Accord welcomes Simon Barrow as its new Chair

January 4, 2022

Accord’s interim Chair, Simon Barrow

The writer, commentator, public policy analyst and practical theologian, Simon Barrow, has today been announced as the Accord Coalition’s new interim Chair. Simon becomes the organisation’s third Chair, and his appointment follows decades of work promoting diversity and freedom of religion and belief.

Since 2005 Simon has served as co-director (and since 2016, director) of the beliefs, ethics and politics think-tank, Ekklesia. Active in the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the author of a wide range of books on public issues, his previous roles include being an assistant general secretary of the ecumenical body, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (2003-2005). In Spring 2022 his next book, Against the Religion of Power: Telling a Different Christian Story, will be published.

As well as bringing a wealth of experience to the role of Chair, Simon is no stranger to Accord, having co-founded the campaign in 2008. His interest in education includes having worked as an adviser in adult education and training for the Anglican Diocese of Southwark from 1991-1996.

Welcoming his successor, outgoing Accord Chair, the Revd Stephen Terry, said, ‘I am very pleased Simon has been appointed as Accord’s Chair. The campaign can only benefit from the commitment and thoughtfulness he will bring.’

Accepting his appointment, Simon said, ‘Accord owes Stephen a huge debt of gratitude for the four-year period during which he has served as the campaign’s Chair. I am sure he will remain involved and continue to support Accord’s work, along with his own predecessor, Rabbi Jonathan Romain.’

Simon added: ‘The way that religion and belief is currently handled within the school system is becoming increasingly anachronistic in our mixed-belief society. I look forward to the day when all state-funded schools are open and accessible to those of different beliefs and backgrounds, and I am honoured to be in a position to help Accord pursue its important aim of full equality and diversity within education.’

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