October 2017 brings the 500th anniversary of the nailing of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses to the Wittenberg church door.

This event, although uncertain, and part of much wider unrest, is generally regarded as the beginning of a movement across the European churches that changed the face of Western Christianity for ever.

In her keynote address to the Modern Church Day conference, Do we need a new Reformation?held in Bath on 15th October 2016, Modern Church's Acting General Secretary Lorraine Cavanagh argued that the prophetic voice of the Church is being stifled by managerialism and the idea that the Church is an ‘organisation’, rather than the body of Christ.

In her 6000 word paper, Reclaiming the Church – A view from the edge, Lorraine claims the Church does not depend on ‘skills’ for its ongoing spiritual life, but on gift. She believes a managerial and outdated authority structure is diluting its collective spiritual life and contributing to fragmentation and a lowering of morale among all its members.

The conference also focused on the Five Marks of Mission[1], the Anglican Communion's statement which 'expresses its 'common commitment to, and understanding of, God’s holistic/integral mission.' Discussion questions pertaining to each of the marks of mission form a composite part of the paper.

Click here to download Lorraine Cavanagh's paper Reclaiming the Church – A view from the edge.


[1] The 5 Marks of Mission are:

  1. To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom.
  2. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers.
  3. To respond to human need by loving service.
  4. To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.
  5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.