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This third report from the Harries Commission, of which Ekklesia is an active member, indicates that even before the regulated period started in relation to the 2015 General Election, in September 2014, the new Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning, and Trade Union Administration Act has been limiting charities and advocacy groups from speaking out on important public issues.
The Rev Paul Nicolson from Taxpayers Against Poverty (TAP), has written to Lord Heseltine, following his criticism of recent statements from the Anglican Archbishops of York and Canterbury about the reality of poverty and inequality across the English regions and in the UK as a whole. We reproduce here the open letter to Lord Heseltine about the reality of divided Britain, and follow that with a detailed briefing on some of the issues raised by publicity round the book, On Rock or Sand?, together with commentary on who is saying what in the debate, relevant research, resources, and practical values for an alternative approach.
Debate around the implications of greater political pluralism for representation on, structure of, and content for the proposed General Election television debates in April 2015 continues apace. Ekklesia wrote to the BBC back in October 2014 setting out the case for broadening these debates beyond what get defined as 'major parties'. We are now making that public. Much of what we said has subsequently become part of the ongoing media discussions – with added distinctive features, such as the notion of a "People's Debate". We will be making further comment before the BBC's deadline for responding to its draft election guidelines on 5 February 2015.
In effect the whole of 2014 has been a year of remembrance, with the focus on the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. It is important that 2015 is not a year of forgetting, of “war business as usual”. In this paper, Simon Barrow recapitulates some of the key points from Ekklesia's Re-imagining Remembrance report, locating them within the changes that have taken place since that was originally published in 2009, relating them to the commemorations that took place in 2014, looking at the particular challenge to post-Christendom Christianity, and setting out a commitment to continue on the path towards a New Remembrance in both theological and general terms.
In various denominations, debates on sexual ethics and treatment of minorities have sparked heated international controversy. This is sometimes seen as a conflict between a ‘liberal’ west and ‘conservative’ south. But the reality is more complicated. This research essay by Ekklesia associate and noted commentator Savitri Hensman explores the issues and looks at ways forward in response and understanding.
Remembrance day: Goodbye to all that Guardian leader based on Ekklesia's 2009 report Reimagining Remembrance
Voters turn on main parties, Independent front page, reporting Ekklesia's survey results on independent politics, during the scandal over MP's expenses
Rebranding St George, The Times about Ekklesia's 2008 report on British identity
The Daily Telegraph on Ekklesia's 2007 proposals that the symbols we use to remember war, should involve those symbolising a commitment to peace
Guardian education features Ekklesia's 2006 report on alleged marginalisation of religion in universities, and proposals for addressing it
Fear or Freedom?: Why a Warring Church Must Change by Simon Barrow (Ed)
The Subversive Manifesto: Lifting the Lid on God's Political Agenda by Jonathan Bartley
Faith and Politics After Christendom: The Church as a Movement for Anarchy by Jonathan Bartley
Consuming Passion: Why the Killing of Jesus Really Matters by Simon Barrow and Jonathan Bartley (Eds)
Threatened with Resurrection: The Difficult Peace of Christ by Simon Barrow