A former architect from Britain has been appointed as the Anglican Alliance’s first regional facilitator for the Middle East. In this new role, Joel Kelling will seek to build the capacity of the churches of the Province in regard to development, relief and advocacy, and create greater sustainability within the institutions of the Province. He will also be the Provincial Administrator for the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, covering the Dioceses of Cyprus & the Gulf, Egypt and North Africa, Iran, and Jerusalem.
Joel gained an interest in the issues of international development and humanitarian relief following a spell of volunteering in the UK and Ghana with a global housing charity fighting poverty, Habitat for Humanity. He then went on to study for an MA in Development and Emergency Practice at Oxford Brookes University, where he met his wife, Fiona.
Fiona and Joel have since travelled to the Philippines, working in relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan and on to Jerusalem, where Joel moved into serving in the Church, as Executive Assistant to Dean Hosam Naoum. He was instrumental in the organisation and coordination of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby’s visit to the Holy Land earlier in 2017 and has been involved in facilitating both Ecumenical and Inter-faith work in Jerusalem.
He will initially be based in Jerusalem with plans to move to Amman, Jordan in 2018. Joel said: “I am looking forward to continuing to support and uphold the Christians of the Middle East, promoting a ministry of reconciliation, and helping to support greater cooperation and coordination across the Province.”
The Revd Andy Bowerman, Co-Executive Director at the Anglican Alliance said: “We are delighted to welcome Joel after a careful process of consultation, prayer and discernment with the Province. His appointment comes at a crucial moment in the story of the region and we ask others around the communion to join with us in praying for him as he seeks to fulfil these two demanding roles”.