Kathy Galloway (United Kingdom)


Reverend Dr Kathy Galloway- update for PeaceWomen across the Globe, January 2016


Kathy Galloway was leader of the Iona Community until 2009 when, after seven years’ service, she left to become Head of Christian Aid Scotland. The main focus of her work since then has been humanitarian in nature, both in emergency and conflict situations, especially for refugees, as well as long-term advocacy work, addressing human rights issues. She is an inveterate campaigner for peace-making and social justice and development issues and has been leading a team in Scotland that is engaged in fundraising, campaigning, engaging people in churches, in the community, in schools and elsewhere.


The main focus of her work has been climate justice, tax justice (campaigning for multinational to pay their fair share of tax) and gender-related issues. Christian Aid does this through fundraising to support global partners, targeted advocacy, the promotion of development education and awareness-raising. Christian Aid Scotland achieves impact through working closely with climate coalitions and other partners, including the Scottish government, which supports the work of Christian Aid Scotland in Malawi (child and maternal health, climate adaptation and the right to water) Bangladesh and India (resilient livelihoods for women).


Kathy Galloway still finds time for regular speaking engagements but less time for writing (she is the author of many books). In 2016, she will step down from Christian Aid Scotland in order to focus, once again, on writing. She aims to draw on her experience at Christian Aid and the Scottish context in particular to look at the social trends and drivers of social justice from around the world, including urbanisation, changes in the roles of women and in work patterns.


Kathy is a member of the Scottish Green party. She received an honorary doctorate from Glasgow University in 2010.


“Do not retreat into your private world,

That place of safety, sheltered from the storm,

Where you may tend your garden, seek your soul

And rest with loved ones where the fire burns warm.


To tend a garden is a precious thing,

But dearer still the one where all may roam,

The weeds of poison, poverty and war,

Demand your care, who call the earth your home.


To seek your soul it is a precious thing,

But you will never find it on your own,

Only among the clamour, threat and pain,

Of other people’s need will love be known.


To rest with loved ones is a precious thing,

But peace of mind exacts a higher cost,

Your children will not rest and play in quiet,

While they hear the crying of the lost.


Do not retreat into your private world,

There are more ways than firesides to keep warm;

There is no shelter from the rage of life,

So meet its eye, and dance within the storm. “


Kathy Galloway, (First published in ‘Bread of Tomorrow’ ed. Janet Morley, SPCK/Christian Aud, London 1992)


“The gap between our longings and aspirations and the way we actually live can be hugely painful and disappointing, especially if our spirituality is unnamed, unrecognized and unloved.”

Kathy Galloway is a distinguished theologian and the leader of the Iona Community who has a long history of academic and community work. Based in Scotland and a single mum with three children, she has been working to enhance spiritual and cultural development for the last twenty years. She is connected with a wide range of local and global organizations, including ecumenical Christian centers and other social justice organizations. She has focused her efforts on issues pertaining to gender equality, poverty, and cross-religious and cross-cultural understanding.

Kathy Galloway is an academic, feminist, theologian, and, a social worker, writer and organizer of workshops on cultural and spiritual values development. She is a recognized consultant to a number of international bodies, such as the World Council of Churches. Kathy has set her goal in life to promote spiritual and cultural understanding. She believes that this goal comes from her strong Christian belief in a “God of action”. When writing recently to the members of the Iona Community about the impact of the Tsunami of December 2004, Kathy explained her understanding of God and her relationship with him in the following words: “If I had to choose a description for the God I am in love with, I think it would be this: God is the Life of life. My being in love with the Life of life is mostly expressed in two ways. The first one is a kind of wordless gratitude, appreciation and mindfulness which is what prayer is for me. ‘The turn of a leaf in morning sun and the catch in our throat drives us to our knees and into prayer,’ as Yvonne Morland said. The other is in my very human and fallible effort to love people, to act justly, to live in the flow of life. Belief in God for me is a practice, not a proposition.”

Scottish Churches Council Church Action on Poverty Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Europe | United Kingdom