Alison Tsang Head of Compassionate Communities
Alison Tsang heads up Compassionate Communities,
Alison was born in Sheffield but has lived in London for over 20 years. Having started her career in TV documentary production, she then studied Youth & Community Work & Theology.
She worked in various youth roles before moving into community work & project management, in several charities across London tackling local poverty as well as running national programmes.
Outside of work she’s involved in her local Refugees Welcome group welcoming Syrian families and sings in a gospel choir.
Alison is overseeing the work of the team and particularly supporting the Diocese in our Caring for God’s Creation work. She’s passionate about seeing the church show the love of Jesus in practical ways to transform the communities which they serve.
Pattie Gercke Development Worker: Refugees, Asylum Seekers & Modern Slavery / Housing & Homelessness
Pattie Gercke joined us as Development Worker in September 2021 and we are thrilled to have her onboard the Compassionate Communities Team
After completing a degree in modern languages at the University of Nottingham, Pattie has spent most of her career working as an HR professional within the humanitarian sector for charities such as Oxfam, Medair and Tearfund, including time in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. She then gained experience in the corporate sector working for Harley-Davidson covering HR for their EMEA growth markets, before taking a career break whilst her husband studied towards ordination with the Church of England.
Following a persistent sense of calling to work with refugees and asylum seekers, Pattie has pursued an MA in Development & Emergency Practise with Oxford Brookes University. She is passionate about issues of justice, hospitality, and community, and is excited about a role which brings together churches and charities to support and develop their work.
Pattie will be helping churches respond in areas around Refugees, Asylum seekers, Modern slavery and Homelessness. Please get in touch with her here - she’d love to meet anyone from the Diocese of London who’s doing stuff in those areas! And if you want to hear more about Pattie’s work, please do sign up to our newsletter here.
Jill Dodd Development Worker, Mental Health & Isolation / Money, Debt & Food Insecurity
We were delighted to welcome Jill to the team in September 2022.
Jill was born in the United States but has lived and worked in London for 20 years. During her psychology and social work degrees, she worked as a carer in a nursing home and, as a result, has a lifelong commitment to advocate for change in the care sector including paying a living wage. She then worked as an older adult social worker for several years before joining Livability, a large disability charity in London.
Having found a unique way to use her passion to see churches address needs in their communities, she stayed there for 17 years. Her favourite parts of the job were organising training events for busy clergy and community workers and developing helpful resources.
She has experienced first hand the impact of mental health challenges as well as the need for practical help with debt and is excited to take part in what the church can do to support those who are most vulnerable. The challenge facing us all is significant and this includes churches, clergy as well as decision makers in the Diocese but there is always hope and a way forward.
We’re very excited about the experience Jill brings to her Development Worker role. She will be supporting churches in areas relating to Mental Health & Isolation and Money, Debt & Food Insecurity. Please get in touch with her here if you need any support or advice, or if you’re doing wonderful things in any of those areas that she could share with others! To hear more about what Jill is doing, please do sign up to our newsletter here.
Rachel Partridge Senior Administrator
Rachel Partridge joined Compassionate Communities in Sept 2020 as our Senior Administrator. She powers the engine of the Compassionate Communities Team and we genuinely wouldn’t function without her brilliant administrative skills!
Having studied Medical Engineering she went on to develop her project management skills in the areas of clinical trials and education. She’s delighted now to be using her professional background, along with her desire for lives to be transformed by the power of the Gospel, to equip churches in London to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Rachel leads the children’s work at her church and particularly loves teenagers. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Essex, where they spend their free time dancing & walking the dog.
Our Sponsor Bishop
The Rt. Revd. Joanne Woolway Grenfell Bishop of Stepney
Joanne Grenfell became the Bishop of Stepney in July 2019. Previously, Joanne was Archdeacon of Portsdown in the Diocese of Portsmouth, and before that Director of Ordinands and Residentiary Canon in Sheffield. She has experience of outer housing estate and inner city parishes, chaplaincy, and cathedral ministry.
Before ordination, Joanne was Lecturer in English at Oriel College Oxford, where she completed a DPhil in English Literature, specializing in Edmund Spenser and cultural geography. She also has an MA from the University of British Columbia, and a first degree from Oxford. She trained for ordination at Westcott House.
Joanne’s interests include mission and strategic development, education, particularly school governance, public life, and poetry. She is a Trustee of the Trust for London which tackles poverty and inequality in the capital. Her diocesan responsibilities involve being Bishop Sarah’s lead bishop for safeguarding and overseeing the Diocese’s social engagement ministry.
She is married to the Revd Canon Dr James Grenfell, Director of the Portsmouth Pathway, and they have three children.