Jonathan Bartley

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Jonathan Bartley (born London, 1971) is the founder and co-director of Ekklesia,[1] a Christian think tank based in London, and a religious commentator who appears regularly on UK radio and television programmes. He currently lives in Streatham, South London[2] He is the Green Party candidate for Streatham,[3] and is a member of the blues rock band The Mustangs.


After graduating from the London School of Economics (1994), he worked at the UK Parliament as a researcher and parliamentary assistant for a number of years, and was part of John Major's campaign team in the 1995 Conservative Party leadership election against John Redwood. Between 1997 and 2001 he was General Secretary of the cross-party Movement for Christian Democracy. He founded Ekklesia, a think-tank which "works to promote radical theological ideas in public life".


He is a regular contributor to BBC One's The Big Questions, BBC Radio 4's 'Thought for the Day' and ITV1's 'The Moral of the Story', and is a columnist for The Church Times. He has been a guest on BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze and has written for The Guardian newspaper.

Public theology[edit]

Bartley has lectured in Theology and Politics at Sarum College in Salisbury, has served on the Church of England Evangelical Council, and is a regular speaker at the Greenbelt Christian festival. He is a supporter of Christian Peacemaker Teams, a pacifist organisation, and acts as press officer on their behalf in the UK.

Bartley has spoken publicly in defence of Dr Jeffrey John's attack on penal substitutionary atonement. He defends the full participation of gay and lesbian people in the church as an outworking of the Christian gospel.

His theological perspective is shaped by a commitment to Christian nonviolence.

David Cameron incident[edit]

On 27 April 2010 whilst Bartley was waiting to attend a hospital appointment at the Evelina Children's Hospital with his son Samuel, a Conservative party official asked if he would like to meet Conservative Party leader David Cameron.[4][5] Bartley agreed and party officials then brought the Conservative leader over the meet them, on his way to a car after a General Election campaign event in South London.

Mr Bartley claimed Conservative manifesto plans would increase the segregation of disabled children as it pledged to "end the bias towards the inclusion of children with special needs in mainstream schools.".[5] Referring to his own two-year battle to get his son into a mainstream school[6] Bartley also asked why the Conservative manifesto didn't say that the Conservatives wanted to encourage children into mainstream schools. David Cameron said "It absolutely does say that sir, I promise you.[7] After the event Channel 4 FactCheck said that David Cameron had been wrong.[7]

The Daily Telegraph pointed out that Bartley had been on the Moral Maze and was a regular commentator in the media.[8] Bartley said he was a 'floating voter', that he felt let down by the main parties and criticised the Labour Government over the issues of inclusion.[9] He wrote three days later about why he believed Jesus would not vote for any of the three main political parties in the UK.[10] He subsequently joined the Green Party of England and Wales.[11]


  • The Subversive Manifesto: lifting the lid on God's political agenda (Bible Reading Fellowship, 2004).
  • Your Child and the Internet (Hodder, 2004).
  • (Co-editor) Consuming Passion: Why The Killing of Jesus Really Matters (DLT, 2005)
  • Faith and Politics After Christendom: the church as a movement for anarchy (Paternoster, 2006).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jonathan Bartley". London: Guardian. 20 October 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Jonathan Bartley". New Statesman. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Jonathan Bartley (28 April 2010). "Why I 'ambushed' David Cameron over special-needs schooling". London: Guardian. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "David Cameron tackled over special needs in schools". BBC News. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  6. ^ Bartley, Jonathan (28 April 2010). "General Election 2010: my fight to get my disabled son into a mainstream school". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Lewis Hannam. "The FactCheck Blog – Do Tories encourage special needs children in mainstream schools?". Retrieved 3 May 2010. [dead link]
  8. ^ Preston, Richard (28 April 2010). "Doh! No wonder Cameron's heckler wouldn't let go – he's been on the Moral Maze – Telegraph Blogs". London: Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "Father reflects on Cameron encounter". BBC News. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  10. ^ Twiston, Bess. "Faith Central – Times Online – WBLG: Would Jesus vote 'other'??". Retrieved 3 May 2010. [dead link]
  11. ^ Bartley, Jonathan (27 January 2012). "Capitalism only creates misery – we need a system that puts human wellbeing first". The Guardian (London). 

External links[edit]