Columns

  • 16 Dec 2013

    The government’s Transparency in Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning, and Trade Union Administration Bill – described in the Financial Times as “one of the worst pieces of legislation put before the Houses of Parliament for many moons” – enters Committee stage in parliament on 16 and 18 December 2013, and goes to Report stage on 13 and 15 January 2014. Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow explains what is wrong with this dangerous piece of legislation and how it can be, and is being, challenged.

  • 11 Dec 2013

    Those who promote criminalisation of, or violence against, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people cannot reasonably claim that this is a sign of Christian love, says Savitri Hensman, challenging a Church of England General Synod member's reported comments in Jamaica.

  • 1 Nov 2013

    Changing times may be best served by less rigidity about symbols, says Jill Segger. As the centenary of World War I approaches, she suggests that the white poppy opens up a space in which remembrance can go hand in hand with repentance for the failure that is war.

  • 1 Nov 2013

    The tenth assembly of the World Council of Churches, like many ecumenical gatherings, is facing strong opposition and criticism from fundamentalist-style Christian groups, notes Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow. The answer this is not to adopt the mindset and rejectionism of our opponents, but to engage with with difference and “otherness” however difficult and challenging that might be.

  • 28 Oct 2013

    This is a time to be both politically and practically subversive in the face of a growing political consensus that is hurting the most vulnerable, says Jonathan Bartley. All of the main parties in the UK, including Labour, support the cut in housing benefit. Labour has said that it would not reverse it - or, indeed, most of the other welfare reforms - should it gain power at the next election. In the face of such a negative consensus, new social housing could become a central weapon in the Churches' fight to protect the poorest.

  • 31 Aug 2013

    Within hours of publication, the Obama administration's documentation on Syria has been criticised for its lack of verifiable detail.

  • 27 Aug 2013

    According to the US state department, a strike on Syria could come "within days" as military assets are "ready to go". Simon Barrow looks at what underlies both the accusations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and the current US-driven fervour for another military intervention in the troubled region.

  • 19 Aug 2013

    The issue of what constitutes 'the good', in persons, in relationships and in society is an interesting one. It is far less straightforward than many assume, says Simon Barrow. He highlights the importance of theology, and the Christian doctrine of God in particular, for appreciating how we arrive at 'goodness', and how we develop an ethic based on communal virtue in the church and beyond.

  • 10 Aug 2013

    For the enrichment and development of plural public education on the one hand, and healthy faith communities on the other, it is necessary that the distinction between the two - as well as their need to converse and cooperate - is understood and put into operation, says Simon Barrow. That is why community schooling for all is so important.

  • 9 Aug 2013

    What is the relationship between arts in the broadest sense, and change in the broadest sense (social, personal, cultural, political and economic)? Simon Barrow reports on a transformative conversation between practitioners and participants.