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We update our blog several times a week, with news and comment on ministry, theology, the Bible, liturgy and issues of the day.

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 26 Apr 2018

Ros Clarke highlights a couple of additional resources for those interested in using written prayers.

Following our podcast episode on written prayer books, a listener contacted us to point out an excellent article written a couple of years ago by Jane Tooher on ‘The Worthwhileness of Written Prayers’. The article also includes a series of links at the end to some more useful reading around this area.

We also mentioned some of the books of prayers by Andrew Case, lamenting the lack of a ‘general’ book for those who are not mothers, wives, husbands etc. He has just published a wonderful volume meeting exactly this need, in which he has compiled a series of prayers that are saturated in scripture. I have been using one of these in my quiet time each day since I got the book and have found it a great enrichment to my personal prayer life. Praying the Light: Unfolding the Rich Intercession of the Bible is free for Kindle, and can also be purchased in paper form.

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Lee on the Lectionary: 5th Sunday of Easter (Year B) from Church Society on Vimeo.

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Posted by Lee Gatiss, 25 Apr 2018

The readings this week reveal to us the infinite care that God has for his church, and they urge us to cheerful submission to his paternal love.

Lee Gatiss expounds the lectionary readings for the 5th Sunday of Easter (Year B), which are Acts 8:26-40, 1 John 4:7-21, and John 15:1-8.

You can also follow along with these video expositions on the Lee on the Lectionary Facebook page. We also tweet the video link every Sunday morning at 6am for those who like a morning exposition of the word. Follow us @churchsociety.

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 23 Apr 2018

Ros Clarke chats to James Hughes, vicar of the Church Society parish of St Alkmund's Duffield.

As we continue the podcast series getting to know some of our Church Society parishes, Ros visits St Alkmund’s, Duffield, near Derby.

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Posted by Sophie Barker, 18 Apr 2018

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of Church Society will be held at Oak Hill College on Saturday 12 May 2018, commencing at 11.15am.

At this meeting, held every year as part of our annual conference, we elect our honorary officers and Council, hear reports from the Director and Chairman of Finance, and have a chance to discuss issues of importance to us as a Society. If you are a member of Church Society, please come along to exercise your vote and make a contribution.

Please download the official notice of the AGM and the nomination form for those who might wish to stand for election to Council.

There will also be a vote to make Amendments to the Society’s Articles of Association, proposed by Church Society Council. The full list of proposed changes can be viewed here. The current articles of Association can be viewed here.

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Lee on the Lectionary: 4th Sunday of Easter (Year B) from Church Society on Vimeo.

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Posted by Lee Gatiss, 18 Apr 2018

Our readings this week rivet our attention on the voluntary self-giving of Christ for his people, which marks out a way for all of us to follow in building and pastoring the church.

Lee Gatiss expounds the lectionary readings for the 4th Sunday of Easter (Year B) which are Acts 4:5-12, 1 John 3:16-24, and John 10:11-18.

You can also follow along with these video expositions on the Lee on the Lectionary Facebook page. We also tweet the video link every Sunday morning at 6am for those who like a morning exposition of the word. Follow us @churchsociety.

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Posted by Gerald Bray, 17 Apr 2018

Gerald Bray pays tribute to David Wheaton, former principal of Oak Hill College and sometime vice-president of Church Society.

For many, the recent passing of David Wheaton, former principal of Oak Hill College and sometime vice-president of Church Society, will mark the end of an era in Anglican Evangelicalism. David was born on 2 June 1930 and grew up in the war years, deeply affected by the appalling suffering and deprivation that blighted the lives of so many at that time. On leaving school, he did his national service in the Wiltshire Regiment before going up to Oxford. Converted to a solid and lasting Evangelical faith in his student days, David graduated from St John’s College in 1953 and went on to take the London BD two years later. By then he was a tutor at Oak Hill College, a place he came to love and to make his own. In 1956 he married Joy Forrer, a happy union that lasted for well over half a century.

David was ordained in 1959 to a curacy at Christ Church, Enfield, while continuing to teach at Oak Hill. Three years later, he moved to become rector of Ludgershall (Oxfordshire), the parish that had been served by John Wyclif from 1368 to 1374. He greatly enjoyed the rural setting and in later years never tired of sharing stories from his time there. In 1966 David was called to St Paul, Onslow Square, and a very different kind of ministry in one of the better-off parts of London. The church had long been an Evangelical bastion and David continued that tradition. The parish has now been amalgamated with Holy Trinity, Brompton, best-known as the home of the Alpha Course.

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 16 Apr 2018

In this episode, Ros talks to some of the staff team at Christ Church, Chadderton about the ways they encourage and equip women for ministry.

In this episode, Ros talks to some of the staff team at Christ Church, Chadderton about the ways they encourage and equip women for ministry.

How to listen to the Church Society podcast:
1. Listen to the episodes as they are posted here on the website.
2. Listen to all the episodes and all other Church Society audio resources via Soundcloud.
3. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
4. Subscribe to the podcast on an Android device (phone or tablet). You will need to install a podcast app and then subscribe via our RSS feed here.

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Posted by Andrew Atherstone, 13 Apr 2018

Andrew Atherstone, editor of J. C. Ryle's autobiography, explains how even such a staunch evangelical as Ryle was subject to the constraints of his office. And so, he argues, we should not expect reform of the Church of England to come from its leadership, but from its pulpits and its pews.

Ask evangelical congregations and clergy about our Anglican bishops, and often the response is a mixture of bewilderment, frustration and despondency, with only a few bright lights amidst the gloom. There is a groundswell of disenchantment with the episcopal project. Our bishops are not benefiting the church in the way that they should.

This evangelical angst is nothing new. It was vocalized often by John Charles Ryle, the famous Victorian tract-writer, vicar of Stradbroke in Norwich diocese. His writings resound with criticism of the episcopal bench. Often he contrasted modern bishops with the great leaders of Anglican history. Why is it, he complained, that the bishops of today are so feeble, compared with the giants of a previous age? When the modern Bishop of Gloucester made some foolish pronouncement, Ryle would say: Let me tell you about another Bishop of Gloucester, John Hooper, champion of the Reformation. Or when the Bishop of Salisbury wrote something egregious in the press, Ryle would reply: Let me tell you about another Bishop of Salisbury, John Jewell, episcopal hero of Elizabethan England. Why don’t they make bishops like they used to?, was Ryle’s general refrain.

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 12 Apr 2018

The 2018 Junior Anglican Evangelical Conference will be held on 28th-30th August on the theme of 'The Gospel in the Parish'.

What does gospel ministry look like in 21st century parishes across the country? This year’s JAEC looks at the nature of pastoral ministry in the context where most of it happens: the parish church. Bishop Wallace Benn will open the conference by asking ‘What is a parish church?’ Johnny Juckes and Lee Gatiss will both consider the task of pastoring in a parish church, drawing on their own experience of putting the biblical mandate into practice. Shaun Morris will help us to understand what the priorities should be in parish ministry, while Mel Lacy will speak about the task of pastoring children and young people in the parish. Bishop Nick McKinnel will give us our final Bible reading to encourage us to go out and put all that we have learned into practice.

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 11 Apr 2018

The latest Church Society publication, edited by Lee Gatiss, is now available to purchase.

A stellar cast of Anglican pastors and theologians from around the world reflect on the foundational teachings of global Anglicanism. Putting the Thirty-nine Articles in their biblical and historical context, they navigate some of the difficult terrain with clear and compelling application for today. This book is an excellent guide for the newcomer, and a refreshing commentary for the seasoned interpreter.

Based on the 2017 Lent series of blog posts on the Church Society website, Foundations of Faith provides a commentary on each of the 39 Articles, together with relevant scriptures, questions for reflection and a prayer. The book is thus a devotional guide as well as a doctrinal one. We hope it will be a helpful addition to the bookshelf of every Anglican, but don’t just take our word for it:

“This book is such a useful contribution to the understanding of Anglican theology. I really appreciate those who thought of the idea and those who have written. The key thing is to share the teaching of the Articles with the whole Church. A long overdue initiative!” Archbishop Peter Jensen, General Secretary of GAFCON

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