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Staff changes as new roles created at the London-based Anglican Communion Office

Posted on: September 12, 2018 1:42 PM
Verity Sykes, Rachael Fraser, Lucy Cowpland and Jolyon Trickey have recently joined the staff at the Anglican Communion Office in London.
Photo Credit: ACNS

A number of staff changes have taken place at the Anglican Communion Office (ACO) in London, which serves as the secretariat for the Anglican Consultative Council. Two long-serving staff members have been made redundant and a number of new roles have been created; including some to support the forthcoming Lambeth Conference. One staff member has left to pursue theological training having been accepted as an Ordinand by the Church of England.

IT Manager Michael Ade is one of two staff members to be made redundant. He had served the Anglican Communion for 18 years before he left in July. In a message to staff, he said that his role had enabled him to meet “some interesting people and . . . to visit some great places.” IT support is now provided by a consultancy service.

Accounts Assistant Clara Giraldo has become a familiar face to the many thousands of visitors to the Anglican Communion Office over the past 14 years: in addition to her role in the finance department, she also serves as Reception Manager. She will be leaving her post this month following a change to the structure of the finance department.

“Leaving is very hard,” she said. “The ACO has been like a second home and my colleagues are like family to me. I have really enjoyed my job. I have had the opportunity to meet so many people from all over the world. I am very grateful for the time that I have spent here. I wish my colleagues every success in the work they are doing for the Communion.”

Amongst the new members of staff is Rachael Fraser, who was part of the Anglican Communion’s official delegation to the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meetings in 2016 and 2017. She takes over from Chris Curry, as Administration and Research Assistant for the mission cluster: Mission, Women in Church and Society and the Anglican Communion Office in the United Nations. Curry left earlier this month to begin ordination training with the Church of England.

“I got a glimpse of what the Anglican Communion Office was doing when I was at UN CSW in 2016 and 2017,” she said, saying it was “exciting” to be “able to live and breathe the life of the Anglican Communion in this office; and to work for three of the directors with very different remits but also ones that overlap.”

She added: “I am excited to get stuck in and be a part of it. It is very exciting.”

Another new recruit is Lucy Cowpland, who now serves as Administrative Assistant for the Communications and Unity, Faith and Order departments. “I am very excited to be part of two different departments in the ACO,” she said. “I think it will be a good opportunity for me to use the skills that I already have but also grow and learn a huge amount from two very different departments, but ones that work very closely together.”

A Church of England priest, Jolyon Trickey, has joined the Anglican Communion as Co-ordinator of Intentional Discipleship. In 2016, the Anglican Consultative Council urged Provinces and Dioceses to adopt a decade-long Season of Intentional Discipleship; the new role is designed to encourage Churches in this work.

“For 27 years I have been involved in trying to instil a culture of serious discipleship in the local church, and over the past year I have been particularly engaged in what God is doing across Asia,” he said, “so when this role came up with its international dimension I was really excited to be part of shifting the culture of Anglicanism to have a reputation of being serious in discipleship.”

There have also been three new appointments to the Lambeth Conference Company, which exists to organise the once-a-decade gathering of Anglican bishops from around the world, on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Joining as Administrator, is Verity Sykes, who describes her involvement in the gathering, due to take place at the University of Kent in Canterbury during the summer of 2020, as “exciting”.

She said: “It is a big opportunity to bring lots of people together and cast a vision for the Church. As a member of the Church it feels great to work as part of that and to see what will happen in the future.”

Another new staffer is Brad Frey, who has been seconded by the ecumenical international development agency Christian Aid to work with the Lambeth Conference team for three-days a week between now and 2020. He describes the arrangement as “positive”, saying: “I think it is quite exciting for Christian Aid and the Anglican Communion to be partnering together on this sort of thing; it is a good example of the kind of partnership we want to be building.

“I think it works to a shared agenda – the fact that we are working to the same direction; and that the objectives of the Conference work really well with what Christian Aid wants to see from the Church. It speaks very positively about the kind of things that we have in common and that we share.”

Rachel Westall joined the Lambeth Conference team a couple of months ago, having been Operations Manager to the Bishop of Islington at the Centre for Church Planting and Growth. She has worked in educational administration and the Fresh Expressions team, a project of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. She knows the Church of England well – she is wife and daughter of vicars.

“I am looking forward to learning about the Anglican Communion over the next two years in the run up to LC2020, she said.

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Brad Frey and Rachel Westall.
Photo: ACNS

Phil George, the Chief Executive of the Lambeth Conference Company, commented: “The additional LC2020 staff team have now been recruited. Rachel Westall and Brad Frey are helping project manage the event, Verity Sykes has joined as a vital administrator and we have Janice Price across at Church House overseeing the exciting hospitality initiative.

“There is much to do and it is great to have the appropriate resource now to help focus our minds on the many tasks ahead. Please do continue to pray for the whole team.”

There are also imminent changes to the senior leadership of the Anglican Alliance. Andy Bowerman, one of two Co-Executive Directors, will leave his current post next month to become Regional Director for the Middle East and South Asia for the Anglican mission agency Mission to Seafarers from his new base in the Arabian Gulf.

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The Revd Andy Bowerman.
Photo: CMS

“It’s has been hugely stimulating & encouraging to serve the Communion through the Anglican Alliance, where I have witnessed first-hand the impact the Anglican family can have when it comes together to seek to empower and equip those at the margins,” he said. “I look forward to focusing now on the Middle East and South Asia serving with another Anglican agency, the Mission to seafarers.

“With their focus on labour rights, trafficking and responding to injustice there is a good deal of overlap.”