PCN Chair's update

A look at some of the activities currently being undertaken by PCN Britain, outlined by the chair, John Churcher.

Chair’s Update

The Management Committee’s annual 24 hour residential was held on 9th-10th November. Here is a snapshot of the new initiatives being undertaken.

PCN Britain’s 10th anniversary in 2013

Bishop Jack Spong officially launched PCN at St James’ Piccadilly on Saturday 18th May 2003. The trustees would like to make our tenth anniversary year an occasion to work together to raise our profile and to recruit more members. PCN’s membership is currently nearly 600 but to judge from the number of people who attend PCN-affiliated groups or who make use of our website there are many more who share our aims. Our target is to increase

our membership to 1000 by the end of our anniversary year. If each one of us recruits one more we will surpass that target. Free PCN information leaflets can be ordered online. http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/shop/product/pcn_britain_membership_leaflet.

PCN’s policy on sponsorship

PCN has set up fund of up to £500 a year to provide grants to affiliated groups for projects which are not revenue generating. This might be a leafleting campaign or expenses for a guest speaker to attend a meeting. The maximum for each grant will be £50 and groups will have to demonstrate that they are also making a financial contribution. Details of the new policy and an application form can be found on the website: http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/resources/publications/sponsorship_grants_for_pcn_affiliated_groups

For revenue generating projects, such as regional conferences, we still offer underwriting up to a maximum of £500 for each event. Underwriting details can be found at: ttp://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/resources/publications/conference_planning_-_financial_underwriting_policy_available_to_affiliated

New Website

PCN Britain has a new website which was launched at the start of this month. If you’ve not yet had a look, I’d recommend a visit. http://pcnbritain.org.uk. New features include a Blog section for progressive writers and more space for local group activities. You’ll find a guide on how to use the new Groups section here: http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/resources/publications/how_to_register_yourself_on_this_website

Making PCN’s voice heard

PCN trustees are publishing more press statements and you can view these online: http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/news. The latest concern the appointment of the next Archbishop of Canterbury and the recent Church of England Synod vote on women bishops. On the latter subject, I’d like to encourage all members who feel they can to sign a petition which has come our way today. http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/women-bishops-another-vote-now

We are still looking for members willing to speak to the media from a progressive Christian point of view. Training will be provided. Please contact me if you are interested or would like more information.

PCN Britain and churches

PCN’s autumn conference was called “A Jesus Shaped Church, Christian Shaped Lives”. Adrian Alker presented a vision of what churches could be like if they followed the Kingdom teachings and practices of Jesus. His four scripts can be downloaded free of charge http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/resources/category/talks_and_articles or you can order a double CD recording for £7 plus £1.40 P&P http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/shop/product/adrian_alker_2012_in_london_2012_2_cd_set.

During the conference, PCN launched a new leaflet aiming to show churches that PCN is here to help not undermine. It offers to provide resources for congregations to explore a Christianity which is inclusive and open-minded. You can order free copies of the new leaflet to be sent to you: http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/shop/product/helping_churches_to_celebrate_a_21st_century_faith_pcn_britain_leaflet.

Conference programme for 2013

1. Saturday April 20th 2013, at Lumen URC, Tavistock, Place London WC1H 9RS, London: Celebrating a 21st Century Faith. Talks and workshops will be led by teams from three churches around the country as we explore how progressive churches express Christian faith ‘on the ground’. There are four themes: articulating progressive faith, progressive worship, inclusion and working across the age ranges. Details: http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/events/detail/celebrating_a_21st_century_faith. The venue is close to St Pancras, Kings Cross and Euston stations. Please note that the 2013 PCN Britain AGM will be held during the lunch break at this conference.

2. Friday 7th – Sunday 9th June 2013, at Glenfall House, near Cheltenham, GL54 4EP: Annual PCN members residential weekend. Details for this weekend will be published in January.

3. Friday 8th – Sunday 10th November 2013 at The Hayes Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire, DE55 1AU: Permission to Think Honestly – Honest to God 50 years on. This is a weekend residential conference organised jointly with Modern Church. Five speakers have been invited. Topics will reflect the themes of Robinson’s book: Church, Ethics, Christology, Culture.

4. We have recently heard that Dr Val Webb, a leading Australian progressive Christian writer and speaker is to visit the UK next June. She has agreed to address PCN meetings in return for overnight hospitality. We hope to arrange a short tour and if local groups or churches would like to host such an event please let me know. Her website: http://www.valwebb.com.au/

PCN photo galleries

A number of photo-galleries have been posted on the website. These include this year’s PCN’s presence at a very muddy Greenbelt. http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/resources/photos

Study Guides

A reminder that Adrian Alker’s advent study guide, Christmas, Ancient Meanings, Modern Faith, is available in both hard copy and kindle format http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/shop/product/christmas-ancient-meanings-modern-faith . The whole Together in Hope study guide series can be viewed here. http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk/shop/series/together_in_hope

The steering group behind Together in Hope is looking for new authors. If you have an idea for a new study booklet for the series then please contact the editor, Adrian Alker adrian.alker@pcnbritain.org.uk

Volunteers needed

We are still in need of someone with skills to design the layout of our quarterly magazine, Progressive Voices. It would require a concentrated effort initially and then a focussed few hours four times a year. The trustees are also seeking a volunteer to build a catalogue of the articles in Progressive Voices. As all the back issues are now online this would help visitors to make full use of them. If you might help with either of these tasks, please get in touch with Andy Vivian, the Administrator, who can provide more information: andy.vivian@pcnbritain.org.uk .

This will be the last emailed update before Christmas, so please, have a blessed one. And don’t forget this is also the season to renew your membership of PCN for 2013 – forms will come with the December edition of Progressive Voices.

John Churcher


PCN Britain, 26 High Street, Newnham, Gloucestershire, GL14 1BB, Tel 01594 516528 http://www.pcnbritain.org.uk

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