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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, 22 May 2018

How did the early church flourish through centuries of hostility and persecution? Lee Gatiss examines what it means to flourish in a hostile world.

The first session of the 2018 Church Society Conference took us back to the early centuries of the church’s life and growth. Our Director, Revd Dr Lee Gatiss, showed how the church flourished despite persecution and political opposition, and drew out several important challenges to consider for the contemporary church.

Listen to the talk and download a pdf of Lee’s presentation here.

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 21 May 2018

Reports from the 2018 Church Society AGM and Conference

Ros Clarke reports on the 2018 Church Society AGM and introduces excerpts from the conference, Flourish: A Strategy for Growth in the Church of England.

A prayer for the clergy and the people:

Almighty and everlasting God,
who alone workest great marvels:
Send down upon our Bishops, and Curates,
and all Congregations committed to their charge,
the healthful Spirit of thy grace;
and that they may truly please thee,
pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing.
Grant this, O Lord, for the honour of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ.
Amen.

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 17 May 2018

Gafcon General Secretary, Peter Jensen, explains why the doctrine of the authority of scripture is absolutely fundamental to the church.

Ahead of the 2018 Gafcon meeting in Jerusalem, Dr Peter Jensen explains that the key issue is not sexuality, but the authority of God’s word.

This collection of articles from the Anglican Church League in Australia gives some helpful background to the formation of GAFCON and the crisis in global Anglicanism.

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Lee on the Lectionary: Whit Sunday (Year B) from Church Society on Vimeo.

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Posted by Lee Gatiss, 16 May 2018

I have always found it strange that Acts 2 is referred to by some as “the birthday of the church." It's not. But what is it all about? Let's see...

Lee Gatiss expounds the lectionary readings for Whit Sunday or Pentecost (Year B), which are Acts 2:1-21, Romans 8:22-27, and John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15.

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, 14 May 2018

Ros Clarke reports on the Church Society AGM.

There was overwhelming support for the merger of Church Society with Reform and the Fellowship of Word and Spirit, at the Church Society AGM on Saturday.

At a packed meeting, former Chairman of Reform, Bishop Rod Thomas, was elected President of Church Society to succeed Wallace Benn. A new Council was elected unopposed, with members from both FWS and Reform included amongst their number, including Rob Munro, the Chairman of FWS and Mark Burkill, the Chairman of Reform.

The constitutional amendments needed to enable the merger to go ahead were passed with overwhelming majorities as members of Church Society met for their annual meeting at Oak Hill College in North London led by Chairman, Paul Darlington.

Chairman of Finance, Mark Cawson QC also reported that the Society remains in excellent financial health, and had also benefitted from additional membership fees and donations over the last few months as people from FWS and Reform had joined up. While there was no room for complacency, additional staff were being considered to expand and take the ministry forward for the future.

Director of Church Society, Dr Lee Gatiss said, “I am thrilled at the huge vote of confidence in this merger shown by our evangelical constituency not only today but over the last few months. Now the real hard work begins as we prayerfully seek to continue reaching our nation for Christ through the Church of England by contending for the faith, reforming the structures, and strengthening local churches in biblical faith.”

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 14 May 2018

Excerpts from and reflections on a recent talk by Lee Gatiss on the history of secessions from the Church of England

In this week’s podcast we hear some excerpts from a talk given by Lee Gatiss at a recent study day organised by the Fellowship of Word and Spirit. He gives several historical examples of groups and individuals who chose - or were compelled - to leave the Church of England. Ros Clarke introduces and reflects on some of these examples in the light of our contemporary situation.

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Posted by Debbie Buggs, 9 May 2018

Debbie Buggs explains the value of engaging with the Church of England through Diocesan Synods.

Participation in Church of England politics is one of the strands of our corporate church life, sitting alongside faithful preaching, intentional discipleship and courageous evangelism. The elections for Members of the Diocesan Synod for the 2018-21 triennium give the opportunity to increase our influence at diocesan level, in order to encourage church growth, church planting and good use of historic funds and common fund. These things will facilitate our obedience to Christ’s Great Commission.

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Lee on the Lectionary: 7th Sunday of Easter (Year B) from Church Society on Vimeo.

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Posted by Lee Gatiss, 9 May 2018

This Sunday, we are reminded in each of our readings of the kind and protective sovereignty of God over the church, which testifies to his truth.

Lee Gatiss expounds the lectionary readings for the 7th Sunday of Easter (Year B), which are Acts 1:15-17, 21-26, 1 John 5:9-13, and John 17:6-19.

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, 7 May 2018

This month's book review podcast features Paul Mallard's "Invest Your Disappointments".

In this month’s book review episode of the podcast, Ros Clarke and Amanda Robbie are discussing Paul Mallard’s latest book, “Invest Your Disappointments”.

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Lee on the Lectionary: 6th Sunday of Easter (Year B) from Church Society on Vimeo.

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Posted by Lee Gatiss, 2 May 2018

Our readings this week emphasise the link between the spiritual realities we enjoy and the outward signs and evidences of them.

Lee Gatiss expounds the lectionary readings for the 6th Sunday of Easter (Year B), which are Acts 10:44-48, 1 John 5:1-6, and John 15:9-17.

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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