Deborah M. Jones - Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK
Deborah Jones has been working (part time) as General Secretary of Catholic Concern for Animals since 1999. She combines that with freelance journalism and has just completed a doctorate, the title of the thesis being ‘Can there be a Roman Catholic theology of animals?’
She grew up in the country, surrounded by animals, and maintains a great interest in preserving the natural environment. Her concern for animals began many years ago, when, as a child, she saw hens in a friend’s farmyard being rounded up to be imprisoned in batteries. After university and some years in teaching, Deborah spent time with a Franciscan Order studying theology in Rome.
Back in England, she took up the post in 1980 of Director of Adult Religious Education for the Diocese of East Anglia, the first for a lay person in the UK. She combined that work with lecturing, editing and writing, also helping to launch a Catholic theology college for women in Cambridge. After sixteen years she was invited to become Editor of the national weekly newspaper, the Catholic Herald.
Later she moved, with her mother, to Oxfordshire where she worked both for Catholic Concern for Animals and, until October 2004, as deputy for a Dominican priest editor of a journal of pastoral theology. Now in Cheltenham, she continues her work for animals and indulges at times in her interests of painting, reading and making music.