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.
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.
Before 2010 Modern Church was known as The Modern Churchpeople's Union.
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.
Secretary: 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.
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.
Treasurer: Rosalind Lund
Rosalind Lund is Business Support Manager with the Youth Offending Service at Cambridgeshire County Council. She was Vice-chair for a number of years before becoming being elected Treasurer and has been involved in Modern Church for most of her life.
Vice-chair: Tim Stead
Revd Tim Stead is Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry, Oxford. He describes the church as a mixed bunch of people, both wounded and exhilarated by life's journey, with a hope that, as they meet together and share both their gifts and vulnerabilities, they will find the fullness of life and love that Jesus promised.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 anglicanism.org
- 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
- Rt Revd Brian Smith
- Rt Revd Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester
- Revd Canon Richard Truss
- Rt Revd Martin Wharton
Other members (elected until)
- Revd Dr Jeyan Anketell (2019)
- Jean Barnett (2018)
- Pat Boyd (2020)
- Rachel Brooke (2019)
- Helen Burnett (2019)
- Revd Dr Lorraine Cavanagh (2018)
- Revd Jonathan Clatworthy (2019)
- Revd Canon David Driscoll (2019)
- Revd Guy Elsmore (2019)
- Revd Ruth Fitter (2018)
- Revd John Goldsmith (2018)
- Richard Hall (2019)
- Revd David Howard (2018)
- Revd David James (2018)
- Revd Tom Keates (2020)
- Revd Franklin Lee (2016)
- Patrick Lewin (2017)
- Rosalind Lund (2018), Treasurer
- Stephen Parsons (2019)
- Revd Canon Trevor Pitt (2020)
- Revd Dr Alan Race (2020), Chair
- Hugh Rock (2020)
- Revd David Simon (2018)
- Revd Tim Stead (2020), Vice-chair
- Prof Adrian Thatcher (2018)
- Revd Dr Jan van der Lely (2019), Secretary
- Anthony Woollard (2018), Signs of the Times Editor
- Hilary Topp, Student Christian Movement