Drawing on the resources of Classic Anglicanism, Vicar offers a clear theological vision for the future.
For thirty years, the Church has been talking about the oncoming challenges of providing ordained ministers to lead and enable local churches. Now long overdue structural change is really happening: but those at the sharp end - 'vicars' - are often bewildered and demoralized.
This book celebrates the tradition of English Anglican ordained pastoral ministry; it also affirms the value of vicars' ministry and way of life, and the great gift they have for relating to our communities and churches. The 'vicar' (parish priest, pastor, minister) still leads people - those who 'come to church' and those who don't - in prayer and praise, cares for them in their sufferings and rejoices with them in their joys. This deep wisdom has sustained the Church for centuries.
Yet, the questions must be asked: how can we be better equipped to make prudent decisions about the way church ministry has to evolve now? How can we meet the evident need in our parishes for an institutional church?
Alan Bartlett has been an Anglican priest for 25 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.