As one of the editors of ‘Ordained Local Ministry in the Church of England’, we are pleased that Canon Andrew Bowden has shared with us why he thinks this collection of essays is so important for the Church today.
‘The Church of England – all the main-stream Churches – are at a turning point. For 500 years priests, vicars, ministers have behaved as if the congregations ‘in their charge’ were their private property. It can’t go on: not enough money, not enough ministers; and anyway it’s very bad theology. Only if the local congregation becomes a ministering community rather than a community gathered round a minister is there any long-term hope for ‘traditional’ Churches.
For twenty years the Church of England (and other Anglican Churches world-wide) have experimented with Local Ministry and Ordained Local Ministers. Here is a book that assesses the experiment – its achievements, its weaknesses and its on-going relevance – and shows how the core values of Local Ministry CAN move the goalposts.’ - Andrew Bowden was Area Local Ministry Officer in the Diocese of Gloucester.