Just over a week ago there was another turn of the screw in the church sex wars, this time generated by Hereford Diocesan Synod.

This post asks about the relevance of history to the claims of ‘conservatives’. What does it mean to be a conservative defending a tradition which has, in fact, kept changing?

On Saturday 21st October Modern Church South West arranged a study morning entitled ‘reading through Mark’.

The speaker was Canon Chris Burdon, a group member, who had been director of Lay Training in Chelmsford Diocese and had rearranged the New Testament syllabus there. He has also written Stumbling on God: Faith and vision in Mark’s Gospel, and was thus well qualified to address the subject.

The words about the Reformation, as we approach the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses, are flowing: deep and wide.

The Religion News Service has had a month-long series of articles and opinion pieces about it. The radio has got in on it with special programmes, and there was even a two-part German dramatisation of the beginnings of the Reformation on BBC Four. The Word became flesh and turned, it seems, into articles and programmes about the Reformation.

There is an excellent new article by Paul Bayes, the Bishop of Liverpool, on justice as applied to benefit claimants and the introduction of Universal Credit.

Liverpool, like every British city but perhaps more than most, is full of stories of families left with no money because of benefit cuts, sanctions and the Bedroom Tax. Bayes writes:

One of my secret sins is listening to RadioX while I’m working, especially if I’m writing a sermon.

I do it mostly for the music and rarely pay attention to what the presenters whitter on about. While working this afternoon, my ears pricked up when I heard the presenters talking about an author I enjoy very much (Bernard Cornwall) launching a book at Church House, Westminster. One presenter asked ‘Where?’, and the other said, ‘you know, the place where the Church of England meets to talk about sex’.