Foreword: The Right Revd Dr Kenneth Kearon, Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, Church of Ireland; former Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Preface 1.'The office and work of a bishop in the Church of God' 2. The bishop's identity and tasks 3. The bishop's authority 4. The bishop in leadership 5. The bishop and collaborative ministry 6. The bishop in the Anglican Communion 7. The bishop and Christian unity 8. The bishop and the historic episcopate 9. The bishop as scholar and theologian 10. The bishop in the public square 11. The bishop and the liturgy Index of names
This unique book provides a helpful resource on the theological identity and tasks of a Bishop.
Paul Avis has served as the General Secretary of the Church of England's Council for Christian Unity, Theological Consultant to the Anglican Communion Office, London, and Canon Theologian of Exeter Cathedral. He is an honorary professor in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Exeter, a Chaplain to HM Queen Elizabeth II and editor-in-chief of the journal Ecclesiology.
There is much wisdom here to inform and guide and shape an
episcopal ministry that will be of benefit to the whole church. *
The Expository Times *
Paul Avis, one of Anglicanism's leading ecclesiologists, has provided a great gift to anyone called to become a bishop. With a remarkably light touch, he has applied his considerable scholarship to the lived realities of episcopal ministry, combining a deep understanding of the shape of the Church with pearls of practical wisdom drawn from years of observing bishops in a host of different contexts. The result is an attractive and accessible study that will help bishops from churches across the world to go on becoming more fully the bishops God has called them to be. * Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, Church of England *
In 2013, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, declared that year, 'A year of Theological Education'. This raised untapped financial resources for our Province but also laid bare the dearth in levels of understanding, what the Church is and in particular, the Episcopate. Our Synodical structures, addressed these questions by setting up amongst others, the Canon Law Council to educate bishops and others about church order. In fact, a far cry from the people's wrestling. All they were yearning for was, an account of what is a bishop and the bishop's role in democratic Southern Africa as we together lead the church's mission? Paul's book is the resource we were searching for. Becoming a Bishop is clearly and effectively written, theologically rigorous and yet accessible book. It is imbued with pastoral wisdom and will be helpful to the Bishops of the Anglican Communion around the world, and indeed to bishops and those likely to be bishops of all Christian tradition. At home, it will aptly address the questions our year of theological education raised and equip not only bishops but all the Laos. I highly recommend Becoming a Bishop. I will in the first instance, purchase a copy for each bishop within my province so that they may benefit from this well of wisdom. * Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town, Anglican Church of Southern Africa *
Becoming a Bishop is a worthy book for the person just elected to episcopal office and for the bishop approaching their silver anniversary. It is so because it invites the reader to enter afresh the living tradition of episcopal ministry. In particular I found Paul Avis's exposition of the public, personal and private life of the bishop to be invitational, so that the reader really wants to grow into the fullness of their vocation. The author reminds us that episcopal ministry involves teaching, sanctifying and governing, yet he never loses sight of the humanity of the bishop. Not only is this a helpful book for bishops, new and experienced; it is also a book I recommend to dioceses which are praying for the right appointment or election that they may be served well and the flock of Christ kept together. The chapter on the collaborative ministry of bishops could well be enjoyed by bishops on retreat or at a study conference. * Victoria Matthews, Bishop of Christ Church, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia *
Paul Avis has hit the nail squarely on the head! In Becoming A Bishop he invites the reader to reflect on the order and ministry of bishop. He suggests -rightly, I believe -that the church should primarily think about episcopacy in terms of a reasoned consideration of scripture, tradition, ecumenical agreements, all in light of God's mission for the church and the world. This book will make an invaluable resource for bishops and all with a stake in the mission and ministry of the church. Highly recommended. * Franklin Brookhart, Bishop of Montana, The Episcopal Church, USA *
There is tremendous insight and wisdom throughout this book ... Dr Avis's book highlights the need that still exists for an extended systematic theological handbook of texts ... that will help further to shape and expand our Anglican understandings of the episcopate, and so contribute to the well-being not just of bishops, but also of our common life. * Theology Journal *