Recent Articles

McAleese Once Again Calls Out Church Teaching on Homosexuality In No Uncertain Terms

McAleese Once Again Calls Out Church Teaching on Homosexuality In No Uncertain Terms

Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese recently denounced the Church’s teaching on homosexuality

Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese recently denounced the Church’s teaching on homosexuality saying the doctrine “empowers the homophobic bully,” and that it is the church teaching, not homosexuality, which is “intrinsically evil.” Novena News reported that McAleese, who served as president from 1997 to 2011, made the remarks on a podcast entitled Dive Into Pride during Dublin’s Pride celebrations. McAleese holds a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. She currently serves as chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin.
Covid 19 and financial challenges facing the Anglican and RC Churches

Covid 19 and financial challenges facing the Anglican and RC Churches

“working together in the coming months to collectively re-shape our use of resources and ministry structures”

Collections in churches are badly hit by the pandemic writes Catherine Pepinster in The Tablet with the RC Church experiencing a catastrophic drop in income after churches closed in March. The experience so far, Catherine Pepinster said, is that priests who rely on church collections for their livelihoods have endured a catastrophic drop in income after churches closed in March because of the coronavirus lockdown. Even as lockdown eases given the limited numbers of people who have returned to Mass, the financial situation still remains precarious. In some Southwark parishes income dropped by up to 70 per cent. In the CofE the Rt Rev Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, told the Yorkshire Post that the finances of the diocese would take a “big hit” as rental income halted, donation plate giving stopped and other income streams, such as tourism and that gained through weddings and baptisms, dried up. “It won’t be until the end of the year when we know what the true impact will be.”
How HR is strangling the Church of England - Giles Fraser writing in UnHerd

How HR is strangling the Church of England - Giles Fraser writing in UnHerd

Financial pressure stimulates panicky missionary initiatives with inviting sounding names

Giles fears that what is dangerous to the overall mission and credibility of the church is the fearful reaction that often accompanies reductions of clergy and closures. Financial pressure, he states, stimulates panicky missionary initiatives with inviting sounding names dreamt up in the religious PR department. Bishop Cedd managed with the Bible, faith in the living God and a good pair of shoes.
People leaving German church at record rate - reports Christa Pongratz-Lippitt (The Tablet)

People leaving German church at record rate - reports Christa Pongratz-Lippitt (The Tablet)

272,771 people left the country's Catholic Church in 2019, and 270,000 people ended their membership of the Protestant Church.

The German bishops’ conference announced on Friday that a record 272,771 people left the country's Catholic Church in 2019. The number represented an increase of more than 56,000 on the 216,000 who left in 2018, and exceeds by a large margin the previous record of 218,000 leaving in 2014. The figures are part of a growing countrywide exodus from the Christian Churches. The German Protestant Church saw a similar loss of members, with 270,000 people ending their membership in 2019, an increase of 22 per cent on the previous year. The figures in Germany are easy to record, because those leaving officially opt out of the otherwise compulsory church tax.
Occupied Palestine - few outside observers watching and reporting what is happening.

Occupied Palestine - few outside observers watching and reporting what is happening.

No palm-waving Christians, no donkey. All was still. No pilgrims in the holy places

The coronavirus pandemic means that many people in the UK and Ireland are experiencing new restrictions on their everyday lives. But for people in occupied Palestine, living with restrictions is a part of daily life, and human rights violations are common. Annexation of Palestinian lands, threatened by the Israeli government from 1 July, would make this situation permanent.
“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,
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.
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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