The Archbishops' Council
Category: Language & Reference
It's here, it's heavy and it carries a fairly hefty price tag, but if you're a member of the Church of England — or simply want to know the key facts about the Anglican communion — then that £30 is a very worthwhile investment.
After several pages of advertisements, the book starts with a fascinating nine page review of 2004 by Ian Garden, a barrister, member of the Archbishops' Council, lay canon of Blackburn Cathedral and Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese of Sheffield. It's a personal reflection, identifying the main issues the Church of England has faced in the past year and still faces: the Middle East and Islam, Ministry, Mission and Money, to name but a few of the topics raised, identifying as a common thread "the Church's willingness to to embrace the challenge of the modern age and confront hard questions" (p.xxv).
Contents include background details about each of the 44 English dioceses, contact information for senior personnel (names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and websites; for details of individual clergy the reader is referred to Crockford's Clerical Directory), maps, statistics — in short, all the vital facts and figures for every area of the Church locally and nationally. Alongside this there's an overview of the Archbishops' Council, a detailed breakdown of its structures, work and activities and a summary of the year's Synod business. Other sections include an A-Z of useful organizations (not necessarily only Anglican), information on international provinces and an overview of ecumenical groups and projects. Finally, a comprehensive index completes the volume.
Unless you're a contestant on Mastermind with Anglicanism as your specialist subject then this isn't a book you'll be sitting reading from cover to cover - it's a reference work, but one that no parish office should be without. As the official book of General Synod and the Archbishops' Council it is the quintessential guide to all things Anglican, an ideal gift from congregation to clergy or perhaps even to prospective ordinand that's likely to see substantial use during the coming year.
Phil Groom, December 2004
Phil Groom is this site's Webmaster and Reviews Editor. He's a freelance blogger, writer and web developer who spent ten years managing the bookshop at London School of Theology alongside eight years writing web reviews for Christian Marketplace magazine before he came to his senses and went independent. You can find him on facebook or follow him on twitter @notbovvered.Church House Publishing | Order from www.christianbookshops.org | Order from St Andrew's Bookshops
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