News from our Chair

Carolyn Merry, our CEO, will be leaving The Feast at the start of November to take up the post of Director of Place for Hope, a charity that accompanies people and faith communities so that all might reach their potential to be peacemakers.

Over the past 3 years, Carolyn has led on the development and delivery of our strategy, “In Faith, We Dare to Imagine” in which The Feast brings a model of hope to counter global trends towards fear and division and aims to reach more young people than ever before through our programmes and training. Over her time as CEO, Carolyn has overseen a time of great change within the organisation and has worked hard with the team to bring the ‘Game Changers’ Programme and Transforming Dialogue Training Hub to life, with the vision to raise up a generation that can live well with difference and model faith as a positive force for hope in building a better world.

The Board will use this coming period to review the role of CEO in terms of how it can best reflect The Feast’s strategy, commitment to diversity, and needs of the post-COVID context. An Interim Management Team will act as transitional support following Carolyn’s departure in November.

We are very sad that Carolyn is leaving us but delighted for her as she takes up this key role with Place for Hope. Carolyn has brought so much to The Feast, not only in her professional capabilities but also her vast global experience, personal faith and lifelong commitment to peacebuilding. She leaves The Feast in a strong position able to respond to the challenge of COVID-19 and ready to go one equipping young people to make a strong contribution to building cohesive societies.

The Feast will greatly miss Carolyn and wish her nothing but the best in this next phase of her calling to peacemaking and reconciliation

~ Canon Dr Andrew Smith

A message from Carolyn

Leaving The Feast to take up the role at Place for Hope is definitely bitter/sweet for me, as I have absolutely loved leading The Feast over the past 3 years, and certainly did not expect that anything would take me from it at this stage. However, as for many people, these past months of lockdown and the increasing divisions locally and globally that have been highlighted and deepened by the pandemic has caused me much reflection and I have felt the strong leading of God to focus on the work of conflict transformation and reconciliation that has been the core of so much of my past work around the world.

I cannot begin to express all that The Feast means to me. I have loved working with our unique charity, dedicated to supporting young people of different faiths and cultures to step out in faith, overcome stereotypes and fears of difference, build genuine friendships across divides and together be peacemakers in the world.

The fact that I got to lead The Feast over the past 3 years alongside such an amazing team of staff and volunteers, has been an extraordinary privilege. I give thanks to God and to The Feast team for all we have achieved together, and look forward to seeing what God has in store for The Feast in the future. The world has never needed The Feast more!

Thank you also to you – our supporters, partners and friends of The Feast. I have been so grateful for your support, encouragement and the opportunity to work with you over the past 3 years towards The Feast’s vision of a more peaceful, loving and inclusive world. You have been a blessing to me and to The Feast. Please accept my heartfelt thanks and my ongoing prayers for you and your loved ones in these challenging times and beyond.”

Peace and Blessings to you all,

Carolyn Merry