Modern Church: video, audio & conference papers

Modern Church videos on YouTube and talks from annual conferences.


Liberal Perspectives on Christianity

Interviews and video by Robert Fielding featuring Modern Church people and others talking about their understanding of Christianity - click here to view.
Part 1 - video Science, Creation and Miracles
Part 2 - Video Death and Suffering
Part 3 - Video Christianity and Jesus
Part 4 - Video God and the Bible
Part 5 - Video Churches and modern culture

These videos may also be accessed through the Modern Church channel on YouTube.


God: None, One, Three or Many?

The 2017 conference chaired by Linda Woodhead and Jane Shaw explored:
  • What do we mean by the word ‘God’? Or, for that matter, lower-case ‘god’ or ‘gods’?
  • A majority of people in Britain claim to believe in ‘God’, but is this ‘the Christian God’?
  • And what is ‘the Christian God’ anyway

audio Audio and text of talks here


Performing the Faith: Shakespeare, the Theatre and Theology Today

The 2016 conference chaired by Alison Milbank explored Shakespeare’s complex links with religion, and the implicit (and occasionally more explicit) theology to be found in his plays. Liberal Christians, who read the books of Scripture, tradition and reason alongside each other, need also to learn to read this cultural phenomenon.

audio Audio and text of talks here


Seeking the Sacred: Christianity in dialogue with other religions and the world

The 2015 conference in association with the World Congress of Faiths and chaired by Alan Race was designed on the basis that our encounters with people of other religions lead us to acknowledge the positive presence of the sacred in other traditions and movements.

audio Listen / download mp3s here


A Liberating Spirit? Exploring Spirituality for the 21st Century

The 2014 conference chaired by Martyn Percy explored some of the contemporary approaches to spirituality through the lens of open minded and well-informed enquiry.

audio Listen / download mp3s here


The Earth is the Lord's: Renewing the Covenant of Creation

The 2013 conference chaired by Margaret Barker explored what the Bible says about the creation, based on the most fundamental idea of the eternal covenant which binds all creation and human society into one God-given system.

audio Listen / download mp3s here


By whose authority: an interfaith look and women and religious authority

We all step in and out of leadership, whatever our roles in life. We all need leadership to go well; we need to have the people who fit that role. The 2012 conference chaired by Harriet Harris explored the issues in an interfaith context.

audio Listen / download mp3s here


Can these bones live? Reading the Bible today

In the year of the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, the 2011 conference chaired by Adrian Thatcher focused on reading the Bible in new and inspiring ways.

audio Listen / download mp3s here


Shifting paradigms: Theology & economics in the 21st century

The unprecedented circumstances of the global recession provided a unique opportunity for dialogue between theology, ethics and economics in appraising our economic life. The 2010 conference chaired by Edmund Newell was a contribution to that discussion.

audio Listen / download mp3s here


Perfect freedom: Liberal faith today and tomorrow

The 2009 conference chaired by John Saxbee considered liberal faith from several perspectives.

audio Listen / download mp3s here

b morgan2

Saving the soul of Anglicanism: the nature and future of the Anglican Communion

The 2008 conference chaired by Barry Morgan considered the nature of Anglicanism, the implications of the Covenant and the future of Communion.

pdf Read / download PDFs here

e graham2

Passion for Justice: Global and Faithful Perspectives on Human Sexuality

Organized in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Sexuality and the Student Christian Movement, the 2006 conference chaired by Elaine Graham looked at real troubles and debates in the churches on sexuality, and the response of the media.

pdf Read / download PDFs here

Modern Church leaflets

A redesigned series of leaflets. Printed copies are available on request from the Modern Church office unless otherwise noted.


Modern Church - Who we are and how to join

A new leaflet for 2016 with a general introduction to Modern Church.

It includes a membership subscription form on the back page with instructions to make it easier to join.

pdf View/download


Liberal theology -what it is and why the church needs it

An updated version of the 'Liberal Theology - what it is and why the Church needs it' leaflet.  It explains what the words 'liberal' and 'theology' generally mean, the contrast between   liberals and conservatives in religion, and why Modern Church promotes liberal theology.

As well as explaining the liberal connection it also provides a general introduction to Modern Church.

pdf View/download


Evolution - what it is and how it is consistent with a creator God

A new leaflet by Keith Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity Emeritus at Oxford University.

It explains what evolution, in its post-Darwinian sense, is and how it is consistent with a creator God.

pdf View/download


Sex & God

The Church often appears pre-occupied with one aspect of sex or another.

This leaflet attempts to summarise a theologically liberal position that locates sexuality within a rational framework.

pdf View/download


Publishing in Modern Believing

Clear answers to questions anyone considering writing for Modern Believing might have.

This leaflet explains the aims and areas of interest of the journal, who can write for it and relevant contact information.

pdf View/download


A long running series designed to illustrate liberal approaches to theological issues of concern to the Church.

Order printed copies or download free PDFs below. Prices include postage and packing.

Gender Inclusive Language cover

pdf Free download

Gender-Inclusive Language and Worship

Adrian Thatcher, 2016 - Read the launch news release here.
Printed copy - UK: £4.20 / Europe: £5.00 / Outside Europe: £6.00
Deliver to


pdf Free download

Created by God: Christianity and Homosexuality in the 21st Century

Gillian Cooke and Alan Sheard (3rd edition, 2010)
Printed copy - UK: £2.50 / non-UK: £4.00
Deliver to


pdf Free download

Interfaith priorities

Marcus Braybooke (2008)
Printed copy - UK: £2.50 / non-UK: £4.00
Deliver to


pdf Free download

Liberal Anglicanism

Paul Badham (2008)
Printed copy - UK: £2.50 / non-UK: £4.00
Deliver to


pdf Free download

A Christianity that can be believed in

Paul Badham
Printed copy - UK: £2.50 / non-UK: £4.00
Deliver to


Who steers the ship? The poverty of the Draft Anglican Covenant

Paul Bagshaw (2008)

Out of print - pdf Free download


What about evil?

Norman Pittenger (1980s)

Out of print - pdf Free download

Together In Hope

Produced jointly with PCN BritainFree to Believe and St Marks Centre for Radical Christianity, the aim of this series is to encourage those who seek a Christian faith open to the challenges of the 21st century.


Re-Thinking Worship?

Jan Berry discusses ways in which modern believers can offer worship with integrity.

For many who seek a credible Christian faith in the 21st century, participation in public worship can raise challenging questions about the nature of God, the use of language and the very practice and purpose of such acts of worship.

Much has been written about prayer and liturgy over the centuries and numerous resources are available to those involved in planning and leading worship. Yet the difficult issues about language and meaning remain an obstacle for many who might wish to be part of a worshipping community.

In this booklet Jan Berry addresses these issues in a gentle and yet comprehensive rethink about Christian worship.

Incl. p&p -
UK: £4.50
non-UK: £6.50
Deliver to

Buy the Kindle edition


    • Introduction
    • Space and Symbol
    • The Language of Worship
    • Sharing at the Table
    • Conclusion: Transforming our Worship


Examining the Meaning of the Resurrection

A series of six essays by Bishop John Shelby Spong originally published online from May to July 2011, reprinted with permission and a foreword by Adrian Alker.

The essays revisit Bishop Spong's thoughts and convictions about the significant meaning of the Resurrection for today’s pilgrims. Although this is but one particular way of interpreting the biblical account of the Resurrection  (and there are references at the end of the book to other writings which our readers may find attractive), we hope the chapters will provoke interest and discussion about this important tenet of faith and belief.

Incl. p&p -
UK: £4.50
non-UK: £6.50
Deliver to
Buy the Kindle edition


    • Setting the Stage
    • Who Stood in the Centre of the Easter Breakthrough?
    • Where Were the Disciples When They Saw?
    • What is the Meaning of Three Days?
    • What Was the Context in Which Easter Dawned?
    • Seeing Through a Glass Darkly


Christmas: Ancient Meanings, Modern Faith

Adrian Alker considers the significance of the ancient stories of the nativity of Christ for our world today.

At the end of each chapter there are some questions which may be helpful in promoting discussion if this book is being used by a group of people or as a study course. The book ends, as do all the books in this series, with suggestions for further reading and resources available for more study and practical use.

Incl. p&p -
UK: £4.50
non-UK: £6.50
Deliver to
Buy the Kindle edition


    • The Truth is in the Meaning
    • Matthew's Good News
    • Luke - Good News for All
    • Humbug or Blessing?
    • Emerging Themes
    • Celebrating Christmas


Walk the Jesus Walk

by John Simmonds

Intended for groups such as teenagers or enquirers who are exploring what it means to be a follower of Jesus for the first time. It is organised as a six part programme.

Incl. p&p -
UK: £4.50
non-UK: £6.50
Deliver to
Buy the Kindle edition


    • My story, my journey
    • Finding out more about Jesus
    • What Jesus stood for
    • Jesus and His friends
    • Following in the Way
    • Living it out - a programme for tomorrow


Jesus Then and Now

by John Simmonds

For those who want to dig deeper into the historical account and contemporary relevance of Jesus'message.

Incl. p&p -
UK: £4.50
non-UK: £6.50
Deliver to
Buy the Kindle edition



    • Who was Jesus - looking at the earliest records
    • Jesus - announcing Good News
    • What did the Good News mean for Jesus' disciples?
    • Who did Jesus become?
    • Jesus and the Way - Jesus and His followers
    • Jesus is mine - personal experience
    • Will you come and follow me?


Christianity and Feminism

by Sonya Wratten

Asks what it means to be a woman in 21st century Britain. This book explores some of the issues of feminism today and what a credible progressive Christian feminist theology might look like in the light of such reflection.

Incl. p&p -
UK: £4.50
non-UK: £6.50
Deliver to
Buy The Kindle Edition


    1. Where we’ve come from: Radical Female Roots
    2. Where we are: Contemporary Christa Understanding
    3. Where we’re going: Progressive Directions
    4. Conclusion, Resources and Further Reading


Being Honest to God

Five talks marking the 50th anniversary of the pubication of Bishop John Robinson's book "Honest to God"

Contributors: Simon Barrow, James Crossley, Elaine Graham, Richard Holloway, Martyn Percy

Buy the Kindle edition


    • Elaine Graham: Being Honest...
    • James Crossley: Being Honest about Jesus
    • Martyn Percy: Being Honest about the Church?
    • Simon Barrow: Being Honest about ourselves
    • Richard Holloway: Being Honest about God

Orders of more than six books in the Together in Hope series will usually attract a discount of 10% plus a related reduction for postage and packing. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or ring 0845 345 1909  if you are thinking of placing such an order.

History of the series

The series followed on from the original book Together in Hope: Proclaiming God's Justice,  Living God's Love. This was produced on behalf of the Inclusive Church Network, a partnership of organisations  brought together in preparation for the 2008 Lambeth Conference. The success of the first book  encouraged four of the original organisations: Modern Church, Progressive Christianity Network Britain, Free to Believe and St Marks Centre for Radical Christianity to continue to work jointly to produce further material.

Contributions invited

The Together in Hope venture is not only collaborative between organisations but also hopes that people 'out there' might feel able themselves to contribute to the series either in offering a chapter on a chosen theme or indeed a whole book. To contact the editorial team, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Guidelines for prospective authors

This series of resource books is published to give encouragement and hope to those who seek a Christian faith open to the challenges of the twenty first century. It is hoped that the books will be helpful to those individuals and groups, inside and outside the Church, who are exploring matters of faith and belief. The readers will include both those who are familiar with the language of the church and religion and those for whom church has not been part of their story.

Structure of the book content: The books are about 7,000 to 8,000 words in length and are broken up into 5 or 6 chapters, each of which is followed by two or three questions which could be used as a basis for discussion by a group. A page of further resources for readers to continue their exploration is helpful.

What is the process? Prospective writers are asked to send an outline of their proposal to the editorial group email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  It would be useful for the proposal to include chapter headings and summaries. The editorial group, which meets about four times a year, would discuss this and send their comments to the writer. The next stage is for the writer to submit a full chapter. Thereafter the author may be invited to attend the next meeting of the editorial group so that decisions regarding a final text and publication can be discussed.

Copyright issues: The writer holds the copyright to the text. If any copyright material is used within the text, it is the responsibility of the writer to obtain permission for use of that material.

Finance: The project was originally financed by the profits made on sales of the original Together in Hope book. Monies raised from sales of the books, of which a very small margin is profit, are used for the printing of further titles. The books are sold on the websites of the four organisations behind the project, at conferences, at Greenbelt and in some bookshops and currently on Amazon. There is a Kindle version of the series on Amazon. Generally we do not offer fees to authors but are willing to consider necessary expenses.

Making Sense

A series of books published by SPCK and sponsored by Modern Church exploring aspects of Christian faith from a liberal perspective.


Making Sense of the Bible

Helen-Ann Hartley
SPCK Publishing, June 2011. Paperback, 96 pages. Incl. p&p - UK: £7.20 / non-UK: £10.00

Again and again, we hear that such-and-such an opinion is not 'biblical', implying that the Bible speaks with a unified voice on any matter. With humour and examples drawn from art and life, Helen-Ann Hartley argues that to appreciate fully the Bible's richness and diversity, we have to wrestle critically and creatively with themes that attract us and repel us.

Deliver to:


Making Sense of God's Love: Atonement and Redemption

Lorraine Cavanagh
SPCK Publishing, June 2011. Paperback, 96 pages. Incl. p&p - UK: £7.20 / non-UK: £10.00

Many people are put off Christianity by the idea of God punishing his Son for our sins. They find it hard to believe in a loving God who appears to be so angry and vindictive. This book addresses some of these difficult questions. It will form ideal reading for those wanting to return to their faith, or those who would like to explore it in greater depth. The book aims to create an open theological landscape, which will take account of the many different ways in which we are saved and restored.

Deliver to:

Making Sense of Faith in God

Jonathan Clatworthy
SPCK Publishing, June 2012. Paperback, 96 pages. Incl. p&p - UK: £7.20 / non-UK: £10.00

This book deals with the popular interest in spirituality, and physicists' interest in God, as opposed by the new atheists. It also considers the role of God in a secular society. Modern secularism separates religion from secular knowledge and expects us to explain reality without reference to God. This taboo on God limits our understanding of life as we experience it, and undermines confidence in human knowledge generally.

Review by Laura Sykes

Deliver to:


Making Sense of Sex

Adrian Thatcher
SPCK Publishing, June 2012. Paperback, 96 pages. Incl. p&p - UK: £7.20 / non-UK: £10.00

Using familiar theological ideas, biblical passages and Christian doctrines, this book reinterprets them in a less familiar way. Subjects covered include Desire, Bodies, Sexual Difference, Marriage, Spirituality and Sexualities.

Deliver to:


Making Sense of Death and Immortality

Paul Badham
SPCK Publishing, June 2013. Paperback, 96 pages. Incl. p&p - UK: £7.20 / non-UK: £10.00

Many think that belief in life after death flies in the face of what science has discovered. Paul Badham explores the grounds on which the hope of immortality, central for Christian doctrine, can be revitalized today. He suggests that the possibility of a relationship between God and human beings is confirmed by our religious experience, and that resurrection and immortality need each other. Includes chapters on the evidential value of near-death experiences, concepts of heaven, and arguments against belief in hell.

Deliver to:


Making Sense of Religious Pluralism

Alan Race
SPCK Publishing, June 2013. Paperback, 96 pages. Incl. p&p - UK: £7.20 / non-UK: £10.00

This short book includes:
a) Listening for authenticity
b) Respect for differences
c) Willingness to learn from the other
d) Self-criticism
e) Moving beyond absolutism
f) Leaving behind relativism
g) Forging criteria to distinguish between true and false religious belief and practice.

Deliver to: