The Pali Canon is voluminous with many Suttas and other types of books within it. For the purpose of memorisation we can appreciate the repetitions and the patterns in which these repetitions occur. There is also the same aspect of the Dhamma explained in different ways in different parts of the canon. However the formidable nature of the Pali Canon could be a barrier for the average lay Buddhist to access the entirety of teachings within this canon.
Has there been an attempt to extract the essence of the Pali Canon (and other texts such as Visuddhimagga) and to consolidate it into a single volume (or few volumes)? I am talking along the lines of taking out the important parts from the Suttas and Abhidhamma and then setting up those teachings in an organised manner which is less wordy as well as useful for practice. Because if such a text is made with a combined effort of monastics and scholars then it would help to bridge the gap between the average lay Buddhist and the useful content within the Pali Canon in my opinion. It could even serve as a stepping stone to make more and more people feel motivated to read the Pali Canon.
So my questions are -
Has there been an attempt to extract the essence of the Pali Canon (and other texts such as Visuddhimagga) and to consolidate it into a less number volumes?
If such an attempt was to be made, then what would be the best course of action to bring this about as well as giving this text an official status within the Theravada community?