As Ekklesia's 2007 report "When the Saints Go Marching Out', reissued in 2010 (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/11944) pointed out, and as others have subsequently affirmed, St George is not primarily "an English Saint", as popular assumption has it, but a Middle Eastern one with international, multicultural associations and a founding story about resistance to the persecutory impulse of Empire.
Roughly 420,000 English-born people will have a vote in Scotland’s independence referendum later this year, because they live and work here. Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow. Here he gives a personal account of his shift towards supporting a "Yes" vote – but on the firm basis of solidarity, not separation.
Seven years ago this week, Ekklesia first published a report entitled 'When the Saints Go Marching Out: Redefining St George for a new era'. Simon Barrow shows how an old story re-told can also help us re-understand the rightful impact of the Gospel in the contemporary era, beyond imperial religion and politics.
A champion of right rather than might, St George should belong to the people, not their overlords, says Jonathan Bartley. This, not nationalism, is what a true patriotism is about – commitment to "another country" where all have a place, not just those with the power.
Today is St George's day. It is spun out of myth, but the myth is important. The day has 'traditionally' been seen as affirming Empire and an exclusive English identity. But that is a gross misrepresentation, when you examine the story.