Author: Richard Giles
Date published: 1997
Status: in print
Price: GBP 17.99
What is it? A guide to 're-ordering the church building for worship and mission in the new millennium'.
What's it like? This adventurous faith community with its evidently gifted priest were struggling to operate in a building which had remained unchanged for the last 100 years. Save for the introduction of electric light, the local headquarters for the evangelisation of this part of North Cornwall was visually unchanged from the building as experienced by their forebears who dressed in smocks and long frocks, and who had never seen a tractor, let alone a television. Modern technological humanity, eager to be up to date with every scientific advance and creature comfort, was content, upon engaging in the work of the Christian Community, to use a building which would be cndemned as 'unfit for human habitation' in any other walk of life. Surely no organisation that chose to use it as local headquarters could be taken seriously.
What's good about it? An important glimpse inside the mindset of the upper echelons of the modern Church of England. Richard Giles was hugely influential in leading church reporderings in the Wakefield Diocese, and now bestrides a national stage. His formula for turning around the fortunes of the Church of England is radical and breathtaking - a general reordering of Parish churches on a scale not seen since the 19th century. Lots of fascinating photographs.
What's bad about it? Too many generalisations. More spin-doctoring than New Labour (whose project is closely reflected by that of the Church of England). If you don't agree with him, there are some shocks in store for you, and you'll probably end up throwing it across the room..
Overall rating: 3/5