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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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…

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Signs of the Times 2006


No. 20 - Jan 2006

Terminally Ill Bill
Paul Badham
The challenge of multi-culturalism
Anne Davison
Reflections on The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Jean Mayland
Church planting with menaces
Richard Truss
Partnership and Promotion: the InclusiveChurch campaign 2005
Erica Wooff
General Synod - the next five years
John Saxbee
Beauty and belief
Jim Cotter
O my God!
David L Edwards


No. 21 - Apr 2006

Editorial: The resurrection: help or hindrance to faith?
Jonathan Clatworthy
Theology in the Church
George Pattison
The Anglican liberal tradition
Paul Badham
Civil partnerships: Fulcrum and the Bishop of Bangor
Summary of a debate
Dialogue and difference
Martyn Percy
No TEA for me thank you
Jean Mayland


No. 22 - Jul 2006

Editorial: A two-tier Anglicanism?
Jonathan Clatworthy
Don't erect walls of exclusion
Paul Colton
Women bishops and gays? That's the Church for me!
Jean Mayland
St Mark's Centre for Radical Christianity
Adrian Alker
Learning from and working with other faiths
Marcus Braybrooke
Free to believe
Martin Camroux
The disappearance of science and medicine
Gillian Cooke
SCM Friends and a new book
Liam Purcell
Not how we do it in the UK
Jonathan Clatworthy


No. 23 - Oct 2006

Editorial: The dangers of certainty
Jonathan Clatworthy
'Reclothed in our rightful mind?'
Graham Blyth
Communion - first or last?
Richard Bending
The story behind my 'conversion'
David Ananda Hart
Afterthoughts on the 2006 MCU conference
Graham Hellier
Benedict XVI: The metaphysical pope and the historical church
John Mackrell
The pity and the wonder - Part 1
Patrick Lewin
A people-centred church
Richard Martin

A people-centred Church

by Richard Martin
from Signs of the Times No. 23 - Oct 2006

What did Jesus teach on the subject?

Jesus often quoted the Old Testament in his teaching and disputations. On one occasion the Pharisees were criticising him for socialising with publicans and sinners. Protocol prevented them from so lowering themselves. They felt themselves too holy to do such - and felt that it was shameful for any teacher to so lower himself. Jesus answered 'But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance' (Matthew 9:13).

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The pity and the wonder: character, talent, chance and destiny - part 1

by Patrick Lewin
from Signs of the Times No. 23 - Oct 2006
[Other parts: • part 2part 3part 4part 5part 6]

The arrogance of youth does have its lighter side. Some fifty years ago now, a politically incorrect story was circulating in Oxford.

An undergraduate, cycling not far from the city on a summer's day at lunchtime, noticed one of those colourful old inn signs leaning up against the wall of a pub prior to rehanging, and decided to snitch it from under the noses of those eating and drinking outside. The element of surprise in his favour, he returned to college as fast as his booty would allow, with half the village in hot pursuit.

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Benedict XVI: The metaphysical pope and the historical church

by John Mackrell
from Signs of the Times No. 23 - Oct 2006

Benedict XVI's lecture on the role of reason in religion has upset many people, not just Muslims.

It would be churlish to deny that the Pope delivered a brilliant philosophical discourse, which will reverberate for years to come in specialist journals. Whether this self-contained exposition bears any relationship to religion itself is very questionable.

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Afterthoughts on the 2006 MCU conference

by Graham Hellier
from Signs of the Times No. 23 - Oct 2006

Having enjoyed the MCU conference on human sexuality, may I offer some fragments:

Is patriarchy too easily diagnosed or assumed to be oppressive? It is good the age of equality has dawned but we can be quick to judge the past. Do we misrepresent some periods of Jewish history or forget the realities of many working class families in nineteenth century mill towns? We expect an equal range of choices and become impatient with the separation of gender roles. Yet different roles do not necessarily imply inequality. Our modern individualism may distort our understanding. Historically the family was seen far more as a unity - the husband and father more often operated in the public arena but he represented his whole family and was answerable for all its members.

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