A broadcaster, journalist and author, Pam Rhodes has been the familiar face of BBC Television's “Songs of Praise” for 34 years, presenting programmes from tiny country churches to huge outside broadcasts. Pam is a Christian ‘household name’ known around the world for all the programmes she has presented across the UK and overseas, and for her sensitive interviews with a wide range of people who have been generous enough to talk about how their faith has been challenged and shaped by the ups and downs of their experiences. She's often heard on Radio 2's PAUSE FOR THOUGHT too.
Across two decades Pam has presented the popular request programme, “Hearts and Hymns” on Premier Christian Radio and, since the start of lockdown, has been producing and presenting Premier's “Sunday Night Live”, the weekly online television magazine programme. Drawing on her experience as a broadcaster and journalist for over four decades, Pam has become known as a mainstream author, with 27 published books to her name, both fact and fiction, mostly with Christian readers in mind.
Pam writes “My Christian faith has been the mainstay of my whole life, and because of the huge depth of comfort, guidance, inspiration and blessing I find through my faith, and I am keen to support the work of ‘Faith in Later Life’ as it encourages and resources churches to recognise the value and wisdom this older generation of Christians can bring to the fellowship of their churches, as well as the importance of reaching out to older people in the wider community”.
Professor Keith Brown
A Christian for over 40 years, Professor Keith Brown is the founding Director of the National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work and Professional practice.
He works regularly with Faith in Later Life, Jubilee Plus and Neighbourhood Prayer network, and has produced guidance for Christian organisations including in Safeguarding Adults for the Church, Supporting and Valuing Older People, and Preventing Stress and Burnout within Christian Ministry. Keith is a member of Above Bar Church in Southampton.
Keith is a regular commentator for the BBC on welfare issues, is a leading expert in his fields, and has written over 35 textbooks used as key texts by Health and Social Care Professionals.
Keith is currently the Chair of the Safeguarding Adults National Network and leads the National research into financial fraud and scams with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and the National Scams team. He has researched and published widely in the area of Mental Capacity and its implications for professional practice.
He is also a member of the National Mental Capacity Leadership Forum and the joint fraud task force and advises at the Department for Health and Social Care, Ministry of Justice and the Home Office.
Dr Fiona Costa
Dr Fiona Costa originally trained at the Royal College of Music. Her lifelong interest in music, together with a calling to a ministry with older people, has led to a range of different initiatives and interests. Underpinning them all is a desire to address the loneliness and isolation so often experienced in older people. As a research fellow at the University of Roehampton, her principal research interest is the effect of music on the wellbeing and quality of life of older people. Her PhD and subsequent research projects have studied how music can alleviate pain, stress, anxiety and depression. Her most recent work focuses on the use of music to assist in maintaining memory and the ability to communicate in people with dementia. She has contributed to a number of academic journals.
An active member of Holy Trinity Brompton for over forty years, she has been involved in several areas of ministry, most recently those involving older people. Over ten years ago, she initiated and set up a series of concerts and teas for older people in the community. Held six times a year, these concerts are attended by up to five hundred people per event. Attendees include Chelsea pensioners, residents from a number of local care homes as well as individuals living in the community. They provide opportunities for meeting new people, being part of a church community and enjoying music performed by some of the UK’s finest musicians.
From 2008 to 2015, she was trustee and then Chair of the William Wilberforce Trust, a charity that works through the local church to care for those in need. Since 2013, she has been a trustee of the Amber Trust, a charity that provides musical opportunities for blind or partially sighted children and young people. She is a member of the Lambeth Partnership, which supports the personal priorities of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
An Occupational Therapist by background, Pippa specialised in Neurorehabilitation and Care of the Elderly within the NHS. She is now the Pastoral Care and Seniors Minister at Holy Trinity Claygate and has been running Connections, one of the largest Church-based groups for Seniors in the UK for the last 10 years.
She is passionate about loving and caring for older people and reducing loneliness and isolation. Her heart’s desire is for all seniors to be given the opportunity to hear the gospel and discover God’s amazing grace and love. Therefore, after much prayer, Pippa came up with the idea of using well-loved hymns as a way of sharing the gospel in a gentle and accessible way with seniors, and ‘Hymns we Love’ was developed and used extremely effectively from within Connections at Holy Trinity Claygate.
At the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic in April 2020, Pippa saw the opportunity to use Hymns we Love on a phone line to reach the hundreds of thousands of older people who were now even more isolated. After discussions with the Evangelism and Witness Team at Lambeth Palace, Daily Hope, the free phone line, was born, supported by the Church of England and Faith in Later Life. In less than a year, the Daily Hope received more than 400,000 calls and has proved to be a lifeline to the many isolated and vulnerable older people who are unable to access online material.
In recognition of her work, Pippa was awarded the Alphege Award for Evangelism and Witness in 2021 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, for her exceptional work in finding creative ways of bringing God’s love to the over 65’s. His citation expressed the desire for Connections and Hymns we Love to be replicated in all churches in the UK.
Revd Canon Ian Knox
Ian Knox, proudly our oldest Ambassador, is a man of many parts. Married to Ruth, with four married sons and ten grandchildren, he has allegedly “retired” to the lovely Northumbrian coastline. His career began as a solicitor, before he was the staff evangelist for three years in his twenties with the Covenanters. He returned to the law for several years, ultimately as the lawyer for social care and children safeguarding with Coventry city council, before joining the Church Pastoral Aid Society in 1982 as their staff evangelist, a calling he has followed ever since, latterly with the 40:3 Trust. He is a founder member of the College of Evangelists.
His evangelism and teaching gifts have taken him to many countries in Africa, including Kenya, where he is a Canon of Bungoma Cathedral and where he was ordained in 2005, and also Uganda, where he is Canon Missioner in the Diocese of Lango. He is the author of a dozen books, including 'Finishing Well', commissioned by and written for Faith in Later Life. He has just published with Amazon a quirkily-written autobiography for his grandchildren, the title chosen by the youngest, aged four, ‘Ponky Wonky Grampaw.’
Now in his late Seventies, Ian thanks God that Jesus called him to be a Christian when he was a boy of seven, and is now delighted to have been a preacher for sixty years. He enjoys leading a little home group each week for his village church, most of whom are elderly. One of his greatest joys is helping older people put their trust in Jesus. Many a Sunday will find Ian preaching and leading services around Northumberland.
Carl was the first Chief Executive at Faith in Later Life, growing the organisation from its infancy and taking it to charitable status. Carl also founded the Faith in Later Life Church Champion network and remains a keen advocate for older people, having previously worked on the senior team at Pilgrims’ Friend Society. Carl has written and spoken in the Christian and mainstream media, with recent appearances on GB news television as well as regular contributions on Premier, UCB and TWR radio stations. Carl was also part of the team that founded the national free Daily Hope telephone line.
Carl is married to Suzy, an intensive care nurse, and they have two primary school age children. Carl's main work role is heading up networking activity at London City Mission, and he is also a Trustee at Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) as well as a school governor at his children's school.
Debs is the Director of Silver Cord (an inter-church befriending service in East Manchester) a role she has held for four years alongside her ministry as a community worker for Hope Community Church, a role she has held for eight years.
Debs is additionally studying for a BA in Third Age Mission and Ministry at Cliff College. She is also a regular speaker for 'Faith in Later Life'.
Debs' key passions include: valuing older years; releasing the missional potential of the older generation within the church; bridging generational gaps with intergenerational practice; and; the role of the church as family as it responds to the loneliness endemic in the UK.