The Ecclesiology of John Tiller: Ideal Blueprint or Concrete Reality

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The Revd Mark Beach: Team Rector of Rugby, Diocese of Coventry. Doctor of Ministry student King’s College London.

This title of this paper refers first to A Strategy for the Church’s Ministry written in 1983 by John Tiller, the Chief Secretary of the Advisory Council for the Church’s Ministry (ACCM).  I hope to show that inspite of the fact that it was not implemented, the Strategy is a significant document for the Church of England. And secondly the title refers to the work of Nicholas Healy, whose Church, World and the Christian Life provides the distinction between blueprints and concrete realities in an examination of the church. I shall also note briefly the work of Roger Haight and Gerard Mannion.

However, during the course of my research I have been influenced by Stephen Pickard’s recent Foundations of Collaborative Ministry  which I shall use to examine the top-down / bottom-up ecclesiologies of Healy and Haight in order to propose an inductive ecclesiology which I suggest will offer a concrete framework that is consistent with both the work of Healy and Haight and also with the argument put forward by Pickard. In response to this inductive ecclesiology I will reflect briefly on the kind of leadership required by an inductive ecclesiology and raise some other areas in which I believe an inductive ecclesiology might be helpful in reframing the concrete shape of the Church.

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