The Church of England has appointed a new home affairs adviser as part of the team of specialists dealing with society, politics and ethics.
Martin Kettle joins the Mission and Public Affairs (MPA) Division at a time when it is, it says, "reordering the 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."
The Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, director of Mission and Public Affairs, commented: "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 engagements."
He continued: "Martin will take the lead responsibility for the Church of England's national action on, and responses to, public policy on Home Affairs, including work on penal policy, criminal justice, social policy (such as equalities) and similar areas."
Mr Kettle joins the Mission and Public Affairs team in February 2013, after a career including 13 years as an incumbent in the Diocese of London, and a period teaching Ethics and New Testament at Ridley Hall Theological College, Cambridge. He has also served as an officiating chaplain to the Army, as bishop's ecumenical adviser and as an area dean.
For more than 14 years, Mr Kettle worked for the Prison Service, in roles from prison officer to senior management in a high security prison - including two years on a national IT project and three heading a unit for prisoners with dangerous and severe personality disorders. For the last four years, he has worked in the Prisons Inspectorate, spending 2012 leading the team inspecting police and court custody.
Speaking at the end of last week, the new postholder said: "I look forward to bringing together my experience of working in the prison service, theological education and parish sectors to inform and develop the Church of England's thinking on home affairs policy. On a wide range of issues from welfare reform to youth unemployment, 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 home affairs."