The medieval church of St Ethelburga's in Bishopsgate, one of the oldest buildings in the City, was orginally built in the 15th century. It was one of the few City churches to escape the Fire of London and also survived the Second World War unscathed. However, It was almost completely destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1993. Ten years and 3 million pounds worth of fundraising later, it was rebuilt and opened in 2002 as a centre for reconciliation and peace, transforming this act of terror into a symbol of hope.
Our vision is peace as a dynamic way of life in which people collaborate together across differences and divisions of all kinds to solve the many challenges of our times. St Ethelburga’s is a ‘maker of peace-makers’. We train and inspire individuals and communities to contribute, in their own particular contexts, to activating a global culture of peace. We do this by:
- teaching skills (in community reconciliation, effective collaboration, participatory leadership and more)
- energising the visions and leadership capacity of young adults
- rebuilding relationships in communities experiencing conflict.
We recognise the critical role of resources in many conflicts, and believe that sustainable peace necessitates ecological stewardship and the re-visioning of our economic system. Our projects seek to explore practical ways in which those elements can be included in community building and peace-making.
We work with people from walks of life, but give particular priority to building capacity in the millennial generation, who are the inheritors of a complex global crisis, as well the trailblazers of a more interconnected world.
St Ethelburga’s Centre also functions as a hub of networks and a diverse community of social change agents. Sharing our space, with its unique story of hope, as a platform for practitioners in the wider field is an important part of what we do.