`I find it difficult to know whether to go to church or not. Sometimes I walk in there, and it is quite obviously God's house. ... I feel completely at home. Then there are other times when it is as though I knock at the door and the person answering appears with a clipboard and says `God? Did you say you were looking for God? ... No. Sorry. No one of that name here.'
In Church on Trial Jessica Rose takes a critical look at the contemporary church. In interviews with a range of people about their experience of church she examines what it is about the church that is distinctive, and why people continue to seek it out. In putting the institutional church on trial, she asks the compelling question, what is the church for in a world where church-going is marginal, and where for many the church is an increasingly irrelevant institution.
Towards answering this question she examines the Eucharist, the central and defining act of worship for all Christians. She seeks to discover how, through petty differences and more serious cases of pastoral abuse, fallings out, as well as times of great joy and sense of community, the church can yet be a representation of the Body of Christ on earth.
'Church on Trial is an eminently readable, honest and insightful book. By weaving together the personal experiences of the witnesses for the prosecution and defence with some deep theological reflection, Jessica Rose addresses some very blunt and searching questions, and challenges the Church to grow in awareness, self-understanding and integrity.' -- Rt Revd Brother Stuart Burns OSB, Abbot, Burford Priory