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Invisible Divides

Class, culture and barriers to belonging in the Church

Natalie Williams Paul Brown

192 pages
SPCK Group

We’re called to be like Jesus, not like each other – so why are most Western churches predominantly middle class? Could it be that we’re reaching out to people in poverty, but struggling to connect them into church life?

Natalie Williams and Paul Brown know all too well that those saved from working-class backgrounds often find themselves discipled effectively – but into middle classism rather than authentic Christianity. Drawing on their own experiences, and mixing theory with practical application, they explore the invisible divides that prevent churches from becoming places of true inclusion and keep poor and working-class people on the edges of faith.

Packed full of surprising insights and helpful advice, Invisible Divides will change the way you see church life. Essential reading for anyone concerned with the class divide within the church, it will challenge you to look at the ways in which we inadvertently exclude, alienate and offend people who aren’t like us, and equip you to start working towards making church a more open, inclusive space for everyone.

Jesus calls for us all to follow him, no matter our background; together, we can break down the invisible divides between us so that people from all walks of life can come to know Christ and find family in our churches.

Author Bio

Natalie Williams grew up in relative poverty in Hastings, and was a journalist before becoming Head of Communications and Policy at Jubilee+, a national Christian charity that equips churches to meaningfully engage with those in need in their communities. She leads social action at King’s Church in Hastings & Bexhill, and her previous books are The Myth of the Undeserving Poor, A Church for the Poor and A Call To Act.

Paul Brown is the son of a lorry driver who left school at 16, and is now minister of a thriving church in Southwark, reaching out to predominantly working class communities. Paul has spoken on the relationship between the church and the white working class at conferences and churches and to different forums of community leaders and members of Parliament. Invisible Divides is his first book.