Simon Barrow's blog

Agenda-challenging journalism matters

After a thoroughly enjoyable New Year's Eve in Edinburgh (a ceilidh at St James' Leith, and then a view of the city's fine fireworks celebrations), connecting with the broadcast, digital and print media this morning was a thoroughly depressing experience.

Greetings from Ekklesia: the real work of Christmas

Ekklesia's voluntary staff and associates would like to extend the warmest greetings to our many friends, collaborators and co-conspirators in these islands and across the world at Christmastide 2013.

Christmas: the arrival of the unexpected God

Christmas is a time for reflection. But sometimes, thankfully, someone else says pretty much what you might have said yourself, and probably better. Gratitude to Giles Fraser for his seasonal Guardian piece, 'The Bethlehem story takes us deeper into what it means to be human' (24 December 2013).

Christmas cards help provide support to asylum seekers

Ekklesia has not produced any Christmas or New Year cards of our own this year, but we are very happy to encourage you to buy some beautiful ones produced by our friend Carrie Gooch, a visual artist who is a member of the Iona Community. The proceeds go to back support and advocacy for asylum seekers.

Osborne's agenda: who wins, who loses, who decides?

When the government speaks of 'recovery' (which may well turn out to be a bubble largely supported by consumer spending, inflated house prices and private credit), it is worth asking, 'what is being recovered by whom?'

Launching the vision of Common Weal

On Sunday 8 December 2013 I am happy to be joining some 700 people in Glasgow for a celebratory Common Weal launch event, hosted by the pioneering Jimmy Reid Foundation.

St Andrew's Day anti-racism and anti-sectarianism message

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) is organising a 'Scotland Against Racism' march for St Andrew's Day, Saturday 30 November 2013, which will be joined by trade unionists, community groups and people of all faiths and none.

Another Scotland, another world: a declaration of radical intent

More than a thousand people packed into a hotel in Glasgow on Saturday 23 November 2013 to declare that "another Scotland is possible" - and, indeed, necessarily, another world. I was one of them.

Help get the welfare assessment petition over the line

Welfare changes and cuts are already causing significant harm to disabled and sick people across the UK. Welfare News Service ( is at the forefront of reporting and analysing what is going on.

Can truth be given and received in words?

The sixth and final presentation in the "Making representations: religious faith and the habits of language" Gifford Lecture series was delivered by Dr Rowan Williams at the University of Edinburgh on Thursday 14 November 2013.