Editorial by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 66 - Jul 2017

If this edition has a theme, it is that of leadership. We in Modern Church face challenges in this area this summer, as our trustees vote for a new Chair, and as we learn who has been appointed as our new part-time salaried General Secretary. Who will lead us? How will their roles work out in a new configuration of responsibilities? What will their leadership styles be?

But such issues in our organisation, and in the wider Church, are dwarfed by those on the public stage. This edition goes to press following one of the most disturbing (and leader-dominated) General Election campaigns we have known. Leadership in our nation, and in many others, is more problematic than it has been in living memory.

by Robert Baldwin
from Signs of the Times No. 66 - Jul 2017

In February 2017, the Synod of the Church of England voted not to ‘take note’ of a Bishops’ report on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships.

The Archbishops’ response was to seek ‘a radical new Christian inclusion… (which) must be founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology and the Christian faith as the Church of England has received it; it must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual’.

by Anthony Wollard
from Signs of the Times No. 66 - Jul 2017
First published in Trinity Times, the parish magazine of Stratford-upon-Avon, April 2017

As we approach Easter, perhaps this is a good time to ask whether this is any longer a Christian country, and, if so, in what sense.

We know that church attendance has been falling for many years. A generation ago, the then Archbishop of Canterbury forecast that the Church of England would be extinct by 2015. Well, it isn’t. But numbers are certainly down. And that does matter, because membership of a worshipping community is at the heart of full Christian discipleship.

by Vanessa Herrick
from Signs of the Times No. 66 - Jul 2017

This is a deeply refreshing book from an author who knows both the joys and pains of being a leader and who is not afraid to write about them.

After a decade or more of the publication of books on Christian leadership which have often seemed to emphasize the strengths of secular leadership models for the Christian calling, this short book emerges as a gem of biblical wisdom and humanity.

by Michael Goater
from Signs of the Times No. 66 - Jul 2017

The Reluctant Leader is a self-help coaching manual intended, as the title implies, for those who hold back from seeking leadership and those in leadership roles already who find difficulty in exercising their influence and authority.

Both authors bring extensive practical experience to the task from their work with individuals, groups and teams in the private, public and voluntary sectors. The book is equally informed, as one would expect from Professor Shaw's academic credentials, with a wealth of appropriate theory, but the text wears its learning lightly and is readily approachable throughout.