St Paul's Institute

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Mission

What is St Paul's Institute?

St Paul's Institute exists to engage the financial world with questions of morality and ethics. In doing this, the Institute seeks to recapture the Cathedral's ancient role as a centre for public debate, contributing to the current discussion surrounding the direction of our financial and economic institutions.

By also exploring wider themes such as global poverty, economic theory, financial integrity and the meaning of the common good, we hope to bring the distinctive wisdom of the Christian tradition to bear on our understanding of the way money works in modern society.

Goals

The goals of St Paul's Institute are as follows:

  1. Bring finance and economics into dialogue with Christian ethics and theology and contribute to ongoing discussion surrounding business and social wellbeing.

  2. Engage those that work in the financial sector and challenge them to consider their work and actions from a Christian perspective, contributing to the formation of a more honest and trustworthy culture.

  3. Help improve the financial and economic literacy of Christians in particular and wider society in general in order to enable a growing constituency of people to engage in discussion in an impacting manner.

Archbishop Rowan Williams on St Paul's Institute

"An ethical approach to economics requires us to move away from the illusion that economics can be considered separately from questions of the health and well-being of the society we inhabit. It also involves recognising that we exist in a world of materially limited resource - so that environmental degradation has to be taken into account in any assessment of the cost of projects or transactions. 

I suspect that getting this right would in itself introduce into the language of economics a sense that it couldn't be only about the mechanics of generating money and might help keep issues of ethics, justice and trust in perspective.  

So I welcome the continuing focus that St Paul's Institute brings to these issues by providing a challenging and well-resourced space for conversation and I wish the Institute every success in this new phase of its work." 

Rowan Williams, 21st June 2010.

Relationship to St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Institute is a part of the wider mission of St Paul's Cathedral. The cathedral does not necessarily share the views of those who contribute to the web site. Rather, the cathedral supports the Institute as a space in which this important discussion can take place.

Many of our events and other programmes take place in or around the cathedral itself, and our offices are located nearby.  It is the location of St Paul's Cathedral and its role within the very heart of the City of London that provides us with a unique opportunity to directly engage those in the UK's financial hub as well as Christians from all walks of life and nationalities.