This is the first comprehensive historical picture to be published of the life and work of the Church of England in the second half of the twentieth century. It traces the evolution of the Church in a period of immense upheaval, giving not only a detailed portrait of the work of its archbishops and bishops, but also exploring the Church's relationship with the State, the changes within its central institutions, and the response of the wider community to those changes. Placing the Church of England in its social context, Andrew Chandler examines the parochial reforms which arose in response to the realities of domestic and international migration, multi-culturalism and secularization.
Other themes explored are the administration of property (particularly bishops' houses and the work of the cathedrals), 'ethical investment', and the recent crises which are still the subject of argument. Included among these are the financial speculations of the late 1980s and early 1990s, from which flowed controversies about the reform of the Church of England itself and the nature of its relationship with the state.