Parishes were originally created through the noble ideal of evangelising the nation and providing pastoral care for all. But today, the system is collapsing due to shrinking financial resources, and it often frustrates contemporary Christian ministry, especially where maintaining the status quo and parish boundaries is the overriding concern.
Commentators of many different theological persuasions believe that radical change is overdue, and that alternatives to the parish must be pursued for the sake of the gospel.
This study by Mark Burkill demonstrates that the parish system is no longer capable of delivering what it claims, not merely because of social change, but also due to the growth of theological diversity in the Church of England. It includes a valuable account of the historical development of the parish system, and concludes by exploring how the best ideals of the system can be expressed in Christian mission today.
Revd Dr Mark Burkill is Chairman of the Latimer Trust and Reform Council
ISBN: 978 0 946307 52 4