is a not-for-profit thinktank which promotes radical theological ideas in public life through a radical approach.
An initiative of the Anvil Trust, Ekklesia provides a daily news briefing service, regular public comment, conferences, consultancy and workshops in a range of areas combining both practical and theoretical knowledge to encourage the expression of a radical theological perspective. It also produces publications and papers in a range of public policy areas and has a network of associates who speak on social and ethical issues.
As part of its mission, Ekklesia also produces a news syndication service which brings a theological perspective on the daily news agenda. Hundreds of churches now carry Ekklesia's news headlines on their web sites. The news syndicated via the google and yahoo news services.
Ekklesia has no salaried staff. It works on a co-operative basis, and so all money given to Ekklesia is maximised to its fullest potential. It does not seek large funders, but encourages people to become partners in its work. Ekklesia has a developing web presence and is one of the highest ranked religious web sites in the UK. For an idea of how Ekklesia measures up click here.
Ekklesia emerged in 2002 from "Workshop", a radical theological training programme that has been running in the UK for almost 25 years. To find out more about Workshop, visit The Workshop web site This gives more detail about the vision, values and people behind Ekklesia.
The democratic system of government present in Athens, Greece, intermittently in the 500 years before the death of Christ, has been hailed by many as the forerunner to modern democracy. In order to commune and make decisions, the city-state of Athens met in the "Ekklesia", or people's assembly, to which any citizen over the age of 20 had a right to attend, speak, and vote.
When the early church had to choose a word to describe themselves one of the main words that they chose was also "Ekklesia" - this secular, political term. Although the Christian faith has been frequently separated from politics, when you consider that the central message of Jesus ministry was of a new kingdom, and that his death was politically motivated, the choice is perhaps not surprising.
Ekklesia is in the process of developing its values base but is working in several areas with the following theologically derived ideas:
(i) Non-violence and Peacemaking
Finding positive alternatives to violence whether that be the smacking of children, or the use of military force. This also includes proposals for encouraging the commercial arms trade to wind down, with resources going into constructive alternatives,minimising negative economic impact.
(ii) Equality between nations
The free movement of people across national borders and between continents. Ekklesia promotes ideas that work towards the long-term goal of opening up borders. It is recognised that inequalities of wealth between countries need to be addressed, and that constructive alternatives to the dominant value of the national interest promoted.
(iii) Social justice
Work to overcome discrimination and injustice, whether it be on the grounds of race, gender, age, disability, religion, class or sexual orientation.
(iv) Valuing Life
Ekklesia recognises the value of human life and so is committed to promoting positive alternatives to abortion. There is frequently a polarisation of debate on bio-ethical issues where fathers, mothers and children get hurt. This therefore needs to be addressed. Ekklesia is also committed to exploring ways of defending persecuted minorities around the world and discouraging the use of the death penalty.
(v) Reconciliation in the criminal justice system
Promoting reconciliatory justice to replace adversarial systems where possible. This includes exploring Victim-Offender Reconciliation programmes, and minimising the use of prisons.
(vi) Economic Justice
As opposed to the economics of self-interest, we are working with ideas for corporate and financial accountability, mutual responsibility and a fair distribution of wealth. This includes looking at cutting wasteful consumerism and addressing overwork and unemployment.
(vii) Devolution of power
With specific reference to constitutional issues, looking at the possibilities of devolving power to the lowest possible levels.