Conclusion

It seems to me, therefore, that Modern Church has stood the test of time remarkably well. It is not nearly so much in the public eye as it was in the early decades of the twentieth century, when our annual conferences would attract detailed reports in the national newspapers, but it is remarkable to observe how well the arguments they presented then stand up today. What they aimed to do then is what we are aiming to do now. I doubt whether the same can be said for any other religious organisation of this age.

We might also agree with the Church Gazette’s comments on the first annual meeting of what was then The Churchmen’s Union for the Advancement of Liberal Religious Thought, held on 6th October 1899, as it surveyed the achievements of its first year in existence:

Hitherto it is merely the extremists on all hands who have had any voice or expression in the appeals made by a variety of societies to the nation at large. These have fretted and fumed and strutted so noisily on the stage that they have nearly induced the great bulk of Englishmen to believe that they represent between them the mind of the Church of England. And if that were literally the case, Englishmen would not be far wrong in concluding that their church was in a very bad way.[17]

Notes:

[1] Church Gazette 8 Oct 1898.
[2] Church Gazette 18 June 1898.
[3] Church Gazette 25 June 1898.
[4] Church Gazette 5 Nov 1898.
[5] Church Gazette 6 Aug 1898.
[6] Church Gazette 6 Aug 1898.
[7] Church Gazette 18 June 1898.
[8] Church Gazette 8 Oct 1898.
[9] Church Gazette 6 Aug 1898.
[10] Church Gazette 6 Aug 1898.
[11] Church Gazette 6 Aug 1898.
[12] Church Gazette 6 Aug 1898.
[13] Church Gazette 6 Aug 1898.
[14] Church Gazette 6 Aug 1898.
[15] Church Gazette 8 Oct 1898.
[16] http://www.modernchurch.org.uk/index.php/anglican-covenant
[17] Church Gazette 14 Oct 1899.