Mission & Vision

Our Origins

Project Bonhoeffer was set up in 2012 by a small group of friends who, remembering the impact of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life and ideas on their own thinking as young Christians fifty years ago, felt it was important to convey something of that experience to young Christians today.

Project Bonhoeffer is there to provide opportunities for them to think and to act – reflecting on faith… and in doing something about it in the context in which they feel called to serve.
Project Bonhoeffer seeks to inspire and enable people to put Christian faith into action in ways that make a positive difference in the world, engaging with the key social and political challenges we face. It encourages and resources theological reflection, conversation and community-building around the work and life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and its contemporary implications. A specific focus is supporting young people to explore and develop their faith in relation to social and political action.”

This we call the Bonhoeffer Challenge.

Just as the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt, so also this teaching and discipline has one taste, the taste of liberation.

Any reading of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writing quickly shows that he asks fundamental questions and sets up critical challenges for himself and indeed for all of us. “Who is Christ?”, he asks, “and how do we proclaim his Lordship in a world where Christianity no longer gives authority to the political, social and cultural establishment of society in the way it did throughout the centuries of Christendom.” Simultaneously, he proceeds to enunciate a theology that has Christ at its centre through which today’s humankind can


We are a small independent charity with limited resources yet seeking to offer opportunities and experiences for some of today’s generation of young Christians to explore the meaning of their faith – and to live out that faith individually and collectively as they are called to do. The Trustees meet regularly and undertake all the activities of the charity, supported by our part-time administrator.


Meet the Team


Geoff Driver


Geoff was first introduced to Bonhoeffer’s work as an undergraduate student and active member of the British SCM. He went on to serve on SCM staff in both the UK and Bolivia, before embarking upon a varied career in social research and teaching in HE and FE along with local politics as a city councillor, most of it in the North of England.


Mike West


Mike’s introduction to Bonhoeffer began while an undergraduate and  active member of Student Christian Movement. Most of his working life has been in Industrial Mission, where he developed ways of doing Theological Reflection. All these strands come together in his work with Project Bonhoeffer.


Margaret Halsey


Margaret Halsey was employed in various working roles linking faith, social justice and education. Having retired from the post of director of Leeds Church Institute, she contributes to learning and work with asylum seekers in her local church, and is nourished by creative writing, art and music.


Alan Deacon


Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of Leeds. A Methodist for over 30 years, Alan is a member of the Progressive Christianity Network and in recent years has been grateful for the welcome and space for spiritual reflection offered by Mill Hill Unitarian Chapel in Leeds.



Ben Bano has been a trustee for Project Bonhoeffer since the beginning of 2023. Ben is Co-Director of ‘Seeking Sanctuary’ which advocates for the rights of asylum seekers. He has been involved in practical help over many years for the migrants living in the ‘Jungle’ Camp in Calais. Ben is currently finishing a Masters of Theology dissertation focusing on Christian resistance to the Thurd Reich. His academic interests are concerned with the ways within which the Kantian tradition of humanism German philosophy descended into the authoritarianism of the Nazi State together with lessons for modern times. 

Eleanor mclaughlin


Eleanor McLaughlin is Lecturer in Theology at Ripon College Cuddesdon. Ellie’s research has focused on Dietrich Bonhoeffer throughout both her Master’s degree at the University of Geneva, and her DPhil at the University of Oxford, where her doctoral research focused on Bonhoeffer’s late theology. She is the author of Unconscious Christianity in Bonhoeffer’s Late Theology: Encounters with the Unknown Christ. Foreword by Rowan Williams (Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 2020), and the chapter on Bonhoeffer in Ford’s The Modern Theologians: An Introduction to Christian Theology since 1918, 4th edition (edited by Rachel E. Muers and Ashley Cocksworth, forthcoming 2024). In 2018 she contributed to BBC Radio 4’s programme ‘In Our Time’ in an episode on Bonhoeffer. Ellie lives in Oxford with her husband Luke and her cat Bertie. She enjoys good food with friends, reading and travelling.

Tim Nicholls


 Tim is the Methodist Chaplain serving across the Universities in Leeds. He graduated from the University of Leeds where he read Theology and was introduced to the writings of Bonhoeffer. Time was also active in the SCM/MethSoc at Leeds whilst an undergraduate. Tim returned to his roots in the East End of London to run Social action projects and charities for a variety of Church organisations and is a former Director of the Simon Community in London. In 2011 he trained for the Presbyteral ministry at Wesley House in Cambridge where he completed his Masters in Pastoral Theology. He served two appointments for the Methodist Church firstly in Wythenshawe, South Manchester, and then in Canterbury, Kent. Time is passionate about tackling the causes of poverty and exclusion, and political extremism. Time is delighted to join Project Bonhoeffer as a Trustee.

Sarah Hambly


Sarah is a PhD student at the University of Leeds, exploring issues related to physical disability and musical identity. Outside of her studies, she is passionate about social justice and advocating for those who are treated unfairly. Sarah lives in Leeds where she loves to explore the best local coffee shops, and will often be found reading historical fiction or being involved in a creative project.


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