by Rosalind Lund
from Signs of the Times No. 37 - Apr 2010

My mother, Christina, and I have been much moved and touched by the tributes to my father expressed in Signs of the Times and elsewhere. However, I feel  I must put a couple of things straight.

My grandparents, Mary and Herbert Pettit (Christina's parents), joined MCU during the 1920s. They were both brought up Congregationalist,  but on moving to the village of Boughton in Northamptonshire following their marriage in 1918, they became active members of their local parish church. My grandmother served on the PCC and my grandfather sang in the choir,  regularly read the Lesson and was Churchwarden for many years. MCU gave them an opportunity to engage with their faith on an intellectual level which informed their lives and ministry.

by Christine Alker
from Signs of the Times No. 37 - Apr 2010

MCU is one of four organisations (also the Progressive Christianity Network Britain, St Mark's Centre for Radical Christianity and Free to Believe) who are working together to produce a series of booklets to meet two particular needs: discussion material for groups of progressive Christians and material for those working with and bringing up children to help them talk with them about God and Bible stories.

The booklets will be accessible to a wide readership, about 28 pages in all, broken up into five or six sections, each of which  could be used as a basis for one session's discussion with questions to get people talking.

by Jonathan Clatworthy
from Signs of the Times No. 37 - Apr 2010

Belonging or believing: which determines the church's character?

For a few weeks earlier this year the UK tabloids were full  of a story about footballers. The captain of a team had had sexual intercourse with the partner of a team player. The media consensus was that the act was a moral affront to the woman's partner, even though she was not married to him, and the offender was deprived of his captaincy.

The traditional 'no sex outside marriage' rule seems  to have completely disappeared from public view; but I refer to this event for a different reason.

by Jean Mayland
from Signs of the Times No. 37 - Apr 2010

Ralph and I were fortunate to have our week by the Red Sea in Egypt again this year. Ralph very much wanted to go to St Katharine's Monastery once more, and so off we went driving in the coach through the awe inspiring wilderness of Sinai with its barren rocks, formidable mountains and miles of sand.

The week before we went, Egypt had had an extraordinary eight hours of rain - the first for 40 years we were told by the guide - funny I thought that those 40 years keep turning up! As a result this time we actually saw some pools in the wilderness - little oases which were delighting the Bedouin.

Editorial by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 37 - Apr 2010

Whilst the Anglican Communion fiddles with its own affairs, the wider world does not stand still. And as our President, John Saxbee, makes clear in his recent book No Faith in Religion,1 it is within that wider world that we as liberal Christians should be finding our principal focus. The Gospel must be relevant in the marketplace or it is not relevant at all.

A General Election is upon us. Signs of the Times is not a political journal and it is not our task to analyse the parties' likely manifestos. But those manifestos begin to be interesting to us when they betray what looks like the influence of theology. I have in mind particularly the phenomenon known as "Red Toryism" which may, or may not, help to shape the Conservative manifesto and perhaps indirectly others also.