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The Once and
Future Parish

Author Alison Milbank
Publisher SCM £19.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780334063131

The author provides a sequel to her For the Parish: A Critique of Fresh Expressions. She analyses the ecclesiology and secularism of ’Minster hubs’, ‘Emerging Church’, and the Strategic Development Fund. She argues that all three strategies are deficient, and that the parish remains a vital asset for mission and outreach, but only if properly resourced by the Church, within deanery and diocese, rather than a dispensable burden for subsuming into a large benefice or larger grouping. Her future vision for the parish seeks to recreate synergy with its surrounding community as a place full of participation in the new life of Christ, of known and trusted intention to serve with creative imagination. I had hoped for more than a single page on Readers/LLMs given our roles, but the focus is on ordained ministry. That said, the suggested common curriculum for teaching clergy could be equally adopted for Reader training. This is a passionate and justifiably critical work, so it will be interesting to see what responses it provokes at a challenging time for our church.

Reviewed by ANDREW CARR
Future of the Parish


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