The Church of Ireland traces its history back to the coming of Christianity in Ireland and, grounded in the teaching and practice of the early centuries of the Church, claims a place in the tradition of Patrick. Its evolution is intricately linked to political developments in Ireland over several hundred years and the complex relationship with our nearest neighbour. It survived the disestablishment of its position as the established Church of the state in 1869 along with a series of other challenges–the transfer of land ownership from landlords to tenants, the loss of life incurred by war in Europe and Ireland and changing societal norms. It restructured its organisation and, administratively as distinct from pastorally, started again from scratch. It is a remarkable story.
In this latest edition of A Short History of the Church of Ireland, author Kenneth Milne outlines the story of the Church through centuries of plantations and penal laws within the wider context of Irish history. The final chapter brings the story through changing times to our own day, with the ecumenical movement, Prayer Book revision and the ordination of women to priesthood and the episcopate.
In today’s era of ecumenism, as religions embrace dialogue and mutual understanding, this volume provides a sensitive and detailed introduction to the history of the Church of Ireland for Christians of all denominations.
Kenneth Milne is a former secretary of the Board of Education of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland and principal of the Church of Ireland College of Education. He was convenor of the European Affairs Committee of the Irish Council of Churches and a member of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). He has published widely on Irish education and Anglicanism.
This is his first publication with Messenger Publications.