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Ekklesia is an independent, not-for-profit thinktank which examines the role of beliefs, values and faith in public life. It advocates transformative ideas and solutions rooted in a strong commitment to social justice, Christian nonconformism, nonviolence, and creative conversations among those of different convictions (religious and otherwise).
We look at power and cultural change in society broadly, promoting new models of mutual economy, conflict transformation, restorative justice, community empowerment and political participation -- as well as theological engagement 'beyond the church of power', which is one of our defining concerns.
Ekklesia is also working to develop alternative angles on humanitarian challenges in a globalised world, not least a positive approach to migration.
A widely-referenced source of authoritative comment, policy ideas, research and news briefing on a range of contemporary issues related to beliefs and politics, Ekklesia has been listed among the UK's top 20 think tanks by The Independent newspaper. It has been profiled by the BBC, in London's Evening Standard and Daily Telegraph, and has been described by The Times as 'influential'.
Ekklesia now has one of the most widely read religious and current affairs websites in Britain according to Alexa/Amazon rankings. It is also cited and consulted regularly by media and researchers across the world.
The web is the hub of what we are able to do. Ekklesia engages in original and cooperative research and analysis, provides a syndicated daily international and domestic news briefing service and e-bulletin; commissions professional opinion polls, cooperates with academic institutions (such as the University of Stirling's Critical Religion project), offers independent analysis of events to journalists and policy makers; distributes a 'Thinking for a Change' e-journal; produces publications and papers on key policy questions; makes independent submissions to official and government consultations (on constitutional questions, welfare, political reform, disability and welfare, marriage/civil partnerships and land reform, for instance); contributes distinctive opinion to print, broadcast and web media; sponsors conferences and events; has a team inputting into the blogosphere; and provides consultancy and workshops combining practical and theoretical knowledge. See our full list of services.
Ekklesia has helped to found and support a number of other issue-based networks and initiatives (see affiliations), including the Accord Coalition for inclusive education.
The work of Ekklesia is self-sustaining and receives no large-scale or corporate funding. We depend on donations, small partnerships, advertising and affiliate revenue. We are structured on a co-operative basis through a range of voluntary associates and partners. Our briefing services are linked to a large number of NGOs and churches in Britain and worldwide.
Ekklesia is a company limited by guarantee and works on a not-for-profits basis. It has several freelance staff and many voluntary associates, consultants and contributors. In addition to organisational partners it encourages individual supporters.
Ekklesia emerged in 2002 from Workshop, a long-standing independent theological training programme sponsored by the Anvil Trust. Its partners in the Anabaptist Network of Organisations include the Mennonite Centre in Britain and Christian Peacemaker Teams UK.
Ekklesia "encourages post-Christendom approaches to social policy, nonviolence and conflict, environmental action, the politics of forgiveness, economic sharing, support for migrants and displaced people, freedom of expression, restorative justice, a positive (relational) approach to sexuality, non-compulsion in religion and belief, the relationship of theology with science and culture, respectful engagement with those of other faith and non-religious convictions, and church as alternative community."
See also: Learning to think without tanks.