Simon Barrow's blog

Fruit, veg and unhealthy ‘reporting additives’

Fruit, veg and unhealthy ‘reporting additives’

If you’re a hard-pressed parent or guardian trying to encourage your child to eat a bit more healthily with their ‘five-a-day’ portions of fruit and veg, your job has just been made unnecessarily harder by the BBC and other media outlets.

Seeking financial restitution

Seeking financial restitution

While billions have gone to banks and brokers in bailouts and bonuses, the main parties are competing with each other over how much needs to be lopped off public services in order to reduce national debt and keep the IMF happy.

Remembering Middle East Christians at Easter

Remembering Middle East Christians at Easter

Ekklesia is delighted to announce that we will be running both the script and podcasts from five short Easter talks on Premier Christian Radio by our friend and contributor, Harry Hagopian, former executive secretary for the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) and now an ecumenical, legal and political consultant for the Armenian Orthodox Church.

Getting the Robin Hood Tax into party manifestos

Getting the Robin Hood Tax into party manifestos

Robin Hood Tax campaign member organisations and supporters are writing to the three main party leaders (and those co-ordinating their manifestos) pressing them to back a small but vital tax on financial transactions - a dividend for social and environmental needs - in the forthcoming General Election.

Winning out over over distortion and violence

Winning out over over distortion and violence

Back in 2000 I was honoured to be part of a British and Irish churches' team supporting an interreligious peace delegation from Sri Lanka on a visit to build solidarity links here. One of the participants was Duleep de Chickera, now Anglican Bishop of Colombo. A remarkable man, his 2010 Easter message of hope has a resonance both within and beyond the particular tragedies of Sri Lanka.

"The stones will cry out..."

"The stones will cry out..."

While the response of the Vatican to calls for change, investigation, admission and openness over child abuse scandals remains culpably defensive, other Catholics have been speaking and acting much more positively.

Reacting to scandal in good faith

Reacting to scandal in good faith

The monumental child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church is providing endless fuel for its detractors. But the pain and outrage of millions of loyal Catholics is just as real - and can be a harbinger of deep change.

Changing the Lords - for good

Changing the Lords - for good

Almost everyone now sees the need for a reformed second chamber in parliament - where minorities can be properly represented, legislation decently scrutinised, and government held fairly in check.

The Chile earthquake - updates and assistance

The Chile earthquake - updates and assistance

Watching a tragedy from afar can leave you feeling helpless. But the facilities of the 'instant media' era are not just voyeuristic - they can make a vital difference - securing information, soliciting donations and assisting prompt and better targeted responses from NGOs and international bodies.

Standing by 'biblical truth'?

When televangelist Pat Robertson made his much decried comments last month about the Haiti earthquake being divine punishment for a "pact with the devil", critics and defenders alike took him at his word that he was asserting a "biblical view". This just goes to show how little we know.