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Ekklesia was set up by Jonathan Bartley in 2002, out of his experience of a theological training course (Workshop) which introduced him to the Radical Reformation tradition and which produced a major change in life and orientation around the question of faith and politics. The aim of Ekklesia was to inject “a new way of thinking” into debates about religion and society.
Simon Barrow, at that time working with Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), started cooperating with Jonathan in 2003, and became co-director of Ekklesia in July 2005.
They have brought a range of allies and partners on board – often people from very different backgrounds.
Jonathan comes from evangelical stock, was formerly director of a Christian Democrat organisation, and worked for Conservative PM John Major. Simon has a strong ecumenical pedigree, once convened a network of the Christian Left, and has a background in labour movement politics.
Simon and Jonathan were joined more recently by Symon Hill, a Quaker Christian with a strong background in the peace movement, who has also taught on Workshop, and by valued editorial associate Jill Segger.