Vicar of Baghdad to serve as patron of Barnabas Fund

Canon Andrew White is one of two new trustees of Barnabas Fund.Reuters

Two high-profile appointments have been made at the Barnabas Fund, whose founder Patrick Sookhdeo resigned last month after he was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault.

Canon Andrew White, the 'Vicar of Baghdad' whose ministry at St George's Church has been widely admired, has agreed to serve as a patron of the charity.

Baroness Cox, a human rights campaigner who founded the Humanitarian Aid and Relief Trust, has also agreed to serve.

White said: "We are in the midst of unmentionable terror, suffering and persecution of Christians around the world. Barnabas Fund has always stood with those most in need. It is an honour to be asked to serve as their patron."

The charity also announced the appointment of former patron the Marquess of Reading to chair Barnabas Fund's UK board, and confirmed two senior staff appointments. Hendrik Storm, whose background is in retail, banking and finance, will serve as chief executive officer and Alan Lee will serve as chief operating officer.

Storm said: "In the past year, Barnabas Fund has served the persecuted church in over 65 countries giving vital aid to Christians in places where they are under great pressure. We support those who are most vulnerable including women, families and young people and provide food and basic needs for tens of thousands of Christian families around the world."

Sookhdeo's resignation from Barnabas Fund and Barnabas Aid International, of which he was international director, followed an investigation by Christian Today which exposed a number of serious complaints about his management style and a damaging row with trustees.

He was found guilty in February of sexual assault and of two counts of intimidating witnesses. An employment tribunal in connection with Barnabas Fund's handling of the assault is pending which could see the victim awarded large sums in compensation.

However, Christian Today also revealed that Sookhdeo still retained offices at the Barnabas headquarters in Pewsey, Wiltshire and continues to work there. The buildings are owned by a separate charity, Servants Fellowship International, of which Sookhdeo is a trustee.

Barnabas Fund and Barnabas Aid International did not respond to questions about whether Sookhdeo still had access to the Barnabas charities' staff and support services or to the extensive library on the site.