‘A Matter of Life or Death’ is published by the Maranatha Community for those in leadership positions throughout the United Kingdom. Maranatha is a Christian movement founded in 1981. It has members across the world and they include Anglicans & Episcopalians, Catholics & Orthodox, Baptists & Methodists, Pentecostalists and Salvationists, Presbyterians & members of the United Reformed Church, and the New Churches. Maranatha is committed to unity, renewal and healing and takes initiatives for social aid projects at home and overseas. It operates an advocacy for social justice and has initiated many community and international projects. It is a servant ministry for the churches and is deeply involved in leadership training.

Twenty years ago Maranatha pointed to the storm clouds which were approaching. We launched ‘A Call to the Nation’ in the House of Commons. It was a warning of the signs of serious national decline. Substantial factual evidence was presented and millions of copies were read throughout the United Kingdom. There was an immediate and positive response. The following year, Maranatha issued ‘A Call to the Churches’. This was presented to church leaders pointing to the significance of what was happening.

Arising from this, in 1995 at the invitation of a number of senior Peers, Maranatha presented the document ‘What on Earth are We doing to our Children?’ in the House of Lords, which led to a special consultation introduced by the Lord Chancellor, a special debate in the House of Commons and a National Children’s Conference in Coventry Cathedral. The issue of children was driven to the top of the political agenda.

In 1997, the Community arranged the ‘Unmasking the Spirit of the Age’ conference in Westminster and also sponsored the first National Child Abuse Conference in London. Many initiatives were taken subsequently to focus attention on the family and after much research the Community launched its ‘Family & Marriage’ report in the House of Commons. This was followed by the publication of ‘Western Culture & The Christian Gospel’, inspired by a Maranatha member Lesslie Newbigin.

Ten years ago, a further national statement was made ‘The State of the Nation’. This was launched in Parliament together with a supplementary document ‘Crisis & Glory’ which was presented to church leaders. It was very much a warning event. In 2008 the Community published a detailed report ‘Our Christian Identity – The De-Christianisation of the United Kingdom’.

At the time of the bank collapse, Maranatha pointed to the seriousness of our situation, continued to take a broad range of initiatives and produced factual reports, addressed to leaders in all walks of life.

Many people are today questioning the kind of society which is emerging as a consequence of the failure to heed these warnings. Therefore, this document has been prepared for submission not only to church leaders but also to social, academic, educational and commercial leaders and to be laid before the leadership of the various political parties in Parliament. It is a wake up call. It is a call to action. In particular, it is a challenge for us to recognise the heavy responsibilities we carry for future generations.