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Opportunity in crisis

In 1993, the IRA bomb detonated on Bishopsgate, almost completely destroying the church. Yet vision, creativity and commitment ensured that ten years later it opened its doors once again in a new incarnation – as a Centre for Reconciliation and Peace. For many, St Ethelburga’s has become an iconic symbol of the opportunities for growth and evolution that are hidden within crisis and conflict. This story is at the heart of our approach to working with difference and disagreement.

Values into action

The life of St Ethelburga was characterised by courageous action in the face of devastation. Ethelburga was a fearless and selfless leader.  When the plague came to her doorstep in Barking, Ethelburga gave her nuns a choice: close the doors and pray, or open the doors and serve the community. They chose to serve, even knowing that many of them would die as a result.  Ethelburga is our inspiration for putting spiritual values into action in challenging times, for bringing faith and action together as one. 

Protecting the sacred

St Ethelburga’s is one of London’s most enduring church buildings. An 800-year-old church site, it has stood for centuries as consecrated ground. Now, surrounded on all sides by development works, skyscrapers, and the economically-driven activity of the City, St Ethelburga’s remains true to its ancient purpose. We continue to offer a space for connection with the sacred and with our deepest human values, protecting them against erosion.

Community across differences

Our Bedouin tent was built as a response to 9/11.  The tent is welcoming to all, bringing Eastern architecture alongside the Western heritage of the church. It is a space without hierarchy where differing perspectives can be explored.  Reflected in the fabric of our building, this theme of diverse narratives and belief systems co-existing fruitfully, side by side, is present within all our projects. 

Pat McCabe & Bayo Akomolafe

Join Pat McCabe and Bayo Akomolafe for a conversation that upends our thinking about the monstrous, the chaotic, and the dark. What can indigenous traditions teach us about clear-seeing in times when darkness and chaos are on the rise? What ancient wisdoms can we draw upon, to grow our resilience to live in the heart of the storm?

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Episode 1

Listening to each other, listening to the Earth

In this episode Amisha Ghadiali talks with black-latinx transdisciplinary artist, educator, and designer Brontë Velez.

This Series is part of a collaboration with The Future Is Beautiful, which reaches for the place where spiritual ecology and climate justice meet. It explores the integration of spirituality with grounded action through the lives and leadership of people of colour.

Episode 2

 

Listening is Seeing All The Beauty

In this episode Amisha Ghadiali speaks with Rabiah Abdullah, traditional herbalist, activist and community healer.

This Series is part of a collaboration with The Future Is Beautiful, which reaches for the place where spiritual ecology and climate justice meet. It explores the integration of spirituality with grounded action through the lives and leadership of people of colour.

Episode 3

Paradigms embedded in our languages of beauty

In this episode Amisha talks to Lyla June Johnston, Indigenous musician, scholar and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages.

This Series is part of a collaboration with The Future Is Beautiful, which reaches for the place where spiritual ecology and climate justice meet. It explores the integration of spirituality with grounded action through the lives and leadership of people of colour.

More coming very soon

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When whiteness comes knocking, shut the front door

When whiteness comes knocking, shut the front door

Guest blogger Azariah France-Williams writes about his experiences of racism within the Church in his new book, Ghost Ship. There is a model of a priest in the Church of England which dominates and...

Inside Stories: Tamador Dood

Inside Stories: Tamador Dood

Inside Stories: stories of resilience during the pandemic is a series of conversations with people who have been displaced by war, conflict or persecution about their lives, thoughts and hopes for...

A time of fire and smoke:  What story are we living?

A time of fire and smoke: What story are we living?

In this guest blog, Sufi teacher and author Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee writes about radical uncertainty, while watching the Californian wildfires come closer to his home.   As the smoke from wildfires...

The resilience of already broken things

The resilience of already broken things

Clare Martin writes about the story of St Ethelburga’s Centre, how symbols can sustain us, and how visionary imagination plays a crucial role in both personal and collective resilience building. In...

Becoming an ally

Becoming an ally

The following guest blog is written by Imogen Faux, who interned at St Ethelburga’s as part of a fellowship at Year Here, the innovation hub for social entrepreneurs. Shortly after Imogen joined the...

Sowing Seeds Now

Sowing Seeds Now

This week’s guest blogger is humanitarian worker Bruna Kadletz. Bruna Kadletz is a sacred activist, public speaker, and writer. She is passionate about caring for the soul of the world and the...

Inside Stories: Iman al-Ghafari

Inside Stories: Iman al-Ghafari

Inside Stories: stories of resilience during the pandemic is a series of conversations with people who have been displaced by war, conflict or persecution about their lives, thoughts and hopes for...

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