Edited by David Billis and Colin Rochester
Chapter 26: The church, faith-based organisations and the three sectors
The organisational life of faith communities and religious congregations is changing in post-secular environments with new interactions, opportunities for collaboration and social contracts between the public and private sectors and civil society organisations (secular and religious). Religious communities with shrinking congregations and faithbased organisations (FBOs) in a post-secular environment are developing strategies for networking and collaboration with the public and private sectors. They are utilising a new discourse of solidarity and inclusion, which also attracts a larger public that goes beyond the shrinking constituencies of their own members. Collaboration has been accompanied by the growth of hybridity and hybrid organisations. Billis (2010) suggests that this occurs when an organisation from one sector, for example the civil society/third sector, adopts the different approaches and principles of the public and/or the private sector. As this chapter will show, hybrid organisational forms can bring with them the prospect of answers to difficult problems of communities and welfare. But they can also present their own inherent problems when the different principles become uncomfortable partners. I shall shortly illustrate this in a personal example.
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