MacKay Hannah

Religious Observance: Is your school maximising its potential?


Ewan Aitken

Church of Scotland

A former Convener of Education and Leader of Edinburgh City Council and CoSLA spokesperson on Education, Ewan also has 30 years experience working in the third sector. In 1995, whilst working as a parish minister in Edinburgh he founded the Ripple Project, a diverse community action organisation that is still going strong. 

Ewan is very committed to issues of social justice, especially challenging the stigmatisation of the disadvantaged. He believes that poverty is not simply a matter of financial instability but one of inner well-being; poverty grinds the soul and well as the body. Cyrenians' philosophy of walking with those who are struggling, and sticking with them when they stumble, is what first attracted him to the organisation. He believes that by the living out of our obligation to our neighbour and to the stranger, each of us will also find what we truly need to live well ourselves.

Ewan is a director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, the Ripple Project and Eco-Congregation Scotland, and Chair of the National Prison Visitor Centre Steering Group, the Scottish Labour Party's Social Justice Sounding Board and the grants committee of BBC Children in Need Scotland. He's also an advisor to Circle and is a member of the CoSLA Commission on Strengthening Local Democracy. 

He joined Cyrenians in May 2014 after 6 years as head of the Church of Scotland's Church and Society department, which helps the Church engage in social, political and ethical issues. He's a member of the Iona Community and a season ticket holder for the Royal Lyceum Theatre. His extra curricular activity includes watching sport (especially rugby), and vegetarian cooking; but most of his leisure time is spent with his family.

@EwanAitken Cyrenians1968

Ken Coulter

Project Leader, Glasgow Outreach, Scripture Union Scotland

Ken Coulter currently works for Scripture Union Scotland as team Leader for the GO Project in Glasgow.  Previously he taught RME in Glasgow Schools and for over two years was the Development Officer for Learning Teaching Scotland for Religious Observance following the issuing of Circular 1/2005.  He has also worked as a Baptist Minister and still serves in that faith community; as hospital chaplain in Glasgow and as a milkman and an asbestos stripper, but not all at the same time.  He has history and theology degrees from Edinburgh and Aberdeen Universities and a teaching qualification from Strathclyde University.

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This was a very informative seminar with enforced with personal examples.

Pauline McWalter, Enable and District Branch,
Delegate at Understanding and Delivering Children's Rights Seminar