After a rigorous recruitment process, we are pleased to announce that Josh Smedley has been appointed as the next National Coordinator of Just Love and that Sarah Dowdeswell, our current Operations Director, is being promoted into a deputy leadership role alongside Josh.
Our current National Coordinator and Founder, Tom Christmas commented on the appointment: “I’m really happy that Josh will be taking over leadership of Just Love. For many years he has been the embodiment of our vision and values. I believe that he is setting the bar for our generation around a whole-life, lifelong pursuit of justice – with his leadership of a missional community in Durham, his sacrificial lifestyle choices, and the depth of his discipleship.
He has also been a thought leader for our movement, particularly around theology but also in other areas, as demonstrated by the recent resources he has produced on careers and time management. One of the things that has impressed me most about Josh over the five years we have worked together has been his constant desire to improve.
He has developed significantly in many areas, from communication to coaching, and I’m sure he will continue to do so in this role. He is the right person to bring the best out of the hugely talented team we have built over the last few years.”
Alison Coulter, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, congratulated Josh on his appointment and said that she was “absolutely delighted to announce that we have appointed Josh Smedley as the National Co-ordinator for Just Love. Josh started Just Love Durham in 2014, and has been a key part of the expanding vision of Just Love and the realisation of this in a growing number of universities.
He has already been an inspirational leader for many students as Just Love’s Northern Coordinator, and I know he will be a great team leader. Josh has a passion for justice running through his whole life, and is deeply committed to both the theology and practice of social justice. I am really confident that Just Love will continue to flourish under his leadership. He will take over from Tom in August, and in the coming months we will be working together to ensure a smooth handover. Congratulations Josh!”
Alongside the appointment of Josh, we’re really pleased that Sarah Dowdeswell, our Operations Director, is being promoted into a deputy leadership role alongside Josh. As Tom comments, “Sarah has been a huge part of Just Love’s development in recent years and has consistently been taking on more responsibility. Her efficiency, emotional intelligence and strategic ability will be invaluable in this leadership role, and we think that Sarah and Josh will work really well together as Just Love moves into this new chapter.”
Josh Smedley said: “To have been involved with Just Love for the last seven years has been a joy and a privilege. God has been incredibly good to us, and the prospect of continuing the journey as the movement grows to more cities and more students is so exciting. Right now, the world desperately needs a Church that offers a radical and beautiful alternative, a Church that practices the love that it preaches, a Church that is good news to the poor. That’s why we need Just Love. We have the potential here to raise up a generation into a whole-life, life-long pursuit of Jesus and justice and I am desperate to see that potential realised.“
Josh & Sarah will transition into their new positions during Summer 2020.