London, UK - April 30, 2009 Symon Hill is to join Ekklesia as associate director from 1 June 2009, enabling what the think-tank describes as "a continued expansion" of its work in "creatively re-thinking the role of religion in contemporary society."
Hill teams up with existing co-directors Simon Barrow and Jonathan Bartley. He becomes the third person to join Ekklesia's staff this year, bringing the total number to 8, in addition to a wide range of partners, contributors and associates.
Symon Hill previously worked for the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) where he handled media relations. He was responsible for CAAT's high-profile response to the recent controversies surrounding BAE's arms deals with Saudi Arabia. He was also heavily involved in CAAT's legal action and argument against the government.
He has written comment pieces for a wide range of national and international newspapers, incuding the Sunday Herald and the Daily Mail, and he contributes regularly to the Guardian's Comment is Free, The Friend and Peace News.
Symon's first book, The No-Nonsense Guide to Religion, will be published by New Internationalist in early 2010.
With a longstanding interest in nonviolent social change, he is a Quaker, teaches practical theology and works as a consultant and trainer with a range of NGOs.
Symon said: "I'm very excited about working for Ekklesia. At a time when so much public debate over religion has got stuck in a rut, I believe Ekklesia has a unique and very positive role to play. Ekklesia can offer distinctively Christian perspectives without being tied to religious structures or institutional power. The Gospel calls us to promote peace and justice, facing a troubled world with both realism and hope. I am thankful for the challenge of doing this through Ekklesia."
Notes to Editors
1. Ekklesia is a thinktank which examines the role of religion in public life. Independent of the churches it formed in 2002. It was listed amongst the top 20 thinktanks in Britain by the Independent Newspaper in 2005. It has raised £250,000 each year for the last four years to promote peace, justice and development work around the world. It is a not-for-profit company limited by Guarantee, and works on a co-operative basis.
2. A full list of Ekklesia's staff is available here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/about/staff
3. A full list of Ekklesia's Associates, Consultants and contributors is available here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/about/associates
4. In addition to freelance writing and training, Symon works part-time as Tutor in Practical Theology for the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre. You can find out more about Symon on his website here: http://www.symonhill.co.uk/