wish and an accompanying discussion guide is being produced. For more information please elsewhere on this website.

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Church of England to be a forward looking, welcoming, open and inclusive church?

Church of England to be a forward looking, welcoming, open and inclusive church?

Do you want a church that welcomes and celebrates everyone in the name of Jesus Christ, regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity, economic power, mental health or sexuality?

If you do you need to do three things: 1) Be on the Electoral Roll for your church You can do this if you are aged 16 or over, are baptised, and either live in the parish or have worshipped for at least six months at the church. 2) Become a representative of your church on the local Deanery Synod These positions are being elected at your Annual Parochial Church Meeting, held in March, April or May.

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Archbishops apologise for pastoral guidance on sexual relationships

Archbishops apologise for pastoral guidance on sexual relationships

We as Archbishops, alongside the bishops of the Church of England, apologise and take responsibility for releasing a statement last week which we acknowledge has jeopardised trust.

Jayne Ozanne, a leading campaigner for LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the church, told The Guardian she was grateful for the statement but feels the Church should offer ‘more than words’. The campaigner, who contributed to an open letter saying the ‘guidance’ had made the C of E a ‘laughing stock’, added: We await the evidence that they have truly heard and taken onboard our concerns by what comes out of the Living in Love and Faith report.

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