Buying books helps to fund the quest for peace with justice

By Simon Barrow
June 9, 2007

Book sales help to keep Ekklesia running, to back those working for peace with justice - and to keep you informed and connected.

As regular readers will know, our main online shops are Metanoia Books (a Mennonite partner, specialising in peace, social justice and theology titles) and Eden Books - who provide a background service of many thousands of other Christian titles.

These online stores are not in competition with one another. There is only a small overlap, so they offer complementary services. And every time you buy from them through an Ekklesia link (often saving money and getting quick delivery too), we get a small cut which helps our work. Everyone benefits.

However, we need other ways to boost our income. When Jonathan Bartley appeared on celeb Venessa Feltz's BBC Radio 2 show about 're-branding St George' [], she pointedly asked, "So where do you get your money from, then?"

The assumption was (and is) that all think-tanks are fat cats. Not us. We are run by freelance and volunteer staff on a minimal income - probably less annually for our entire operation than Venessa's assistant earns! And we have consciously eshewed the kind of high-profile advertising and corporate tie-ins which we believe could undermine the independence and ethos of our work. Instead we do charity affiliate deals which help raise £250,000 annually for good causes.

But the pennies (and, hopefully, pounds) are still vitally important. That's why, as an experiment, we are allowing Amazon book links across our pages. Research indicates that this will not take away customers who chiefly buy Metanoia and Eden books through web searches rather than direct visits, but it does help to "monetarize" (horrid word) our widely-syndicated news pages.

We are aware that this may be a minor irritation to some, and that a few of the (auto-generated) links may be a bit bizarre. We can't control individual ones, but we can exempt pages. And the programme will get more 'accurate' as it kicks in.

On the other hand, this also offers an additional service to people who probably already have Amazon accounts. And we would very much urge those of you reading this to use Metanoia (bookshop link on the left hand front page) and Eden (shop, at the bottom) for your regular purchases.

We will, of course, monitor the situation from all angles and take note of our readers' (and organizational and commercial partners') comments.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.