More... Annual Conference 2019    

Annual Conference 2019

Theology in the public square - Monday 15th to Wednesday 17th July 2019 at High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Herts.

More... Modern Church is 120!    

Modern Church is 120!

Modern Church is celebrating 120 years with a social media campaign recording key moments in its history

More... Modern Church, Greenbelt & Pussy Riot    

Modern Church, Greenbelt & Pussy Riot

Modern Church General Secretary Jonathan Draper reflects on our partnership with this year's festival and sponsorship of three acts

More... Our annual conference - A student's perspective    

Our annual conference - A student's perspective

Trainee Methodist Pioneer Minister Dave Shaw thanks delegates who donated to enable student volunteers to attend this year

More... Reclaiming evangelism: Positive liberal theologies of mission    

Reclaiming evangelism: Positive liberal theologies of mission

Modern Church sponsored day conference Saturday 2nd February 2019 9.30am-4pm, Liverpool.

More... New head of contemporary spirituality    

New head of contemporary spirituality

NEW Managing Editor of Modern Church's quarterly liberal theology journal Modern Believing announced as Coordinator of Centre for Contemporary Spirituality…


In the midst of death...

Editorial by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 71 - Oct 2018

Our annual conference this year on ‘Ritual, Worship and Culture’ came close at times to being dominated by the theme of death.

That comment requires a good deal of unpacking - not least because the conference managed, at the same time, to be a thoroughly life-filled affair, characterized by the frequent and welcome participation of baby Fergus (son of Hilary Topp, national co-ordinator of the Student Christian Movement (SCM) and the customary inspiration, at the other end of the age spectrum, of the indomitable Mary Roe and irrepressible Sally Barnes - from whom see more below - among others.

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A refreshed Grand Narrative for the West: Escaping from a narrow understanding of reason

by Brenda Watson
from Signs of the Times No. 71 - Oct 2018

The first flaw in the current argument about grand narratives and common values, discussed in my article in the July issue of Signs of the Times, concerned confusion over values.

Lesser values such as freedom of speech, which depend upon particular situations for validity, have taken precedence over foundational values such as concern for truth.

However, lack of nurture or education in values has a deeper cause. Values are regarded as subjective and therefore it is up to people to decide for themselves. Of course, the needs of society and political enthusiasm for various beliefs mean that values are still instilled, especially through the law. But values themselves are not seen as being amenable to reasoning. This constitutes the second flaw which needs addressing for a renewed Grand Narrative for the West.

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A Swedish journey towards inclusion

by Sally Barnes
from Signs of the Times No. 71 - Oct 2018

In April a delegation from Inclusive Church (IC) was invited by Swedish Lutheran friends from the Diocese of Stockholm to take part in a conference being held on their pilot project, ‘Accessibility and Inclusion - a Church for and with everyone’.

We also visited churches that are part of the project to see the work they are doing and meet members of their communities. This visit arose as a result of one made last year by the same group whom we hosted in the Dioceses of Manchester and Liverpool to see schools and churches that were similarly working on inclusion.

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Review - Who is my neighbour? ed. Carter & Wells

by Paul Brett
from Signs of the Times No. 71 - Oct 2018

These twelve essays, with prologue and epilogue, emerge from a series of lectures at St Martin-in-the-Fields in central London. Some of the essays have been previously published elsewhere.

In his preface Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin’s, himself the son of migrants, uses the Old Testament story of Ruth to show how migration, far from being a threat, can be a gift to a nation.

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Review - God, improv, and the art of living by Maryann McKibben Dana

by T Derrick Witherington
from Signs of the Times No. 71 - Oct 2018

In a pluralized context wherein the variety of possible choices becomes ever more widened with each passing day, many people seek an identity which can provide them with a certain degree of certainty.

Identity is, of course, necessary, but sometimes identities which are too strong and closed can possess a closed, lifeless, and, at times, lethal edge.

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