OVER the past twenty years, Ekklesia has helped to found, collaborate with and/or support a range of research and public engagement initiatives allied to priorities in our own work. These partnerships currently include the following:
- Ekklesia co-founded the Accord Coalition in 2008, with the aim of substantially reforming faith schools in England and Wales, so as to eliminate discrimination on religious grounds in election, staffing, teaching about religion and belief, and assembles. In this we cooperate with Humanists UK and with other faith-based organisations who oppose such discrimination. Our director is also a trustee of the Inclusive Education Trust, the charitable arm of Accord. We share similar concerns in Scotland, where we are now based.
- In 2021/2 we joined Together with Refugees, a coalition of 550+ organisations calling for a compassionate approach to the refugee and asylum challenge.
- Since 2018 we have been delighted to be co-sponsors of the annual Solas Festival, held in Perthshire, Scotland, and remotely, having first been involved with the Festival in 2016. Solas Festival – Scotland’s midsummer festival – has been running since 2009. The all-age, weekend-long celebration of music and the arts is designed to entertain, inspire and challenge.
- In 2014 we formed a partnership with Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in London. This radical Christian community, which has a history including links to Martin Luther King Jr. and the suffragettes, has hosted and co-hosted a range of Ekklesia events over the years. It has also been our office base (up to 2016 – we are now based remotely, from Edinburgh, Scotland) and our registered address. We have organised three events funded by the Seth Stephens bequest, and plan more in the future.
- Since 2009, when it was founded, we have been pleased to collaborate with Dr Simon Duffy and the excellent Centre for Welfare Reform.
- From 2011 to 2015, and now from 2020 onwards, we are in partnership with the Critical Religion Association, which pioneers post-colonial approaches to academic research and teaching in the areas of religion and belief.
- We have assisted with the work of High Profiles, whose interviews engage with people who help to shape our world or the way we perceive it. We want to learn more about their values, beliefs and principles and the experience of life that has formed them. Both our current and former director have conducted interviews for High Profiles.
- Since 2018 we have been working with the Speak Out Survivors network, which produced the powerful book Letters to a Broken Church through Ekklesia Publishing in 2019.
- In 2020 we formed a partnership with Beer and Theology Cambridge, offering informal seminars on Zoom on the first Friday of each month. We offered hosting for these through t0 2022.
- In the recent past, our collaborations have included:
- Among other publishing partnerships, co-publishing Scotland 2021 (September 2016) with Bella Caledonia, an online magazine combining political and cultural commentary.
- Since 2012, participating in advisory boards on religion and belief at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Stirling.
- From 2012 to 2015, Ekklesia co-sponsored the Festival of Spirituality and Peace (now Just Festival) in Edinburgh. We have also been involved in the Greenbelt Festival over the years.
- From 2011 to 2015 and beyond we have collaborated with the Spartacus network, War on Welfare and other campaigning groups of disabled people on issues of disability and social security. These continue to be important concerns for Ekklesia.
- In 2008 we helped Oikocredit, the global ecumenical the fair finance cooperative that invests directly in disadvantaged communities, to get going in the UK.
- From our earliest days in 2002 we were involved in the Anabaptist Network and peace church activities in the UK and beyond, including working with Christian Peacemaker Teams (now Community Peacemaker Teams) in the UK and internationally. We also partnered with the then London Mennonite Centre and Metanoia Books for a number of years, and were part of the ‘Root and Branch’ network.
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