Modern Church is a membership organisation with a long history and a liberal ethos.

It is a registered charity (number 281573), managed by a committee of officers (Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) who are trustees and up to eight other trustees. Click here to download our 2017 Constitution including our revised Charitable Objects.

The Treasurer is elected annually by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. Members of the Council are elected from among the Modern Church membership for terms of up to three years at the Annual General Meeting. The officers and the trustees are elected by the Council at its first meeting after the AGM.

Download Annual Reports from 2017201620152014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.

Before 2010 Modern Church was known as The Modern Churchpeople's Union.

General Secretary

Jonathan Draper

Very Revd Dr Jonathan Draper became Modern Church's first paid part-time General Secretary in September 2017. He is an American Anglican priest, theologian, and academic. From 2012 to 2017 he was the Dean of Exeter Cathedral. Draper entered Ripon College Cuddesdon, and was ordained priest in 1984. During this time, he also studied for a PhD in Theology at St John's College, Durham. Between 1985 and 1992, he was Director of Academic Studies at Ripon College Cuddesdon. He also worked as a lecturer in theology at the University of Oxford. He was also involved in providing continuing ministerial education for clergy and lay ministers in the Diocese of Southwark. In 2000, he was appointed Canon Theologian of York Cathedral. Publications include To love and serve: Being the body of Christ in a time of change. London: SPCK 2003. 


Trustees - Officers

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Chair: Alan Race

Revd Canon Dr Alan Race was Rector of St Margaret's Church, Lee, in south London until 2017, when he retired. He has worked as a University Chaplain, an educator in theological  education, and as a priest in multicultural parishes. Alan is a member of various organisations that  promote pluralism and interfaith understanding.

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Anthony Woollard

Anthony Woollard is Treasurer of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. He taught theology before entering the Civil Service, spending most of his career in the Department of Education. Anthony edits the Modern Church newsletter Signs of the Times.

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Treasurer: David Simon
Revd David Simon has studied at the Universities of Aberystwyth, Hull and Lancaster, lectured in Accountancy and Finance at the Universities of Aberystwyth, Hull, Humberside and Lincoln, and served as the Administrator of Rydal Hall, the Carlisle Diocesan Retreat House and Conference Centre. He has taught business ethics and various theological subjects in universities and for part-time ordination courses in the North East and North West of England. David has been an authorised Anglican minister since 1974 - first a Reader then, since 1987, an ordained Self-Supporting Minister (SSM). He has been licensed to churches in the dioceses of St Davids, Ripon, York, Carlisle, Wakefield and Leeds and has served as Bishop's Officer for SSM in the dioceses of York and Carlisle. David is committed to the formulation and proclamation of the Gospel in ways that are relevant to a 21st century modern and post-modern generation.

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Secretary: Rosalind Lund

Rosalind Lund, a longstanding member of Modern Church, has previously served as Treasurer and as Vice-Chair of Trustees. Now retired, she worked for over ten years as Office Manager for the Cambridgeshire Youth Offending Service, and as a freelance indexer and editor, including for some years as assistant editor of Modern Believing. She is currently a volunteer Panel member for the Youth Offending Service which involves working to support young people and their families following a young person’s first court sentence.

Other trustees

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Jeyan Anketell

Revd Dr Jeyan Anketell is a semi-retired science teacher and non-stipendiary Anglican priest  in Lichfield, Staffordshire. He was a candidate in the 2013 Staffordshire County Council elections and has been a Lichfield City Councillor.

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Lorraine Cavanagh

Revd Lorraine Cavanagh is an Anglican priest in the Church in Wales. She has published a number of books, among them Making Sense of God’s Love: Atonement and Redemption which was one of the first in the Modern Church Series ‘Making Sense of Christianity’ (SPCK). She has a weekly blog Christian Faith in the Here and Now, which seeks to bring a liberal Christian perspective on current issues and events in the world and in the Church, and a website, for those who may not be part of a church or worshipping community but want to deepen their Christian faith or begin a Christian faith journey, or for those who feel they don’t qualify as ‘real Christians’, to know that they are in a sense the most qualified.

 Jonathan Clatworthy
Jonathan Clatworthy

Revd Jonathan Clatworthy is a theologian with a special interest in Monotheism and Ethics. He is a Research Fellow at Liverpool University. He has taught Philosophy and Ethics at the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool. Previously he worked as a university chaplain and Church of England parish priest. He was General Secretary of Modern Church from 2002 to 2013. He is Honorary Assistant Priest in the Team Parish of St Luke in the City, Liverpool. He lives in Liverpool with his wife Marguerite. They have three grown up children.

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Trevor Pitt

Revd Canon Trevor Pitt is Canon Emeritus, Newcastle Cathedral and Associate Priest and Methodist Presbyter, Hamsterley LEP, Co. Durham. He was Principal of NEOC from 1991-2010 and Vice-Principal, Canterbury School of Minsitry 1981-1991. His special interests include Liturgical Theology, Holy Land Studies and the possible futures of Christianity.

Adrian Thatcher

Prof Adrian Thatcher came to Exeter in 2004 as a Professorial Research Fellow in Applied Theology. For 27 years (1977-2004) he taught Theology and Philosophy at the University of St. Mark & St John, Plymouth, where, in 1995 he was the first member of academic staff to become a full Professor. His main theological research interests at present are the theologies of sexuality and gender, and biblical interpretation. He is a member of the Society for the Study of Theology, the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, Modern Church, and the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement. Once a Baptist Minister (1966-74) he is now a lay member of the Church of England.

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Jan van der Lely

Revd Dr Jan van der Lely is Vicar of Thornbury Parish, Gloucestershire. As a student she played a leading role in Christian Union life before moving into a more catholic and liberal church tradition. Jan was a teacher most of her working life until her ordination in 2009.


The Council

Council members are elected at Annual General Meetings of the membership.

  • Professor Linda Woodhead, Professor of Sociology of Religion at Lancaster University

  • Revd Prof Paul Badham, Emeritus Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David (Lampeter Campus)
  • Prof Elaine Graham, Grosvenor Research Professor of Practical Theology at the University of Chester
  • Revd Dr Nicholas Henderson, Former Bishop–elect, Diocese of Lake Malawi. Editor
  • Dr Peter Mills
  • Most Revd Barry Morgan, Former Archbishop of Wales
  • Very Revd Prof Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford
  • Rt Revd John Saxbee, Former Bishop of Lincoln
  • Rt Revd Brian Smith, Former Bishop of Edinburgh
  • Rt Revd Tim Stevens, Former Bishop of Leicester
  • Revd Canon Richard Truss, Assistant Priest, St Mary's Putney
  • Rt Revd Martin Wharton, Former Bishop of Newcastle
  • Revd Jonathan Clatworthy, General Secretary of Modern Church, 2002-2013
Other members (elected until)
  • Revd Dr Jeyan Anketell (2019)
  • Jean Barnett (2021)
  • Pat Boyd (2020)
  • Rachel Brooke (2019)
  • Helen Burnett (2019)
  • Revd Dr Lorraine Cavanagh (2021)
  • Revd Jonathan Clatworthy (2019)
  • Revd Canon David Driscoll (2019)
  • Richard Hall (2019)
  • Revd David Howard (2021)
  • Revd David James (2021)
  • Revd Tom Keates (2020)
  • Rosalind Lund (2021), Secretary
  • Stephen Parsons (2019)
  • Revd Canon Trevor Pitt (2020)
  • Revd Canon Dr Alan Race (2020), Chair
  • Chris Savage (2021)
  • Revd David Simon (2021), Treasurer
  • Revd Tim Stead (2020)
  • David Storey (2021)
  • Prof Adrian Thatcher (2021)
  • Revd Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes (2021)
  • Revd Dr Jan van der Lely (2019)
  • Kenneth Wilkinson-Roberts (2021)
  • Anthony Woollard (2018), Vice-chair, Signs of the Times Editor