The Revd. Jo Winn-Smith

Jo Winn-Smith is an assistant curate, PhD candidate, lectures on an Anglican ministerial training course, and is a passionate advocate of inclusivity.

Growing up in Surrey, she went to Oxford to read theology. Whilst there, she met her husband, Matthew, and they found a home and welcome in the more liberal tradition, she having had roots in evangelicalism and his experiences being from anglo-catholicism.

After university, they moved to London and following a brief flirtation with accountancy, she ended up working at the Church Commissioners in the Redundant Churches Department. Working in various policy roles for the C of E national church institutions for over 13 years, her final post was as Policy Advisor for Marriage and Family Life, advising bishops in the House of Lords, writing reports for General Synod and responding to government consultations and liaising with other charities and NGOs.  Alongside this, she became a Deanery Lay Chair, and had two children.  

Jo loves studying, or as Matthew says, collects degrees. In her 20s she trained as an LLM(Reader) in Southwark Diocese, and after a taster course during maternity leave, and on moving back to Surrey, she went on to complete a degree in psychotherapeutic counselling and qualified as a member of BACP in 2015. She had planned to leave the NCIs and build a counselling career, but having done some visiting lecturing, she was invited to be a year tutor on the Local Ministry Programme: Guildford, where she now trains LLMs and OLMs/SSMs. This prompted further personal vocational reflection, and in 2017 she was accepted for ordination training, and went to Ripon College Cuddesdon, part-time, to study for an MTh in Applied Theology.

She is now a part-time SSM curate in an inclusive parish, alongside her tutoring. She will be starting a PhD in Theology at Chester University in the autumn.

In her ‘spare’ time, Jo enjoys keeping fit, gin/wine and cooking, dancing, piano/singing, and going on holidays, which often tend to involve supporting Matthew to do an ironman triathlon first.

Over the last 20 years, Jo has found that many dear friends and colleagues, as well as mentors and ministers, have been in the LGBT+ community. She is a passionate advocate for inclusion, using her academic and institutional contexts to reflect on and promote Jesus’ radical inclusive love and welcome to all. From 2011-2019, as an LLM in Surrey, she was very involved in running ‘Rainbow masses’ at her parish church. She hopes her knowledge and experience will aid her in serving OBOF in their continuing important work.