CAPTION: Chris Keppie, the new Church and Society Officer for the diocese

New Church and Society Officer committed to enabling action on social justice and the environment

Posted: 21st March, 2019

The Diocese of Exeter’s new Church and Society Officer, Chris Keppie, says he wants to improve engagement  around important issues facing the church and wider society. These include poverty, health and climate change.

Chris has extensive experience working with local government, housing associations and charities in the field of social housing and homelessness in both inner city and rural settings, as well as voluntary work on environmental issues.

Chris, who has a degree in Theology, said: “I’m really happy to be embarking on this role in my new home of Devon.

“The scope and potential of the church and society remit is both hugely exciting and hugely daunting – poverty, exploitation, climate change, isolation, health, Fairtrade, interfaith, inclusion and so on.

“The essence of it, for me, is Jesus’s teaching us to love our neighbour and in doing so loving the Father of us all. For me that means trying to respond thoughtfully and proactively to the many serious issues faced by so many in our society.

“I’ve already met some wonderful volunteers and colleagues doing brilliant work and look forward to meeting other groups and churches around the county.

“My role will be a lot about facilitating connections, learning, understanding and collaborating.

“Through serving the people of Devon with joy, love and relevance, I believe the warmth and light of this ‘good news’ will attract new disciples, and also deepen our spiritual lives of prayer.

“There, I’ve managed to get the three-fold diocesan vision into one sentence!”

Philip Sourbut, Director of Mission and Ministry at the Diocese, said: “I am delighted that Chris has joined the team. I know that he will bring both commitment and experience to this very important role.

“We were sorry to see Martyn Goss, the former Director of Church and Society, retire at the end of 2018 after 30 years of outstanding service.

“Martyn brought a wealth of experience and a passion for social justice and caring for the world.

“Sally Farrant, who worked with Martyn, also left us and we shall miss her extensive experience of issues such as disability, dementia and fair trade.”

You can contact Chris by email or tel: 01392 294924.