Friends of Tearfund

We are very grateful for the support of our Friends, who generously give their time to support individual projects and campaigns as we work together to tackle poverty and speak up for justice.

Dr Elaine Storkey

Dr Elaine Storkey served as Tearfund's president from 1996-2013. She is a well-known academic and broadcaster, and was named one of the 100 women public intellectuals by The Guardian. Elaine is Director of Education for the Church of England Church Army, and speaks at public events in many countries. Author of eight books, she has also written hundreds of articles for journals and newspapers. Elaine has a number of academic degrees, including a Doctorate of Divinity, and has lectured at King’s College, Birkbeck College and Oxford University. Elaine is passionate about justice and transformation, and has been connected with Tearfund for a number of years, visiting Tearfund projects in numerous countries.

Sir Cliff Richard

Sir Cliff, a much loved and world-famous singer and entertainer, has been actively involved with Tearfund for more than 40 years, using his fame to raise both awareness and money.

Sir Cliff has visited Tearfund projects all over the world, including those in Uganda, Bangladesh, Sudan and Brazil. ‘I’m proud to have been associated with Tearfund for so many years,’ says Sir Cliff. ‘Playing a part in relieving poverty is, as I see it, the responsibility of us all.'

Tamsin Greig

Tamsin Greig is a successful actress and a good friend of Tearfund. Tamsin is well known for her roles in TV series Episodes, Jackie Goodman in Friday Night Dinner for Channel 4, People Like Us, Black Books, and many more. Tamsin won a BAFTA nomination and received The Royal Television Award for Best Comedy performance for her performance as Dr Caroline Todd in Green Wing. Tamsin has visited Tearfund partners and projects in Democratic Republic Congo and Rwanda, and supports many of Tearfund initiatives.

"I support Tearfund because I have seen for myself how communities can transform themselves, as they are supported and encouraged by a world wide network of partners. I love the way Tearfund partners with local churches and communities to help them change their worlds, as they reach out to the most marginalised and vulnerable people."

Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls entered the records books as the youngest Briton to climb Mount Everest, aged only 23. Since then, Bear, an ex-SAS soldier, has since led ground-breaking expeditions all across the world. Bear's gift for communication has led him to become a world class motivational speaker, No 1 bestselling author and TV host of one of the most watched programmes on earth: Man Vs Wild and Born Survivor, which reaches over one billion viewers.

Bear combines his passion for adventure with tireless work to support and raise money for causes like Tearfund that are close to his heart.

David Gyasi

Actor David Gyasi has played many and varied roles in critically acclaimed productions across stage, television and film since the start of his acting career.

In 2005, David played the part of Francois in the BAFTA nominated feature Shooting Dogs, based on the experiences of BBC news producer David Belton, who worked in Rwanda during the Rwandan Genocide. David has since taken to the stage, notably in the National Theatre's multi-award winning production of War Horse, as well as numerous TV appearances including White Heat, Murderland and Dr Who. In 2013 you will be able to catch David in the highly acclaimed film “Cloud Atlas”, alongside Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Susan Sarandon and many more.

“I love that Tearfund’s work is more than just a sticking plaster, it’s about working alongside people with the goal of enabling them to have the confidence to take decisions that will shape their lives. It is a vision of unlocking potential, ensuring a future that’s better than the past.”

Tim Hughes

Tim is a well-known Christian singer, songwriter and worship leader. He is Director of Worship at Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London, and leads worship at festivals and events worldwide.

Tim founded and runs Worship Central, which holds regular training events for worship leaders. Through this, and through many of his songs, Tim has brought the issue of justice into the heart of worship.

‘God’s heart breaks for the poor, the needy and the broken,’ says Tim. ‘If we want to offer up worship, our hearts must break too…The Bible is clear – worship and justice cannot be separated.’

Sir John Houghton

Sir John Houghton CBE, FRS is a scientist, educated at Rhyl Grammar School and Jesus College, Oxford. After a short period at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, he returned to Oxford as Lecturer, Reader and Professor of Atmospheric Physics, where he became involved in novel instrumentation for observing the Earth’s atmosphere from space. In 1983, he moved to become Director General (later Chief Executive) of the Meteorological Office. In 1988, on the formation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he was appointed chairman of its Scientific Assessment. After retiring from the Met Office in 1991, he became chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and a Trustee of the Shell Foundation (2000-10).

Sir John is currently President of the John Ray Initiative. His awards include the Japan Prize, International Meteorological Organisation Prize, gold medals from the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Meteorological Society, honorary doctorates from twelve UK universities including Oxford and Wales and a share in the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the IPCC. His books include Global Warming: the Complete Briefing and The search for God: can science help.

"Tearfund puts into practice a vision close to the heart of Christianity - of a caring world community working for the good of all creation and justice for people who are living in poverty'

Rob Parsons

Described by the Daily Mail as ‘the man who reinvented fatherhood’, Rob Parsons is a prolific international speaker and author.

Many of his books – including Sixty Minute Father and Sixty Minute Marriage – have made it onto the bestseller lists. He also heads up Care for the Family, one of the UK’s leading family issues charities.

Rob is passionate about social justice. ‘Tearfund does, on all our behalves, those things we would love to be able to do ourselves for children across the world who are suffering in so many different ways,’ he says.

Joel Edwards

Rev Joel Edwards is the International Director for Micah Challenge, a global Christian response to extreme poverty. Prior to his role within Micah Challenge, Joel was General Director of the Evangelical Alliance UK, a post he held for over 10 years. Joel continues to hold a number of other roles, including serving as an Advisory Member of Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation, and was formerly a Commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission for the UK.

He is an Honorary Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, and has an honorary doctorate from St Andrews University, Scotland. He is married to Carol and they have two adult children.

Tom Herbert

Tom is a 5th generation baker passionate about eating, sharing and making bread. Fresh out of baking college Tom won Young Baker of the Year and has gone on to collect numerous awards. Tom presented the BBC4 documentary In Search of the Perfect Loaf and appears alongside his brother Henry in Channel 4’s The Fabulous Baker Brothers. He regularly gives talks, demonstrations and bread making courses at Hobbs House Bakery. Tom is married to Anna and they have four children. He believes anyone can bake - and everyone should!

In 2014 Tom visited Tearfund projects in Laos.

“Baking is in my genes and there was never any doubt as to what I would do for a living, but for the children I met in Laos there is very little choice. Through their partners Tearfund are shining the light and the love of Jesus in a very dark place. In truly wretched and horrific situations, their currency is hope."

Andy Flannagan

Popular songwriter and worship leader Andy Flannagan is now also Director of the Christian Socialist Movement, encouraging Christians to see politics as mission. Andy continues to write music, perform, speak, lead worship and play a lot of cricket!

Andy is married to Jenny, and they are both committed to Tearfund’s vision. ‘So often, the better you know an organisation, the less you think of it,’ says Andy. ‘With Tearfund, the opposite is true. The more I get to know it, the more impressed I am.” Andy’s passion for justice is evident in many of his songs.

Ruth Valerio

Ruth is Churches and Theology Director for the Christian environmental charity A Rocha UK and is a director of Cred Jewellery. She has written extensively on justice, environment and lifestyle issues, and in 2013 she was awarded a Phd for her thesis on the concept of simplicity and consumerism. Ruth runs A Rocha's Living Lightly initiative and is also part of the leadership of Spring Harvest.

She lives with her husband and two daughters in Chichester, where she is involved in issues of community regeneration and chairs the Community Association.

'I've been a supporter of Tearfund for as long as I can remember. Their combination of professionalism and passion makes me proud to be associated with them. We share the same desire - to see this world put to rights and to see people and planet flourishing together.'

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