Joanna is an Anglican priest, author, broadcaster and coach. She trained at Bristol and Cambridge and, following her ordination in 2003, served in parishes in Chester and London. Joanna has since worked speaking, coaching and leading groups across the UK, USA, West Africa & Australia.
In 2006 she set up the first chaplaincy in the British Fashion Industry, based at London College of Fashion. Here she created The Empty Hanger, which works with young people to explore identity, belonging, sustainability and faith through the medium of art and design and scriptural texts. It has now become an interfaith workshop for schools and youth groups.
Before ordination Joanna worked with teenagers affected by drug and domestic abuse, and went on to spend a summer in Wales living with an order of nuns, which was about as successful as Maria Von Trapp’s attempt to live in a convent. She and her family now love to visit and regularly take retreats with the Community.
In 2012 Joanna was invited to take a sabbatical at Louisiana State Penitentiary, America’s toughest maximum security prison. She continues to support a number of the 74 inmates she originally worked with. In 2017 Joanna returned to the prison with her Commanding Officer to look at how lessons could be learned about social mentoring and transformational leadership, and transferred to a military context.
In 2015, Joanna’s first book was published by Bloomsbury. A Lot Like Eve; Fashion, Faith & Fig Leaves, charts her journey through faith, deconstruction and reconstruction. In summer 2021 A Lot Like Eve; the Coaching Sessions will be launched enabling Joanna to gather cohorts of women online to support one another in the journey of coming home to oneself. Do get in touch with Joanna if you’re interested in being part of one of these cohorts.
Joanna is based in Wells, with her husband and son, and, as a military chaplain, spent the first part of 2021 working with the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. She is a regular contributor on BBC Radio 2 and guest on Radio 4, BBC, ITV and Channel4, and has written for the national press including The Independent, The Times and The Sunday Telegraph.
She is a patron of Alabaré; a charity that seeks to end homelessness for military veterans, vulnerable adults and people with lifelong disabilities. Joanna is a Fellow of the British-American Project, which exists to strengthen and nurture the relationship between our two countries.