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Christian Aid names new chair

Christian Aid is delighted to announce the appointment of Anne Owers as its new chair, a post she will take up later this year.

Anne Owers

Anne Owers CBE

Ms Owers is currently HM Chief Inspector of Prisons. A committed human rights campaigner, she is a former director of the law reform pressure group Justice.

In 2000 she received a CBE in recognition for her human rights work.

Ms Owers succeeds Bishop John Gladwin, the Bishop of Chelmsford, who is standing down after ten years as Chair of Christian Aid.

'I am delighted to have been asked to succeed Bishop John Gladwin, though he will be a hard act to follow,' said Ms Owers.

'I very much admire Christian Aid’s combination of practical help and powerful advocacy, and look forward to working with the Board, the staff and the member churches to tackle poverty and its causes.'

Prior to her appointment as Chief Inspector of Prisons in 2001, she held a wide range of voluntary and public positions.

While Director of Justice, between 1992 and 2001, perhaps her greatest achievement was to help secure the setting up of the Criminal Cases Review Commission to investigate possible miscarriages of justice.

Between 1986 and 1992 she was General Secretary of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants.

During that period she was also a member of the Race and Community Relations Committee of the Church of England.

Her commitment to issues of diversity goes back to the 1970s, when she became a member of the Race Relations Commission of the diocese of Southwark.

Anne Owers was educated at Washington Grammar School in County Durham before going on to study history at Girton College, Cambridge. After graduation, she spent three years teaching in Zambia and conducting PhD research into African history.

'Anne Owers' reputation as a leader in the voluntary sector and as a trusted and valued public servant is outstanding,' said Rev Dr David Cornick, General Secretary of Churches Together in England, who led the selection process for Christian Aid.

'So is her Christian commitment to serve the poor of the world by seeking to alleviate poverty. It is a privilege as well as a pleasure to welcome Anne to Christian Aid, and to look forward to the visionary and collaborative leadership that she will bring to its work.'

Gillian Kingston, member of the Christian Aid Board from the Republic of Ireland, welcomed the 'many qualities and much experience' that Ms Owers brings to the task. 

'I am personally delighted that she has accepted the challenge and am confident that her appointment will be welcomed among Christian Aid's supporters and within the churches,' she said.

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For more information please contact Claire Shelley on +44 (0) 131 240 1523 or cshelley@christian-aid.org

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in more than 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the life they deserve.