WHAT A JOY TO BE PRESENT at the Inaugural Conference of the Affirming Liberalism network at Trinity College Oxford yesterday. Not much of a party man I nonetheless greeted news of a new liberal-minded network within the Church of England with great joy. Affirming Liberalism seeks to enhance the ‘enrichment’ of the Christian faith and support ordained and lay Christians of the Liberal Anglican tradition by:

Affirming faith in Jesus’ life, teaching, death and resurrection as revealing God’s limitless love for all humanity in this life and the next.

Affirming the dynamic action of the Holy Spirit in dispersing this divine love throughout the world.

Affirming the positive impact of biblical, literary and historical criticism for our engagement with Scripture and Tradition.

Affirming appreciation of the distinctive nature of religious language in vibrant worship which connects us to the divine.

Affirming a philosophical approach to Christian faith and the search for truth through God-given reason.

Affirming the positive insights of the natural sciences and mathematics in the formation of a Christian world-view and understanding of the universe.

Affirming the positive impact of the social sciences for understanding human nature and society, and developing Christian ethics.

Affirming the vitality of the performing and creative arts in shaping a dynamic Christian vision of life lived in relation to God.

Affirming open, creative conversation with Evangelicals and Catholics as a means of enriching our understanding of the Christian gospel.

Affirming open, creative conversation with other faith traditions and cultures as a way of deepening our understanding of God.

The golden sunshine and spires of a Saturday in Oxford have been balm to my soul. Open conversation, inspired worship, excellent lunch, and magisterial contributions from Keith Ward and Mark Chapman were the icing on a fabulous cake.