Vicar: Celebrating the Renewal of Parish Ministry
For thirty years, the Church has been talking about the oncoming challenges of providing ordained ministers to lead and enable local churches. Now the crisis is coming to a head. Under Archbishop Justin and the Reform and Renewal agenda, long...
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For thirty years, the Church has been talking about the oncoming challenges of providing ordained ministers to lead and enable local churches. Now the crisis is coming to a head. Under Archbishop Justin and the Reform and Renewal agenda, long overdue structural change is really happening. But the people at the sharp end of this change - `vicars' - are often bewildered and demoralized. In this book, Alan Bartlett celebrates the tradition of English Anglican ordained pastoral ministry by affirming the value of vicars' ministry and way of life, and the great gift they have in relating to our communities and churches. The `vicar' (parish priest, pastor, minister) still leads her people in prayer and praise, cares for them in their sufferings, rejoices with them in their joys and does this both with those who `come to church' and those who don't. This deep wisdom has sustained the Church for centuries but are we losing confidence in such a ministry? Because our communities have not ... Concerned that there is a danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, the author asks how we can be better equipped to make wise decisions about the way church ministry needs to evolve now, in order to meet the clear need in our parishes for an institutional church. He aims to lift the morale of C of E incumbents, while helping them to continue to adapt, theologically, spiritually and practically.
Alan Bartlett has been an Anglican priest for twenty years. He has served in four north-eastern parishes as well as teaching in a theological college, where he was the postgraduate Director, and is now working as a CMD Officer in Durham. Alan taught Anglicanism, church history, spirituality and practical theology. He has written widely on Anglicanism and spirituality and now reflects on the future of English Anglican parochial ministry as both experienced practitioner and theologian. He is married to Helen, a railway chaplain, and they have two adult children.