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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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Outside the Echo Chamber – Sir Richard Stagg

Outside the Echo Chamber – Sir Richard Stagg

Outside the Echo Chamber is a series of events where the aim is to offer an opportunity to have conversations with people you wouldn’t normally meet in your day to day life.

This month we will be hearing from career diplomat, Sir Richard Stagg, on his experience of working in Afghanistan and Bulgaria during times of conflict.

Outside the Echo Chamber – David Goodhart

Outside the Echo Chamber – David Goodhart

Outside the Echo Chamber is a series of events where the aim is to offer an opportunity to have conversations with people you wouldn’t normally meet in your day to day life.

In this episode we welcome David Goodhart and will be discussing the causes of widening socioeconomic inequality and political polarisation, how the future will be impacted by Covid-19, AI and automation (to name a few), and what we can do about it.

Ecology of listening

Ecology of listening

In this episode Amisha speaks with Hop Hopkins, the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Sierra Club working to promote economic justice and protection to those most affected by climate change and environmental degradation.

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.

The quiet revolutions inside our hearts

The quiet revolutions inside our hearts

In this episode Amisha Ghadiali speaks with Kailea Frederick, a mother of Tahltan, Kaska and Black American ancestry. Her work sits at the intersection of climate justice, spiritual ecology and resilience thinking.

Human gifts of kinship

Human gifts of kinship

In this episode Amisha Ghadiali talks with Pat McCabe ‘Woman Stands Shining’, of the Diné Nation adopted into the Lakota Spiritual Way of Life. She is an international speaker travelling to pray and to share her journey of remembering and listening for the way Home, back to the true nature of being Human Being.
This episode is part of a collaboration with St Ethelburga’s, called Listening to each other : Listening to Earth, 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.

The language of our rivers

The language of our rivers

In this episode Amisha Ghadiali talks to Minna Salami, author, blogger, feminist theorist and lecturer. Minna’s blog ‘MsAfropolitan’ connects feminism with critical reflections on contemporary culture from an Africa-centred perspective.

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.

Outside the Echo Chamber – Julian Enoizi

Outside the Echo Chamber – Julian Enoizi

Outside the Echo Chamber is a series of events where the aim is to offer an opportunity to have conversations with people you wouldn’t normally meet in your day to day life. This conversation is with Julian Enoizi, CEO of Pool RE, the government backed provider of reinsurance for terrorism. His talk is entitled “Ensuring the uninsurable, the importance of a public-private approach to pandemic and other systemic risks”

Walking earth with the gifts of the stars

Walking earth with the gifts of the stars

In this episode Amisha Ghadiali speaks with Tiokasin Ghosthorse, member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota.

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.

Paradigms embedded in our languages of beauty

Paradigms embedded in our languages of beauty

In this episode Amisha Ghadiali 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.

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A light that touched the Earth

A light that touched the Earth

Clare Martin reads up on what happened at Ethelburga’s Barking Abbey during the plague years, and asks what this could teach us about living in our own post-pandemic era? Recently I dipped...

We’re all Jackson Pollock now

We’re all Jackson Pollock now

Clare Martin writes about the CIA’s covert support for abstract expressionism, the Cold War battle over the stories that define us, and how to rescue truth from the Jackson Pollock splatter of the...

Spotlight on hedgerows

Spotlight on hedgerows

Seetha Tan reflects on St Ethelburga’s Lifelines project and the ecological, spiritual and agricultural significance of hedgerows. When I first moved to the United Kingdom, my partner’s mum...

Kinship with all life: A portal to peace  

Kinship with all life: A portal to peace  

Justine Huxley digests the experience of a recent retreat and reflects on the revolution of understanding in plant and animal consciousness, asking where it might lead humanity. “I’m done with...

Roe v Wade: a peacemaker’s perspective

Roe v Wade: a peacemaker’s perspective

Clare Martin writes about recent changes in abortion legislation in two different countries, and what these stories tell us about the value of deliberative democracy in a polarised age. Recently, a...

Celebrating Nowruz

Celebrating Nowruz

Seetha Tan reflects on St Ethelburga’s 2022 Nowruz celebrations by considering the relationship between crisis and renewal, displacement and re-rooting and the importance of celebration and...

Witnessing War by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Witnessing War by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

In this guest blog Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee reflects on the war in Ukraine, how truth and freedom are interlinked, and how ‘ the silence of the soul is needed amidst the barrage of war.’ War has again...

A Message From St Ethelburga’s New Co Directors

A Message From St Ethelburga’s New Co Directors

Dear friends, St Ethelburga’s exists because 25 years ago one man stood in the crater of a bomb blast and prayed. That man was Bishop Richard Chartres, the bomb was the infamous Bishopsgate bomb...

A light that touched the Earth

A light that touched the Earth

Clare Martin reads up on what happened at Ethelburga’s Barking Abbey during the plague years, and asks what this could teach us about living in our own post-pandemic era? Recently I dipped...

We’re all Jackson Pollock now

We’re all Jackson Pollock now

Clare Martin writes about the CIA’s covert support for abstract expressionism, the Cold War battle over the stories that define us, and how to rescue truth from the Jackson Pollock splatter of the...

Spotlight on hedgerows

Spotlight on hedgerows

Seetha Tan reflects on St Ethelburga’s Lifelines project and the ecological, spiritual and agricultural significance of hedgerows. When I first moved to the United Kingdom, my partner’s mum...

Kinship with all life: A portal to peace  

Kinship with all life: A portal to peace  

Justine Huxley digests the experience of a recent retreat and reflects on the revolution of understanding in plant and animal consciousness, asking where it might lead humanity. “I’m done with...

Roe v Wade: a peacemaker’s perspective

Roe v Wade: a peacemaker’s perspective

Clare Martin writes about recent changes in abortion legislation in two different countries, and what these stories tell us about the value of deliberative democracy in a polarised age. Recently, a...

Celebrating Nowruz

Celebrating Nowruz

Seetha Tan reflects on St Ethelburga’s 2022 Nowruz celebrations by considering the relationship between crisis and renewal, displacement and re-rooting and the importance of celebration and...

Witnessing War by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Witnessing War by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

In this guest blog Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee reflects on the war in Ukraine, how truth and freedom are interlinked, and how ‘ the silence of the soul is needed amidst the barrage of war.’ War has again...

A Message From St Ethelburga’s New Co Directors

A Message From St Ethelburga’s New Co Directors

Dear friends, St Ethelburga’s exists because 25 years ago one man stood in the crater of a bomb blast and prayed. That man was Bishop Richard Chartres, the bomb was the infamous Bishopsgate bomb...

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