The model of the nuclear family unit, once the idealised norm, is now only one of many different forms of family, and changing patterns of relationships mean that many people will, at varying stages in their lives, be 'single'. In this original and readable book, Philip Wilson examines the phenomenon of singleness in contemporary society and its implications for ministry. He traces the history of the church's attitudes towards marriage and sexuality, from the early Church fathers, through the development of monastic communities and the growing focus on the family through the Reformation. In a series of direct interviews, he probes how single people today feel within their church communities. His findings are disquieting and reveal that the vast majority feel isolated yet frequently over-used in church life. His conclusions are essential reading for anyone who wants to know how the contemporary church can offer a relevant community for the spiritual and practical needs of today and for the future.