Ecclesiastical Law, Hill M
Journal Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
This is a book which encapsulates not only the law of the Church of England but also much of its history, tradition and practical ecclesiology. It is an evolutionary offering which summarises much of the life and work of the church in addition to regulating its contemporary and future affairs. There is not much that is particularly innovative about this volume, as it follows the traditional format of church law books. The book begins with a number of tables: of cases, canons, statutes and
... es, rules, regulations and other instruments. This is followed by the main part of the law: on the nature and sources of ecclesiastical law, constitution of the Church of England, the parish, clergy, worship and liturgy, clergy discipline, faculty jurisdiction and cathedrals. Thereafter, almost half of the book is taken up with more detailed materials: canons of the Church of England, measures and rules. The entire work is heavily footnoted and well indexed for ease of reference and further research. As would be expected, this is a comprehensive law book. What I find particularly interesting is its presentation. It is not written in abstruse legalese but in a manner which is accessible to ordinary laypersons who want to become acquainted with their church's law and procedures and want to implement them with integrity. It is evident that over time, the law has progressed from something to be imposed to a source for consultation where differences have arisen, or may arise. Hill and his colleagues have produced an excellent result which is legally, academically and philosophically respectable. It should be available to every member of the church for consultation. This is a valuable resource for anyone who wishes to understand and study aspects of the Church of England. It is a model that could be adopted by other churches who wish to make their law a lifegiving resource of life rather than something to be used against others in win or lose situations.