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... New editor for Modern Believing journal    

New editor for Modern Believing journal

Modern Church appoints Dr Karen O' Donnell as the new managing editor of our academic journal Modern Believing

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


History as past, present and future: Reflections on Hamilton

by Frances Eccleston
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

It was a theatre trip long in the planning. A couple of years ago our lovely and somewhat apolitical daughter Grace became immersed in a heavyweight political biography of Alexander Hamilton, the U.S. founding father whom history had forgotten.

The apparently dry volume was covered in her annotations and underlinings. How come?  Grace had heard the cast album of the newest Broadway hit musical, Hamilton, and was captivated. She became an avid social media follower of everything connected to the show and its writer-director Lin-Manuel Miranda. She insisted we should see it as a family when it opened in London. And so it was we found ourselves in the Victoria Palace Theatre, part of a noticeably young and excited audience, who burst into screams of delight as Hamilton walked onstage for the first number.

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Response to crisis: Restoring our covenant with Creation

Report on the South West Regional Day Conference, Saturday 3rd February 2018, by David James
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

In the late 1960s, Charles Napier, a lecturer at the old London College of Divinity, was leading a Doctrine seminar. During it, he proclaimed that in future years it would be Creation, not Salvation that should engage the mind of the Church as it communicated its message to the world.

Most were, in that context, dismissive of his words, but they often came to mind at Manvers Street Baptist Church in Bath on Saturday 3rd February as we listened to Margaret Barker and Bishop Nick Holtham.

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Review - The books of John Bunyan

by Chris Savage
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

Don’t be fooled by the title! This is not what you think. I am not about to write on the sixty-odd works of the 17th century writer and preacher best known for the Pilgrim’s Progress.

There is a modern-day John Bunyan, a retired Anglican priest living in Australia who is also a faithful member of Modern Church and, thanks to our editor Anthony Woollard, he got in touch with me and sent three slim books he compiled:

  • Conservation, Common Prayer and Communion;
  • Four Score Deodatus, an autobiographical anthology of prose and verse; and
  • Sing Heart and Mind, a Coverdale Daily Psalm book.

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Review - A liberal and godly Dean: A life of Edward Carpenter by Michael De-la-Noy

by Marcus Braybrooke
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

There was, as he wished, no Memorial Service for Edward Carpenter, who was Dean of Westminster from 1974-1985.

This biography is a fitting memorial. It was written by the distinguished biographer Michael De-la-Noy in 2000, but was unpublished at the time of Michael’s death in 2002. It has now been published by the family who have made minor corrections.

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Review - Heart of Oneness: A little book of connection by Jennifer Kavanagh

by Alan Race
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

The subtitle ‘a little book of connection’ is misleading. Although the text is a manageable 66 pages, its thought-world is big.

If you are prone to anxiety in the face of what seems like the world’s many-layered fragmentations, this will supply balm for your fears, raise your sights and provide some spiritual succour.
There are attractive summary sentences that beam out on almost every page, such is the author’s evocative style. Here’s one that made me sit up, on p.59:

When you understand it, when you really understand it, not just in your intellect, but in the bones of your being, that there is no separation between you and absolutely everything, which includes the divine, then the game changes.

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