by David L Edwards
from Signs of the Times No. 20 - Jan 2006

I was fascinated by the Annual Conference of the MCU last summer because it was about the relationship between religion and science.

No subject is more important if the statistical and emotional depression of the churches in Britain and most of the rest of Europe during my fifty years as a priest is to be reversed or even stabilised. Atheism is still the conviction of no more than a minority but most people seem to lack the assurance that would enable them to pray 'O my God!' relying on God being there and being willing to take notice and action.

by Jim Cotter
from Signs of the Times No. 20 - Jan 2006

In the newsletter for October 2005, Merryn Hellier made this comment on the MCU conference at St Deiniol's in September:

'It seemed extraordinary that... the MCU still chose to use standard forms and theologies in the only worship of the conference.'

She also notes the questionable practice of affirming every reading from the Scriptures as 'This is the Word of the Lord,' and alludes to the many texts of violation and to the grip of 'proof-texting millennialism' in the USA.

by John Saxbee
from Signs of the Times No. 20 - Jan 2006

It is really difficult to call the exact balance of the new Synod. It is a smaller body, and that has meant that each Diocese will be represented by fewer members in the Houses of Clergy and Laity.

Consequently, some familiar faces will be missing from the Synod during this quinquennium, including the likes of David McClean, Colin Buchanan, and Brian McHenry. Furthermore, Bishop Richard Harries took leave of the Synod at its first group of sessions, and he will also leave a considerable gap to be filled, when it comes to informing debates and giving commonsense guidance.

by Erica Wooff
from Signs of the Times No. 20 - Jan 2006

The Church of England elected a new General Synod in September. Before the results were announced there was much speculation about whether the new composition would reflect the increasing polarization of Anglicanism. Many of us at the MCU were concerned that increasing numbers of candidates would be elected on the basis of what they would oppose rather than of what they would affirm. So we gave some - inevitably limited - support to InclusiveChurch's attempt to encourage candidates who welcome the diversity and openness of the Church. Erica Wooff describes what happened.

Now the body is not made up of one part, but of many... The eye cannot say to the hand, "I do not need you". (1 Cor. 12:20)

Thanks to the support of our partner organisations, including the Modern Churchpeople's Union, InclusiveChurch was able to plan and implement a highly successful General Synod Campaign in 2004/5.

by Richard Truss
from Signs of the Times No. 20 - Jan 2006

The Diocese of Southwark has just acquired three new deacons without the Bishop of the Diocese's permission, licence, or hands being laid on them, thus bringing home to one of our more enlightened sees the fissure that is widening in the Anglican Communion as a whole.

It has deeply divided not only the Church of England in south London as a whole, but also the evangelicals themselves. Whilst some were supportive to the extent of attending the ordinations, others are aghast that they should have happened at all and have rallied round the Bishop of Southwark.