Steve Tinning appointed Public Issues Enabler
We are delighted to announce that the Revd Steve Tinning has been appointed as our Public Issues Enabler
Steve was a minister at Leigh Road Baptist Church in Southend, where his ministry formally ended on Sunday, 7 November.
He has also served as our Public Issues Enabler in an interim capacity since April 2020. This was initially to cover maternity leave, but was subsequently extended temporarily to ensure smooth transition and continued development of church engagement with the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT), which is a collaboration between colleagues in the Baptist Union, Methodist and United Reformed Churches working together on justice and political issues.
When the post of Public Issues Enabler became available in a full-time capacity, Steve impressed with his knowledge of social and political issues, vision for faith-based activism locally, regionally and nationally, and his capacity to enable theological reflection on public issues across Baptists Together.
The post involves being both a full member of JPIT, enabling a Baptist voice into that ecumenical team; and of the Faith and Society Team, reflecting theologically and integrating public issues into the broader work of the team.
Diane Watts, Faith and Society Team Leader, said: “We are delighted to welcome Steve to the team and are grateful for the wisdom he brings to the role. Steve’s knowledge and experience will support our Baptist movement as we reflect on the Biblical principles around injustice and act to bring peace to our communities."
Steve trained as a youth worker at Oxford Brookes University and spent eight years at Brentwood Baptist Church before being called into wider church ministry. Steve helped pioneer a new Urban Expression Church Plant in East London while training at Spurgeon's College. His role at Leigh Road initially encompassed children, youth, families and discipleship, but went on to focus on community work and establishing social justice initiatives concerning food poverty, homelessness and refugee support as central to the church’s mission and ministry.
During his time at Leigh Road, Steve has regularly campaigned on issues of justice, both within church life and with CitizensUK and Safe Passage. He worked ecumenically and across community groups to ensure concern for the most marginalised is at the heart of public policy. His activism and ability to bring people together led to his local council reversing a decision and offering to welcome unaccompanied asylum-seeking children into the borough.
Steve started his new appointment on 8 November.
He said: “I cannot express how excited I am to be called to this new adventure. I am desperately looking forward to developing closer relationships across Baptists Together and JPIT as we look to support Baptist Churches and Associations grapple with the public issues of our day.
"I am passionate about encouraging churches to see ‘rivers of justice’ flow through their worship, into their community and across the country. I’d be very keen to start that relationship building as soon as possible, so feel free to get in touch!”