Introducing St Mark’s CRC 2014 Conference Programme

Saturday 15th March 2014



ONE OF THE EXCITING recent developments in the UK as well as in other Western democracies is the way in which same-sex relationships have gained in recognition. With the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, homosexuals enjoy the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as heterosexuals.

Unsurprisingly, this development is proving controversial, raising fundamental questions about the nature and purpose of marriage.  To help us gain an informed progressive perspective, CRC is delighted that Adrian Thatcher has agreed to lead a day conference on this vitally important topic.

Adrian, an Anglican theologian and Visiting Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion at Exeter University, is an internationally recognised authority in the sphere of human sexuality, gender identity and marriage.  He has published extensively in these areas and is currently editing The Oxford Handbook of Theology, Sexuality and Gender.  Adrian will offer an historical overview of marriage before presenting a radical theology of marriage for all consenting adults, irrespective of gender.

Saturday 7th June 2014 – note change of date


IS THERE A PLACE for church within progressive expressions of Christianity, which tend to sit uneasily with theological orthodoxy, prescribed liturgies and hierarchical structures of authority?  Many liberals and progressives feel alienated from traditional forms of church and are hanging on by their fingertips or have already given up and left.

But are there ways of reconceiving Christian community informed by liberal-progressive approaches to faith that are radically inclusive and prophetic in their witness to an alternative understanding of human being and flourishing?  Martyn Percy is eminently qualified to aid our engagement with these and other pressing questions relating to the future of organized religion.

Martyn is Principal of Ripon College near Oxford, one of the largest centres for training Christian ministers in the UK.  He is also a Professor of Theological Education at King’s College, London, and an Honorary Canon of Salisbury Cathedral as well as serving as a member of the BBC Standing Committee on Religion and Beliefs.  Recently described as a ‘missionary anthropologist,’ Martyn has written and lectured broadly in the fields of ecclesiology, ministry and mission, drawing on his own research in addition to his considerable experience as an Anglican priest and theological educator.

Saturday 8th November 2014


ONE CHARGE often levelled at liberal-progressive approaches to Christianity is that they are heavy on what is no longer believable about traditional forms, but light on alternative interpretations.  In response, we need to move beyond criticism to embrace the task of conceiving intellectually-engaging and spiritually-satisfying expressions of faith capable of shaping our living and informing our commitments.

Fides quaerens intellectum – nearly a millennium after one Archbishop of Canterbury coined his now famous motto, ‘faith in search of understanding,’ another takes up the challenge of describing the contours of the faith-filled life for our time.  Divested of his archiepiscopal responsibilities, Rowan is now  able to offer a fuller and franker exposition of his understanding of Christian fundamentals and their enduring relevance.  This promises to be one of the highlights of CRC’s conference programme to date.

With an encyclopaedic knowledge of many disciplines, cultures and religions, Rowan is one of the foremost intellects alive today.  He was Oxford University’s Lady Margaret Professor of Theology by the age of 36 and, since then, has held senior appointments in the Churches of England and Wales before becoming Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.  The author of numerous books, Rowan speaks ten languages and is an accomplished poet.

Download the 2014 Conference Booking Form here.

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