Thinking Anglicans

CofE Director of Communications appointed

Church of England press release

Director of Communications appointed
23 October 2017

The Church of England is pleased to announce the appointment of Tashi Lassalle as Director of Communications.

Bringing extensive experience of leading communications and marketing teams in the financial and professional services sectors, both in the UK and overseas, Tashi will oversee the work of the Church of England’s communications department, working across traditional media, digital platforms and publishing.

Based at Church House, Westminster, the department serves the Archbishops’ Council, the Church Commissioners and the Church of England Pensions Board as well as working closely with Lambeth and Bishopthorpe Palaces, bishops’ offices, dioceses and cathedrals.

Tashi, 39, has held a series of senior posts in the brand and marketing fields, most recently as Head of Communications and Marketing for Lloyd’s of London and previously as Head of Communications at Actis, the private equity firm. She has lived and worked in the US and Denmark as well as London.

She came to faith as a student at Cambridge. She worships at St Mary’s, Long Ditton in Surrey.

She said: “The Church of England makes a unique contribution to the spiritual, cultural and social fabric of this country.

“It has a bright and vibrant future.

“It’s a great privilege to take up this position.

“I look forward to serving and enabling the life changing vocation of the Church’s diverse ministry and mission.”

William Nye, Secretary General to the General Synod, said: “We are very glad to welcome Tashi Lassalle to the post of Communications Director for the Church of England’s national institutions.

“She combines a personal commitment to the mission of the Church with wide professional experience in a range of sectors.

“She will help us build on the existing strengths of our communications effort across multiple channels, recently recognised in awards for our digital evangelism campaigns.”

The Bishop of Norwich, Graham James, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Tashi to her new appointment.

“Her experience and imagination will be a huge asset to the Church of England in its task of proclaiming the gospel in an age of social media.

“She knows the scale of the challenge and I wish her well in all that lies ahead.”

Notes to Editors

Tashi will take up the post in early November 2017.
A photograph is available here.

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JeremyStephen ParsonsBernardDavid RuncornIain mclean Recent comment authors
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Jonathan LLoyd
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Jonathan LLoyd

This is an excellent appointment. Tashi Lassalle was an active parishoner of St Alban’s Copenhagen in the Diocese in Europe when I served as Chaplain there.
Tashi will bring passion for communicating the Gospel in dynamic ways and vibrant leadership to this vital role.

Father David
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Father David

Congratulations to Tashi Lassalle on her vital new appointment.
If it is correct that Lord Carlile’s Report on Bishop Bell has already been received at Lambeth what is the reason for the delay in publishing the same? Has the Archbishop been waiting for the new Director of Communications to be appointed in order to handle the fallout?

rjb
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rjb

I suppose spin-doctors are a regrettable necessity of the present age even in the church. I am reminded of Thomas Aquinas’ famous acknowledgement that brothels are a necessary conduit for human sin: like sewers beneath a palace, they may be unsavoury, but they at least channel the filth of human nature. I mean no slight no the no-doubt excellent Tashi Lasselle when I say that Creation groans for the day when there will be no more Directors of Communications.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Good question, Father David.

Given the delay, I think we can expect the Carlile report to be released on a Friday afternoon dominated by other news.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

Classy: comparing a professional with a good CV employed by the Church of England to a brothel and to a sewer.

John Barton
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John Barton

Watch your language rjb! People who use the term ‘spin-doctor’ are usually cynics who (1) fail to recognise modern media as God-given means of communication and (2) assume all communicators are corrupt. Honi soit qui mal y pense.

Robert Ellis
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Robert Ellis

That is certainly below the belt rjb. As one of the longest ever serving DCOs I have never known any colleague who could be described as a “spin doctor”. Just honest, media savvy people, trying to do a good job attempting to portray the Church in the media and giving it the high profile it deserves….warts and all! That really is a cheap jibe I’m afraid. Apologies on a postcard please to….!

Susannah Clark
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In the interests of balance, and taking Tashi out of the equation, I’m with rjb on this one, up to a point. I share rjb’s scepticism about the fad for the ‘presentational’ and the communications/PR industry. Part of my scepticism lies in the way corporations and politicians use communications experts to filter and control information in the interests of the bosses who pay them. I accept that projecting the Church positively is a challenge, and communicating much of the good work that goes unseen in parishes is something worth doing. At the same time, there is a clear desire at… Read more »

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Without addressing the more vigorous metaphors that rjb used, in my opinion clumsy spin doctoring has been all too common in CofE communications over the past decade. I hope this new appointment will result in less doubletalk and greater credibility.

Linda Woodhead
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Linda Woodhead

Having had my research – and character – attacked and distorted by CofE comms under its previous head I jib at the idea this is just clumsiness. Clear matters of fact and history were denied in order to preserve ‘face’. In one instance even the combined objection of members of the Ecclesiastical History Society was not enough to call forth an apology or retraction of error. It’s bad enough that much of our news is now generated by PR organisations; worse surely that a church should invest so much in an outfit that has shown little regard for truthfulness. I… Read more »

Bernard Silverman
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Bernard Silverman

To Linda’s post I would add two things. 1. Last year I was asked to write a preface to the annual statistics publication. Bev Botting, who I greatly admire, said that what was needed was something to reassure people that statistics are important and to thank them all for all the work they do filling in returns, etc. The piece was carefully written not to be in any way political or biased. I will try to find a way of posting it on here, if it isn’t too long, so readers may judge for themselves. At the very last minute,… Read more »

Laurence Cunnington
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Laurence Cunnington

Anyone who, in the light of last week’s catastrophic ‘Statistics for Mission’, is able to state with a straight face that the Church of England “has a bright and vibrant future” can hardly be described as anything *but* a spin-doctor!

Bernard Silverman
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Bernard Silverman

Here’s the preface that wasn’t published. The Book of Numbers shows that statisticians have been at work for a lot longer than most people realise, but the real explosion in statistics happened in the 19th century, starting with the census of 1801. There was great anxiety around being considered as “just a statistic” and probably people still feel that anxiety today. However, counting millions in a census does not threaten the individuality of those millions at all; the psalmist already saw through this fallacy: “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.” (Psalm… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

I think alarm bells should ring when it comes to Prefaces! Remember 1988 and the anonymous Crockford’s Preface that was actually published? This was highly critical of the leadership of Archbishop Robert Runcie and resulted in the sad demise of Gareth Bennett once he was uncovered as being the author of the same!
Prefaces which attempt to make “a plus out of a minus” are best avoided and should “remain rooted in reality” and grounded in fact rather than camouflaged with “spin”.

Iain mclean
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Iain mclean

I had the same experience as Linda and Bernard. We are all, or have been, senior academics.

David Runcorn
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All that stuff in the gospels about mustard seeds and ‘with God nothing shall be impossible’, and faith that moves mountains – could sound suspiciously like spin couldn’t it? And how often God works there through the least and the smallest. This is where we started. There a difference between faith that hopes and believes in a future even in the most challenging circumstances – and groundless optimism. Don’t we want people in these national roles who have faith and hope in what God can still do in world and church? And, yes of course, who are grounded in the… Read more »

Bernard
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Bernard

Father David—had my preface been published it would not have been anonymous, I can assure you!

Stephen Parsons
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Stephen Parsons

Linda. I also have a source that suggested that the senior clergy and safeguarding officers etc are extensively involved in, to quote, ‘a firefighting exercise’ in dealing with abuse allegations. I have been puzzled at an apparent lack of compassion for victims by these same authorities. Also seemingly absent have been offers of pastoral and psychological help. Perhaps the numbers of survivors currently coming out of the woodwork has made the powers that be feel overwhelmed. Time will tell.The Smyth scandal has by no means gone away as Andrew Brown makes clear in today’s Church Times.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Early November?

Does this timing mean that the Carlile report will be released on the afternoon of Friday 10 November, the day before Remembrance Day?