Christian Council on Ageing (CCOA) is a registered charity governed by a constitution. It is a membership association. Currently, there are around two hundred members. It has adopted the working title CHRISTIANS ON AGEING for most everyday purposes of communication, description and publicity.
How is Christians on Ageing run?
The Council is the formal name given to all the members but it is usually called Christians on Ageing or CCOA.
The day-to-day management of Christians on Ageing is the responsibility of an Executive Committee. This meets four times a year and is elected by all the members at least every three years. Christians on Ageing is fortunate, also, to have Patrons and Vice-Presidents; the position of President is currently vacant.
The Executive Committee
David Jolley , a member of the committee since 2018, and elected Chair in 2020, is an Altrincham-based Methodist. Retired Consultant Psychogeriatician who pioneered psychogeriatic services in the North West of England from 1975. Professor and Medical Director Wolverhampton 1995-2003. Clinical contributions in Primary Care, Hospice and Memory Services until March 2016. Currently Honorary Reader in Psychogeriatrics (Social Care and Society), The University of Manchester. Associate of Dementia Pathfinders. Recent publications: dementia in Primary Care; mental health aspects of hospice work and palliative care; comprehensive services for older people; liaison services; memory services; stigma; care homes; relocation; spirituality and faith in healthcare.
Sr Maureen Murphy joined the committee in 2006 when elected as Treasurer. She had wide experience of charity finance from her eighteen years as the Bursar General of her Religious Congregation, the Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph, which works in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Ecuador, USA, Kenya and Uganda. Maureen is now Congregation Leader and travels widely to visit the Sisters. She has written a couple of our publications. Maureen has a particular interest in the Congregation’s older Sisters in the Order’s two care homes. She is also an official prison visitor and is involved in furthering our work with older prisoners.
Revd Dr Keith Albans is a recently retired Minister living in Newcaste upon Tyne. Keith served as Minister to churches in York and Sheffield and served as Chaplain to the University of Birmingham. From 2001-2017 he was Director of Chaplaincy & Spirituality with Methodist Homes (MHA) where he developed both the Chaplaincy provision within their residential services and an award-winning programme for training staff in End-of-Life care. He is the co-editor of God, Me and Being Very Old (SCM 2013) and was a Trustee of the National Council for Palliative Care.
Gerry Burke, appointed as a member of the committee in April 2022 for a limited period, to ensure continuity in the management of the website and newsletter. This follows his membership of the committee since 2010; from 2012 to 2018 he was the elected Chair, followed by two years as Acting Chair. Worked for Age Concern (now Age UK) for nearly thirty years following earlier ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. Author of ‘Spirituality: Roots and Routes’, a reflection on the practice of spiritual care in a secular charity, and a CCOA booklet on ‘Dying and Death’.
Revd Dr Joseph Cortis became a member of the Executive in 2020, He has a 40 year background in Adult and Mental Heath Nursing in a variety of roles and clinical settings. For 25 years he occupied a number of different academic and managerial roles at the School of Healthcare University of Leeds until 2015. His research interests and publications focus on diversity, equal opportunities and issues relating to minority ethnic groups. He was ordained a permanent deacon for the Catholic Diocese of Leeds in 2010 and based at the Cathedral parish in Leeds. Since 2016 he has been the founder and co-ordinator of Caritas Leeds: www.dioceseofleeds.org.uk/caritas/ and led on a number of initiatives such as looking at the criminal justice system and set up groups to focus on dementia and disabilities.
Charles Kwaku-Odoi is Chief Officer of the Caribbean & African Health Network (CAHN) based in Manchester. He sits on local and national governance boards including Manchester Foundation Trust Council of Governors, Faith Network for Manchester, Macc (Manchester Community Central), Greater Manchester Voluntary Community & Social Enterprise (VCSE) Leadership Group, Government SAGE ethnicity Subgroup. Charles is an advocate for equity and fairness for people of the Caribbean and African Diaspora. He is involved in work that influences the research, policy and practice agenda, and his special interest includes Organ & Blood Donation, civic and democratic participation, Female Genital Mutilation, HIV, Domestic Violence, Modern Slavery, Hate Crime, and Forced Marriage
Marion Shoard has been a member of the committee since 2019. She often chairs or participates in Christians on Ageing’s Conference Call and writes articles for its journal plus on a range of matters including the Churches’ support for family carers, isolated older people at home, those who face digital exclusion, and older and disabled people living in care homes. Marion’s books include A Survival Guide to Later Life (2004) and her 1000+-page How to Handle Later Life (2017), described as “unique, essential and considerate” by the London Evening Standard. There is information about her publications and activities at www.marionshoard.co.uk.
Barbara Stephens has been involved with organisations supporting people living with dementia and family carers for more than 30 years. She is CEO of Dementia Pathfinders CIC and part of a ‘Provider Collaborative’ delivering a community-based dementia support service in Sandwell, West Midlands. Barbara joined the Executive Committee of ‘Christians on Ageing’ in 2021 and has taken on the roles of Honorary Secretary and Editor of the Dementia Network Newsletter
Joanna Walker has always been interested, as an adult educator, in later life and the learning opportunities and challenges that it offers older adults. Joanna was an academic member of the Department of Educational Studies at Surrey University for over 20 years (1983-2005) and then had the privilege of being the Bishop’s Adviser on Adult Education at Guildford Diocese for nearly 10 years (2005-14). Towards the end of her working life, she took up post-graduate research at the Centre for Research on Ageing at Southampton University, which led to a doctoral thesis on spiritual learning in later life (awarded 2020). She is keen to encourage the Churches to better serve its older members as disciples and continuing learners. She is Editor of our magazine plus.
The Executive Committee appoints sub-committees and special task groups. Currently:
- Communications Committee
- Older Prisoners
Who are the Patrons?
The Patrons are leaders of the Christian Churches who have kindly agreed to support the work of Christians on Ageing. They do not take part in the day-to-day management of the organisation but are kept informed of activities and developments. The current Patrons are:
|Revd Esme Beswick||(Anglo-Caribbean Churches)|
|Revd Lynn Green||(The Baptist Union)|
|Cardinal Vincent Nichols||(Archbishop of Westminster, Roman Catholic)|
|Rt Revd Alan Smith||(Bishop of St Albans, Church of England)|
|Revd Dr John Bradbury||(United Reformed Church)|
|Revd Dr Jonathon Hustler||(The Methodist Church)|
|Mrs Elaine Cobb||(The Salvation Army)|
|Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh||(Russian Orthodox Church)|
The President Vacant
Revd Dr Albert Jewell
Revd Dr John Lansley
The titles President and Vice-President are offered to members or supporters who have made a significant contribution to the life and work of the organisation. Albert Jewell was a member of the Executive Committee for a period of fifteen years until 2022 and was the long-serving Secretary of the Dementia Network. Tony Flynn was Chair of the Finance sub-committee and a member of the Executive Committee for many years until 2016. John Lansley similarly served on the Executive Committee for many years until 2022 and from 2013 to 2022 was the Editor of plus magazine.