More... Annual Conference 2019    

Annual Conference 2019

Theology in the public square - Monday 15th to Wednesday 17th July 2019 at High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Herts.

More... New editor for Modern Believing journal    

New editor for Modern Believing journal

Modern Church appoints Dr Karen O' Donnell as the new managing editor of our academic journal Modern Believing

More... Modern Church is 120!    

Modern Church is 120!

Modern Church is celebrating 120 years with a social media campaign recording key moments in its history


Modern Church resources

This page lists resources on this site about Modern Church. There is introductory information on the About pages.

•  Modern Church and liberal theology by Jonathan Clatworthy, in Signs of The Times

•  Editorial on the centenary of our journal Modern Believing by Paul Badham

•  Eight page supplement on Modern Church, Church Times, 26th October 2007

Read more ...

Prayers for a Service of Word and Table (Eucharist)

by Nick Jowett

Opening Prayer
Loving God, we turn to you,
ready to celebrate your love
and hear your word.
By your Holy Spirit
you can open our lips and hearts and minds.
We ask you now to come close to us
and help us to pray,
for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Dear Lord, in penitence we place ourselves
and the evils of our world before you:
the wrongs we do and the wrongs we suffer;
the many hurts and injuries people inflict on each other;
the refusal to change, understand or forgive.
Humanity is in bondage to its own evil;
we are not where we ought to be.
Please forgive us, forgive others, and help us to forgive ourselves, for Jesus Christ’s sake.
And show us the way to love and freedom.

Approach to Communion
Lord Jesus,
you welcomes all to your table,
the successful and the outcasts,
and you there made them equal,
at one with you, in the presence of God.
And now you call us,
in that same unity and equality,
to eat bread and drink wine as your body and blood,
the source of life for the world.
Enable us to put aside both pride and false humility
and to share, with simplicity and gratitude,
in the feast which opens to us
the kingdom of your Father.


Song for the beginning of Lent

by Nick Jowett
Music: Viva la Vida (Coldplay)

You went into the wilderness.
You had no home and no address.
Nothing to eat and nothing to drink;
Plenty of time to pray and think.

Forty days and forty nights,
You struggled over wrongs and rights,
Then, Jesus, when you were half-dead,
The devil came, and this is what he said:

‘If you are the Son of God,
Why don’t you give your Dad the nod?
If you can turn these stones to bread, you
‘ll get a pile of street cred too.’

O Jesus, you were sharply tested,
But all the devil’s wiles you bested.
‘We do not live,’ you said, ‘by bread alone,
But from the truths God’s word has shown.’
‘It’s no good trying to tempt the Lord;
That’s a game you can’t afford.’
‘Never worship evil, never.
Serve the Lord your God for ever.’

On to the temple’s highest peak
The devil took you, faint and weak.
‘Throw yourself down – the angels know
They’ll keep you safe.’ But you said, ‘No!’

He showed you kingdoms in their glory.
You’d rule them all – that was his story.
‘Just kneel right down and worship me.’
‘That,’ you said, ‘can never be.’

O Jesus, you were sharply tested...

Hymn of the Rich Man

by Nick Jowett. Inspired by Mark 10.17-27.
CM Tune eg Martyrdom or Stracathro or Nun Danket All

  1. Lord Jesus, how can we be good,
    live selfless every day?
    No-one but God, you said, is good,
    but we are mortal clay.

  2. Good teacher, though you made no claim,
    All saw that you were good.
    You called them in the Spirit’s name,
    Each to their own true good.

  3. The wealthy man ran up to you;
    your verdict he implored:
    What are the good things I must do,
    to earn God’s just reward?’

  4. ‘Keep the commandments till you die;
    they’ll keep you safe from sin.
    Don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t cheat or lie;
    Don’t shame your kith and kin.’

  5. ‘I’ve done all this,’ the man replied,
    since I was just a child.
    God’s law will always be my guide,
    My life’s both pure and mild.’

  6. You smiled then, Lord, and loved this man:
    ‘Just do one thing,’ you said
    sell everything, give, as you can,
    to those who have no bread.’

  7. The rich young man then went away:
    you’d tested him too much.
    With you, O Lord, he could not stay;
    his wealth you must not touch.

  8. ‘A camel through a needle’s eye’s
    an easier passageway
    than when a wealthy person sighs
    to come to God and stay.’

  9. Lord, we are rich in many things
    which block our road to you.
    Show us the sacrifice which brings
    Your kingdom into view.

  10. So, how can we be truly good,
    live selfless lives indeed?
    No-one but God, you said, is good,
    but we are trapped in greed.

  11. Good teacher, then your answer came:
    with God all things can be.
    Yet call us in the Spirit’s name
    to goodness all can see.

Hymn on the Parables of the Mustard Seed, Yeast, Salt and Light

by Nick Jowett
Tune Greensleeves

  1. How shall we sing God’s kingdom here,
    portrayed for human knowing?
    It’s like a tiny mustard seed
    within the garden growing.
    This seed, so hard to see,
    can grow into a spreading tree.
    Here all can find a home,
    like birds with nests protected.

  2. What image shows us God’s domain
    as Jesus once described it?
    It’s like a giant bowl of flour,
    a little yeast inside it.
    This mixture, as he said,
    can raise up many loaves of bread.
    We’ll all be lifted up,
    like dough which always rise.

  3. How can we understand ourselves
    as those whom Christ can nourish?
    We’re like the salt cast on the ground
    to make the garden flourish.
    But it will be a waste
    if we should ever lose our taste.
    We’ll strive to salt the earth,
    unseen, but very useful.

  4. What picture tells us who we are
    with Jesus our example?
    We’re like the lamp set on a stand,
    illumination ample.
    Our deeds must be so fine
    they make Christ’s love and mercy shine,
    So all who see rejoice
    and praise our heavenly Father.