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Accolades and Advocacy

by Michael Ford last modified 28 May, 2021 07:48 PM

One of our Associate Priests, Wiltshire's Canon Revd Dr Joshva John Christopher, has been appointed as the Head of the International Bible Advocacy Centre (IBAC) in Swindon.

The IBAC is a joint programme of the British and Foreign Bible Society and the United Bible Society, and seeks to promote the use of the Bible in public life, and encourage others to do the same.

IBAC says:

"We encourage people to consider the relevance of the Bible in their lives and communities, breaking down barriers, misconceptions and apathy towards this along the way.

"Our focus is on opening up an initial conversation, leaving space for local churches to further explore this in their own way, at the grassroots level."

Currently serving in Wellsprings Benefice until the end of July 2021, Canon Joshva will start his new role on 1st September.

Accolades and Advocacy- Canon Joshva with his family in Seend
Canon Joshva with his family in Seend

So how did this come about?

He says:

"Having taught contextual readings of the Bible at Queens Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education for six years, we published a number of papers and articles in this area globally. I also edited the Global Handbook on Theological Education in 2010 as part of the Edinburgh 2010 Mission conference.

"So, the Bible Society invited me to share my experience and thus asked me whether I would be interested to take this job as the Head of IBAC in order to promote reading Bible in day-to-day life contexts and to provide training for mentors around the world to encourage many Christians to do such reading of the Bible in their own contexts.

"This will also involve Bible-based advocacy in public spaces.

"It is a privilege to serve the global Christian community in this way, yet humbling and preparing towards this job. I will be based at the Swindon Bible Society office providing training around the world through various Bible societies including in the UK.

"I will also be training the trainers for young people, particularly young Christian entrepreneurs in the global south besides in the British Isles. I will be living in Salisbury and will be commuting to Swindon for this job."

As a published author with an MSc in Physics, an MTh in New Testament studies, and a PhD in communication, theology and mission studies, Canon Joshva is eminently qualified.

He has been Associate Director and Co-Dean at the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life since 2018, promoting Christian leadership among the Global South Countries around the world through undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD programmes.

During his time as as a contextual theologian at Queens Foundation of Theological Education, Canon Joshva has taught Church of England ordinands alongside Methodists and Pentecostal pastors, and has introduced experience-based reflecting learning.

He has also been an Emeritus Canon of Birmingham Cathedral since 2018.

Canon Joshva was given an award by a television station for his contribution to awareness about HIV/ AIDS and Dementia among the wider international community through the churches, and has edited and published a book relating HIV/ AIDS to Christology, 'Is the Body of Christ HIV Positive?', endorsed by UNAIDS and the World Council of Churches.

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