Matching the church's actions to its words

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Commenting on the Easter sermons by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and Catholic Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor (which argue, respectively, that Christians should live by example and should not seek to impose their beliefs on society), Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia, said:

"These are fine words and reflect the commitment of a growing number of Christians. But the real challenge is to transform the culture and mindset of 'institutional church' so that self-interest and the temptation to operate through control gives way to a more open, exemplary approach to being the church in the world."

Anabaptists and others in the UK, including Ekklesia, argue that Britain is moving into 'post-Christendom' situation, where the church's loss of worldly power opens up possibilities of a more creative and convincing approach to Christian living.

For more information on post-Christendom, see: Stuart Murray, Church After Christendom (Paternoster Press, 2004); and Jonathan Bartley, Faith and Politics After Christendom (Paternoster, 2006).