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New economic and social affairs adviser for Church

Date: 19 October 2012

TOM SEFTON has joined the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs (MPA) Division as part of the team of specialists dealing with the wide range of issues which arise in the Church’s engagement with society, politics and ethics.

Tom joins MPA as Adviser on Economics and Social Policy at a time when the Division is reordering its staff team to create more flexible and responsive support for key stake holders such as the Archbishops’ Council, the General Synod and the House of Bishops.

Revd Dr Malcolm Brown MPA director said: “We are creating a small team of skilled and experienced staff whose specialisms complement each other and who will work collaboratively to address the wide range of issues which arise for the church in its engagement with society, politics and ethics.

Over the past few years the MPA team has been building its expert knowledge in the field of economics and social policy. In the context of the current recession and financial crisis, good social policy must be economically literate and few issues do not have an economic dimension.”

Tom has joined MPA from the Church Urban Fund, where he spent four years, latterly as research manager, helping to highlight the effective church responses to poverty and deprived communities. Before that, he worked for 10 years as a Research Fellow at the London School of Economics, where his research focused on UK poverty and inequality, including the distributional effects of public spending, attitudes to the welfare state, and fuel poverty. Prior to that, Tom was an Economic Adviser for various government departments, providing economic advice on environmental policy, land use planning and the regulation of the pharmaceutical industry.

Wealth of experience

Speaking this week Tom said: “I look forward to bringing together this experience of working in the civil service, academia and voluntary sectors to inform and develop the Church of England’s thinking on economic and social policy.

On a wide range of issues from welfare reform and youth unemployment to financial regulation, I believe this role provides an exciting opportunity to work with others in the Church in seeking to articulate a distinctively Christian and hopeful perspective on public policy in the context of the current economic crisis.”

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