Stuart Murray Williams works as a trainer and consultant under the auspices of the Anabaptist Network. Based in Bristol, he travels widely in the UK and overseas and works with local churches, mission agencies, denominational leaders, conferences and individuals. He has worked with at least 25 denominations in recent years. His particular areas of expertise are in:
- Church planting
- Emerging church
- Urban mission
- Mission in post-Christendom
- Anabaptist history and theology
Under the name Stuart Murray, he has written books on a number of topics, including:
The Challenge of the City
published by Sovereign World in 1994
Written after twelve years in Tower Hamlets, East London – one of the most socially deprived, culturally diverse and under-churched areas of Britain – working as a church planter to establish what is now called Tower Hamlets Community Church. This book aims to provide a biblical and theological foundation for urban ministry and advocates that urban mission should be recognised as a strategic priority.
Explaining Church Discipline
published by Sovereign World in 1995
An extended reflection on the classic passage in Matthew 18, exploring historical reasons for the neglect of this practice, examining other biblical passages on the subject, and advocating the development of communities of disciples where loving church discipline is taught and practised.
Church Planting: Laying Foundations
published by Paternoster Press in 1998
A critical assessment of church planting strategies and practices, offering a biblical, theological and historical foundation for this component of mission. Attention is given to the postmodern and post-Christendom context for contemporary church planting. This is really a book on ecclesiology and mission from an Anabaptist perspective, using church planting as a way in to a range of issues.
Hope from the Margins
(jointly with Anne Wilkinson-Hayes) published by Grove Books in 2000
A booklet reflecting on the continuing decline in UK church membership and the disenchantment of many Christians with their churches and offering stories of new ways of being church that may function as signs of hope, provoking questions about what the church needs to become as we move into a new millennium.
Biblical Interpretation in the Anabaptist Tradition
published by Pandora Press in 2000
A detailed study of the principles and practices of sixteenth-century Anabaptists as they interpreted the Bible, comparing and contrasting this with Catholic, Protestant and Spiritualist approaches. This book identifies six key factors: the accessibility of the Bible to all Christians, Christocentrism, the relationship between the Testaments, the tension between Spirit and Word, the role of the congregation and the importance of application. A final section contends that this marginalised hermeneutic approach has parallels with contemporary approaches and significant contributions to make to biblical interpretation in post-Christendom.
published by Paternoster Press in 2000
Starting from the premise that tithing is ‘bad news to the poor’ and thus an unjust and unwise principle to guide contemporary Christians in their financial dealings, this book examines biblical references to tithing and concludes that it is a biblical but not Christian practice. It investigates the strange silence about tithing in the pre-Christendom period and explores the miserable history of tithing in medieval and early modern Europe. Tithing is presented as a case study of the vestiges of Christendom that need to be identified and eradicated. Final chapters invite readers to reflect on other biblical principles, especially jubilee and koinonia, and to be creative and radical in giving and sharing.
Coming Home: Stories of Anabaptists in Britain and Ireland
(jointly with Alan Kreider) published by Pandora Press in 2000
The development of a vibrant Anabaptist Network in the UK, which has minimal historical links with this tradition, has surprised many. This book contains about sixty stories of those (from a Catholic monk to an Anglican canon to a Baptist minister to a House Church leader) for whom the Anabaptist tradition has been important. Essays by Alan Kreider, Noel Moules, Chris Rowland and Stuart Murray attempt to interpret and reflect on the significance of this phenomenon.
Church Planting: Past, Present and Future
(jointly with George Lings) published by Grove Books in 2003
A review of church planting in the 1990’s across the denominations, reflecting on what was and was not achieved during this period and the lessons that have been learned. A summary of the crucial theological and strategic issues that need to be considered for effective church planting today and tomorrow.
Post-Christendom: Church and Mission in a Strange New World
published by Paternoster in 2004
The end of Christendom, where the Christian story was known and the church was central, invites Christians in western culture to embrace marginality and discover fresh ways of being church and engaging in mission. This book is an introduction: a journey into the past, an interpretation of the present and an invitation to ask what following Jesus might mean in the strange new world of post-Christendom.
Church after Christendom
published by Paternoster in 2005
The second book in the 'After Christendom' series, this explores various aspects of church and mission in the strange new world of post-Christendom, including the relationship between believing, belonging and behaving; why people join and leave churches; what kinds of churches are emerging on the margins of inherited church and contemporary culture; and how mission, community and worship might be reconfigured in this new environment
Changing Mission: Learning from the Newer Churches
published by Churches Together in Britain & Ireland (CTBI) in 2006
The third book in the series commissioned by Building Bridges of Hope, this is a survey of the 'emerging church' scene and a reflection on its possible significance for mission in contemporary culture. Offering a distinctive Anabaptist perspective, and earthed in many stories of emerging churches, this book uses a post-Christendom lens to explore this popular subject.
Church Planting in the Inner City
(with Juliet Kilpin) published by Grove books in 2007
An introduction to the distinctive dynamics of planting churches in inner-city communities, illustrated by the experience over the past ten years of Urban Expression (a Root and Branch partner of the Anabaptist Network).
Planting Churches: A Framework for Practitioners
published by Paternoster in 2008
A straightforward introduction to the practicalities and dynamics of planting new churches, fresh expressions or emerging forms of church.
The Naked Anabaptist
published by Herald Press in 2010 and by Paternoster in 2011
An exposition of the seven core convictions of the Anabaptist Network, with examples of their practical outworkings, exploring why Christians from many traditions are drawn to Anabaptism today.
Some of these books can be obtained from the Anabaptist Network at the following prices (including p & p):
Church Planting: Laying Foundations £14.95
Hope from the Margins £3.50
Coming Home: Stories of Anabaptists in Britain and Ireland £14.00
Biblical Interpretation in the Anabaptist Tradition £14.00
Church Planting: Past, Present and Future £3.50
Church after Christendom £9.99
Changing Mission £8.99
Church Planting in the Inner City £3.50
Planting Churches £9.99
The Naked Anabaptist £9.00
To contact Stuart or to order any of these books, email: