BRITAINThe Church of England should shed its "booted and suited" middle-class image, a British bishop says.

"Even today I meet people who think you have to be highly educated or suited and booted to be a person who goes to church" the Reverend Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Reading, in southern England, said.

The comments come as Christian churches throughout the UK and other parts of the world launch a week-long "back to Church Sunday" campaign, an attempt to encourage people of all social classes to go to church this Sunday.

Up to 16,000 Church of England churches as well as Churches Together in Scotland, the Church in Wales, Baptist, Methodist, United Reformed, Salvation Army and Elim Pentecostal churches will be taking part as will Anglican churches in Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and Canada.

A poll in 2007 showed the social breakdown of congregations in Britain was evenly spread, but drawing on a shopping analogy, the Bishop likened the church's image to that of middle-class Marks & Spencer rather than the more downmarket supermarkets Asda and Aldi.