Report on the South West Regional Day Conference, Saturday 3rd February 2018, by David James
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

In the late 1960s, Charles Napier, a lecturer at the old London College of Divinity, was leading a Doctrine seminar. During it, he proclaimed that in future years it would be Creation, not Salvation that should engage the mind of the Church as it communicated its message to the world.

Most were, in that context, dismissive of his words, but they often came to mind at Manvers Street Baptist Church in Bath on Saturday 3rd February as we listened to Margaret Barker and Bishop Nick Holtham.

by Chris Savage
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

Don’t be fooled by the title! This is not what you think. I am not about to write on the sixty-odd works of the 17th century writer and preacher best known for the Pilgrim’s Progress.

There is a modern-day John Bunyan, a retired Anglican priest living in Australia who is also a faithful member of Modern Church and, thanks to our editor Anthony Woollard, he got in touch with me and sent three slim books he compiled:

  • Conservation, Common Prayer and Communion;
  • Four Score Deodatus, an autobiographical anthology of prose and verse; and
  • Sing Heart and Mind, a Coverdale Daily Psalm book.

by Marcus Braybrooke
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

There was, as he wished, no Memorial Service for Edward Carpenter, who was Dean of Westminster from 1974-1985.

This biography is a fitting memorial. It was written by the distinguished biographer Michael De-la-Noy in 2000, but was unpublished at the time of Michael’s death in 2002. It has now been published by the family who have made minor corrections.

by Alan Race
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

The subtitle ‘a little book of connection’ is misleading. Although the text is a manageable 66 pages, its thought-world is big.

If you are prone to anxiety in the face of what seems like the world’s many-layered fragmentations, this will supply balm for your fears, raise your sights and provide some spiritual succour.
There are attractive summary sentences that beam out on almost every page, such is the author’s evocative style. Here’s one that made me sit up, on p.59:

When you understand it, when you really understand it, not just in your intellect, but in the bones of your being, that there is no separation between you and absolutely everything, which includes the divine, then the game changes.

by Tim Purchase
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

The return to acceptance of meditation as something mainstream, and the availability of information about alternative religious practices has made this book more readable for many, although one has to say that, if the reader has little or no knowledge of spiritual contemplation, they may find the work difficult to understand.

Quite clearly the author, Philip Pegler, holds the subject of his book, the late Rev Dr Martin Israel, in extremely high regard. It does become clear, early in the book, that the lives of both men were very similar, not so much in actual place, but in experience and the desire for ultimate truth.