church member, and former BBC political adviser, has been appointed to chair the Church Buildings Council of the Church of England
, a new statutory body.Anne Sloman
(pictured right) from Sharrington
in North Norfolk
has been appointed by the Archbishops of Canterbury
to chair the body, which was created last year to succeed the Council for the Care of Churches
and the Advisory Board for Redundant Churches
, and supports dioceses and parishes in their stewardship of more than 16,000 church buildings.
Mrs Sloman, who joined the Archbishops’ Council in 2002 and steps down at the end of this year, was the BBC’s Chief Political Adviser
from 1996 to 2004. She played an important role in discussions with a range on Ministries leading to the publication of the recent Government report Churches and Faith Buildings: Realising the Potential
Inviting Anne to chair the new Council, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams
said: “As a member of the Archbishops’ Council you have already made an outstanding contribution in this area by getting Government to understand more clearly the great potential that our buildings have for wider community use, as part of the continuing mission and ministry of the Church…Your extensive knowledge of how the Church of England works will be a considerable asset in this work.”
Anne, who will take up the five-year appointment on October 1, when the Rt Revd Graeme Knowles, Dean of St Paul’s, steps down, said: “It’s a great honour and I am very much looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. I’ve always regarded the heritage of so many beautiful churches, passed down from previous generations, as a blessing not a burden and an opportunity to serve the whole community.”
The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres
, said of the appointment: "I have very much enjoyed working with Anne in the campaign to secure Government recognition of the importance of church buildings as community hubs; and I am looking forward to our partnership in her new role."
Anne is actively involved in the life of her local village church, All Saints Sharrington
, and a member of the PCC. All Saints, in common with Norfolk’s many fine medieval churches, is Grade 1 listed.
Other interests include theatre, ballet and the visual arts. A lifelong and modest collector of nineteenth and twentieth century art, Anne discovered an important set of panels by the Dutch artist Matthijs Maris which had been missing for decades and, in 2001, donated them to the Rijks museum in Amsterdam.
She is also vice-president of Fakenham Cricket Club, in the East Anglia Premier League; the club for which three generations of her family have played.For more details on this story click here