As Modern Church enters its 120th anniversary year (it was founded on 27th July 1898), we have much to celebrate: a long history of publishing quality theological work that has both contributed to and, from time to time, shaped the national theological debate, not least in the Church of England.

Modern Church has always been about communication: of ideas, critique, a theological method, and scholarship. How we continue and communicate that heritage and continuing work in a digital age and new context has become a pressing question.

Following intense scrutiny this month from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), an Oxford theologian has argued that the Church of England is no longer competent to run its own safeguarding.

The Very Revd Prof Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, has set out his argument in an article published on the website of Modern Church, a society promoting liberal Christianity, of which he is a Vice President.

In the essay, called Cricket, Elephants, Armies and other Analogies: The Church of England after IICSA, Prof Percy says:

‘time and again the reputation of the Church of England was placed at a premium, and well above the needs or interests of those who had been abused.’

In response to the Church of England House of Bishops’ announcement last week that a new liturgy to mark the transition of a transgender person is not needed, despite the overwhelming support of General Synod in July 2017 to ‘consider preparing nationally commended liturgical materials to mark a person's gender transition’, a lecturer on Christianity and issues of gender and sexual equality has published an article challenging this decision.

In an article published today on the Modern Church website, Dr Rob Clucas from the School of Law and Politics at the University of Hull, describes the House of Bishop’s latest action as a failure to address properly the framework of legal and institutional discrimination against trans people in the Church of England, which includes the lack of official rituals and services to celebrate the significant events of trans people within the Church.

In the 2017 Donald Barnes Memorial Lecture last month, Canon Mark Oakley, Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, called for a renewal of our language and thinking as we try to articulate a vision of God for the world.

Canon Oakley seeks:

'A poetic theology of experience - theology of this sort won’t be neat or comfortable but neither is the life with or under God of which it attempts to speak. We are not to possess the truth but to serve it. We are not here to resolve the mystery of God but to deepen it. We are not to reflect jargon and cliché – the devil is in the drivel when logos has turned to slogan – but to draw from the fountain of poetry and the faith words that feel strange but something like home.'

In response to the decision of the new incumbent of St Selpulchre without Newgate, London, known as the Musicians' Church because of its long history as a rehearsal and performance space for classical musicians, as reported in the Church Times on 18th August, our new General Secretary Jonathan Draper has issued the following statement which was published on the Church TImes letters page on 1st September.

Andrew Brown in his Press column (Church Times, 25th August) referred to the recent events at St Sepulchre Without Newgate – the "national musicians’ church" where apparently bookings are no longer welcome from choirs and orchestras because their music is not religious, after a church-plant from Holy Trinity, Brompton — as a significant act of “disevangelism”.