Jo Swinney


Head of Communications, A Rocha International

Jo Swinney joins A Rocha International with communications experience ranging from being Director of Communications for CPO (Christian Publishing and Outreach), editor of Preach Magazine and the author of six books. Jo has a BA from Birmingham University in English Literature and African Studies and an MA from Regent College, Vancouver in Theology. She lives in Bath, where her husband Shawn is a vicar, and they have two daughters, Alexa (13) and Charis (10).

Jo is the eldest daughter of Peter and Miranda Harris, A Rocha’s founders, and she was raised in Portugal in the first A Rocha centre. She is delighted to be rejoining the A Rocha family.

Why A Rocha?

So many reasons! I love A Rocha’s message of hope in the face of bleak statistics and sensationalist headlines. I love that so many places have been physically transformed by the outworking of this hope – faithful, ongoing and practical care of creation in God’s name and for his glory. I love that A Rocha doesn’t pit planet against people but works for the benefit of all, and I love the emphasis on community.

Having grown up in A Rocha Portugal, this role feels a bit like coming home, although with the loss of my mum it is a different home. And I haven’t been able to follow all that’s happened in the organization over the last two decades, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

What will your role involve?

Anything that has to do with communication, from A Rocha International’s social media, e-news and annual reports, to press releases and articles for media outlets. I’ll be working to raise our profile, increase our internal communication and craft our message to get it heard by the people we want to engage. I’m looking forward to supporting the wonderful, hardworking A Rocha International Comms team, and when required I’ll be very happy to advise and assist the communications of other ARO teams.

What else should we know about you?

I laugh and cry a lot, I say the things other people only think, I ask a lot of questions and I love cooking for people (and eating!). I have lived in five countries – England, Portugal, Zimbabwe, France and Canada – and my husband is American. I read a lot, mostly before falling asleep, and I really hate washing up. We have two cats. They have bells on their collars and have only ever killed one bird between them.

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