What is distinctively Christian about the pastoral care the Churches offer, and what is the place of care and counselling within the broader context of the work of the Church? This study of pastoral care as the normative pastoral ministry gives a context and perspective to the recent explosion of pastoral counselling. While pastoral care can draw upon the insights of the secular therapies, it is not an inferior form of pastoral counselling. Pastoral care has its own integrity rooted in the life and worship of that community of faith shaped by the story of Jesus Christ. The theological importance of pastoral care is thus made central. This book offers an important manifesto for parish ministry, and the need to hold in balance the practical and the theological. Drawing upon a wide range of case material, David Lyall sets out a theology and practice of pastoral care, affirming the importance of Christian narrative amid the realities of postmodern society.