Parochial Vision: The Future of the English Parish
This book examines the past and present of the English parish system and proposes a new way of structuring the church in England rooted in the Anglo-Saxon world. The English parish is in a state of crisis. Ideally suited to the static, agricultural, hierarchical society in which it developed, it has become a severe impediment to the Church's work today. It needs to change. In this fascinating and insightful book, Nick Spencer explores the parish's past, present and future. He shows that rather than being synonymous with English Christianity, the parish was a comparatively late arrival on the scene, and one whose main roots were economic and social rather than ecclesiastical. He goes on to explain why the parish is now singularly inappropriate for modern ministry, before proposing a genuine alternative based on the system of Anglo-Saxon minster churches out of which parishes grew.