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
We are fast approaching our May 14 Day Conference at the ‘Church at Carrs Lane’ Birmingham when we will celebrate Marcus Borg's great contribution to progressive Christianity. One of his leading admirers, Diana Butler Bass, will give presentations around her latest book 'Grounded', under the title: Finding God in the World – a Spiritual Revolution. We will also be honoured by the presence of Marianne Borg, Marcus’s widow. Marianne is setting up a foundation to continue the work of Marcus and in coming to the UK she hopes to meet many of us who have been influenced and inspired by Marcus’s writings. I am delighted that to date over 200 people are booked in and this should be a great occasion to meet friends old and new and to celebrate the close relationships between the sponsoring organisations. Its not too late to book in - for full details of this and all PCN events please go to our www.pcnbritain.org.uk/events or call the office 01594 516528.
The Birmingham conference is closely followed by the Devon County Show at Exeter, taking place from 19- 21 May and it’s good that PCN Britain will have a presence there, thanks to the enthusiasm of local PCN members. On Saturday 4 June our Maidenhead and Windsor group have organised an intriguing day of dialogue under the title Open Faith – Humanism and Christianity. We are invited to a day for sharing, exploring and discussing with Emma Percy, Chaplain of Trinity College, Oxford and David Pollock, of the British Humanist Association. Later in June PCN will again have a stall and presence, this time at the Solas festival near Perth (in Scotland not Australia!).
Looking ahead to the autumn, two of our trustees, Richard Gray and Paul Onslow have taken on the huge responsibility for organizing a tour by Brian McLaren, who will visit venues across the UK. Our thanks to Richard and Paul. Tickets are now on sale and full details of the venues and booking arrangements are on the event page.
Back in January the new title in our Together in Hope series was launched - 'Re-thinking Worship?', written by Jan Berry. This has met with great enthusiasm and you can purchase the book from our own PCN on-line shop or as a Kindle.
May I remind our many groups that PCN Britain now sells the titles in the Living the Questions series, so helpful as resources for discussion. You can see the titles and prices here .
Many more events are happening thanks to the energy of so many of our local groups. All such events and meetings can be seen on the groups pages and the events pages of our website so do please keep your eye on all of this. I am particularly enjoying, as chair, travelling to meet the different groups and to have the opportunity to raise some of the themes and issues which I try to address in my book, Is a Radical Church Possible?
Although the diary is pretty full this year, I would always welcome an invitation to visit a group or to speak at a local conference in 2017.
All good wishes