What We Do

St Ethelburga’s is a maker of peace-makers. We inspire and equip people from all backgrounds to become peace-builders in their own communities and lives.

St Ethelburga’s addresses three core needs of our times:

  • climate breakdown
  • refugee integration
  • community polarisation. 

We believe climate breakdown is an existential threat and likely to become a key driver of conflict, migration and hardship.  All of our programmes speak directly to that need.

Our Values


Our work emerges from the unique history of the space.  Four stories, in particular, express our core values and form the organising principle behind our work.   These stories are: 


Crisis as opportunity 

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.  This is fundamental to all we do, and we draw on this story in particular, for our work with young leaders.




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.   



Protect 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. 

Our Vision

….is of a world which welcomes the challenges and opportunities of diversity, views conflict as a means to grow and change, collaborates across differences of all kinds for the common good, and seeks reconciliation not just with each other, but also with the Earth and with the Divine.

Principles and worldview 

All our work is based on a worldview of interconnectedness, coupled with the principles of service, compassion and respect for life. 




We recognise that inner and outer, personal and global are connected.  We are committed to individual practices that enable us to be the change we want to see in the world.  



Case studies

We teach by sharing stories and inspiring examples of similar work in different contexts around the world.  



Empowering action

In everything we do, we include a powerful call to action.  We also mentor, support (and sometimes fund) our participants to develop and deliver their own project ideas.  



Building community

We are committed to reaching out, collaborating with others in the field, sharing best practice, and building a wider movement.