Robert Harrap is the director of the socially engaged Buddhist movement Soka Gakkai International in the UK. A lay Buddhist organisation rooted in the Mahayana Nichiren tradition, SGI-UK is a movement of over 650 active local groups around the United Kingdom.
Previously a barrister working in social issues and human rights, Robert now travels around the UK speaking on the relevance that Buddhist philosophy has today in helping to resolve the key issues humanity currently faces.
Latifa Akay is Director of Education at Maslaha, a charity that works to tackle social inequalities in Muslim and other marginalised communities. She is also a board member at the Inclusive Mosque Initiative.
Juanita Francis, Gospel singer and CEO and founder of Mechowlah Dance Company. Ministering on platforms such as Dancing with Authority hosted by The Chenaniah Praise Dancers, Juanita later transitioned from dancing to speaking and is Youth Minister at Ruach City Church in London.
Sarah Rowland Jones
Sarah was a British Diplomat before ordination in the Church in Wales in 1999, and curacy in Wrexham. She subsequently worked as Research Advisor to Archbishops of Cape Town. Returning to Wales in 2013, since May 2018 she has been Dean of St David's Cathedral in Pembrokeshire, where she pursues interests in spirituality and public theology.
Ann is a national and international adviser on autism, and main author of autism guidelines for the Church of England. These are hosted by the Diocese of Oxford.
Ann is a Director of AT-Autism, an international company offering conferences, training and professional services from many of the best known names in this field. In addition, Ann is a Trustee of Autistic Pride Reading, a charity in Berkshire whose aim is to enable autistic people and their families to thrive. Ann is also a well known autistic Blogger, a popular figure on Twitter, and is undertaking further Post Graduate studies in autism.
She lives with family, dog and cat in Berkshire, and in her spare time enjoys gardening, photography, art and cartography.
Sister Gemma Simmonds
Gemma Simmonds is a sister of the Congregation of Jesus, founded by Mary Ward (1585-1609). She is a senior lecturer in pastoral theology based at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology in Cambridge where she is director of the Religious Life Institute. An international speaker and lecturer working in the fields of Christian spirituality and ecclesiology, she has been a missionary in Brazil and a chaplain in the Universities of Cambridge and London as well as a chaplaincy volunteer in Holloway Prison. Her most recent book, The Way of Ignatius, was published by SPCK for Lent 2019 and is being serialised as the Lenten retreat on Pray As You Go https://pray-as-you-go.org
Canon Jenny Wigley
Canon Jenny Wigley is an Anglican priest in Cardiff, and Canon Emeritus of Llandaff Cathedral. A former teacher, she has worked in parishes, university chaplaincy and theological education, all within the Church in Wales.
Rev Canon Dr Rachel Mann
Canon Rachel Mann is an Anglican parish priest, poet and scholar. Author of five books, she is formerly Poet-in-Residence at Manchester Cathedral and is currently a Visiting Fellow in English and Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Alison Murdoch is a writer and social entrepreneur who has been a student of Tibetan Buddhism since 1987. She was previously the Director of Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London and founding-director of international educational charity the Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom. Alison is the co-author of the 16 Guidelines for a Happy Life book and programme, and the author of the memoir Bed 12. Her radio work includes: Good Morning Sunday, The Moral Maze, the Chris Evans Show, Beyond Belief, Pause for Thought and the Jeremy Vine Show.
Rabbi Alex Chapper
Rabbi Alex Chapper has 20 years' experience in the rabbinate, and prior to becoming Community Rabbi at Borehamwood Shul was the rabbi of Ilford Federation Synagogue, Reading Hebrew Congregation and Hammersmith Synagogue.
Mary Stallard counts it as a privilege that she was amongst the first group of women to be ordained priest in the Church in Wales. Her interests include mental, spiritual, emotional and physical health and well-being. A teacher before ordination, she is enthusiastic about faith-development and education. Mary is married to Andrew Sully who is Ministry Area Leader in Llandudno, and they have two daughters Jo and Carys. Mary is Archdeacon of Bangor.
Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell
Stephen Cottrell is the Bishop of Chelmsford, serving Essex and East London. He is a member of the House of Lords and is on the Select Committee for Communication. He is a well-known writer and speaker on evangelism, spirituality and catechesis. He is married to Rebecca who is a potter, and they have three boys. His most recent books are The Sleepy Shepherd a re-telling of the Christmas story for children; and Striking Out, Poems and Stories from the Camino
Bishop Jo Bailey Wells
The Rt Revd Dr Jo Bailey Wells is the Bishop of Dorking. This takes her around 163 parishes and 85 schools across most of Surrey and some of Hampshire. She has worked in varied contexts from North Carolina to South Sudan – usually teaching and mentoring young people for leadership. As chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, she helped found the Community of St Anselm, a ‘monastic’ year of study, service and prayer at Lambeth Palace for young people aged 20-35.
The Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons
The Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin was born and grew up in Montego Bay. She was ordained deacon in 1991 and ordained to the priesthood in 1994. For sixteen and a half years she served as a priest in Hackney, North East London. In 2007 she was appointed as a Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen and in 2010, she became the first female appointed to the position of the 79th Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons
Canon Steve Williams
Canon Steve Williams has been a Church of England parish priest in a vibrantly multi-faith part of Prestwich in Greater Manchester for 18 years. He is Bishop’s Adviser for Interfaith Issues in the Diocese, and co-chair of the local branch of the Council of Christians and Jews. He invites people from different backgrounds to meet and talk with one another
Revd Dr Karen Smith
Rev Dr Karen Smith is a Baptist minister who for more than twenty-five years lectured in Church History and Christian Spirituality at Cardiff University and the South Wales Baptist College. She now spends her time writing, travelling and lecturing internationally.
Guvna B is an award winning rap and grime artist, who speaks openly about his Christian faith. He wants to inspire young people to fulfil their potential and promotes positivity through his music.
Shaunaka Rishi Das
Shaunaka Rishi Das, the Director of The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.
Mark Dowd was born in Manchester and is a former Dominican friar who worked on Newsnight and Panorama as a producer before turning presenter of programmes on religion and faith. In that capacity he has won a number of awards for works on TV and radio such as the series, "Children of Abraham" and "Tsunami: Where Was God?"
Richard Reddie is a writer, researcher and religious and cultural commentator.
He is the author of several books, including: 'Abolition! The struggle to abolish slavery in the British colonies' (Lion 2007) and 'Black Muslims in Britain' (Lion 2009), which was turned into the BBC radio documentary 'Young Muslim and Black'. In 2011 he wrote 'Martin Luther King Jr: history maker' (Lion 2011). He has also written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Times, BBC Online, Christianity, Keep the Faith, Third Way, the Weekly Gleaner, The Church Times and the Voice.
Anna Magnusson is a writer, radio producer and award-winning broadcaster. She worked in BBC Scotland for nearly twenty years, and made radio programmes in Canada, Iceland, Israel, America and Australia. She’s the author of four books of non-fiction and lives in Glasgow.
Miriam Swaffield is the Global Student Mission Leader for Fusion Movement. She helps local churches engage with university students and helps students connect with faith. She has a Masters in theology, lives in Middlesbrough and speaks internationally.
Dr Ed Kessler, Founder Director of the Woolf Institute
Dr Edward Kessler, MBE is Founder Director of the Woolf Institute and a leading thinker in interfaith relations, primarily, Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations. Kessler regularly appears in the media commenting on interfaith affairs and was Vice-Chair of the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life, chaired by Baroness Butler-Sloss, which published its report, ‘Living with Difference’ last December. He is undertaking a two-year research project “Uncovering Fundamentalism(s)” investigating how and why fundamentalist beliefs and practices function as they do.
Much of his academic work focusses on the encounter between the Abrahamic faiths and he has written or edited 11 books and dozens of articles.
In 1998, he founded the Woolf Institute, which delivers research, teaching and public education programmes in relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims (www.woolf.cam.ac.uk). He established an academic partnership with the Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue, which has resulted in a number of joint educational programmes in Qatar and the UK, in 2011.
Zahid Hussain writes novels, screenplays, poetry, and non-fiction too. He is a former regional poetry performance champion with a deep love for spoken word. “I tell stories about the thriving South Asian communities in the UK. My debut novel, The Curry Mile, was set in Manchester…I think it portrays the life of S Asians in a different way to most.” Zahid believes we need more diverse books because too few stories echo with the young people he meets. “I was drawn to literature through visionary books: The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, Dune by Frank Herbert, and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. These books were my doors. I’d like to open doors for others".
Bishop Richard Chartres
Richard Chartres became Bishop of Stepney in 1992 and moved to London in 1995. He retired from the Diocese in 2017 and was appointed a Life Peer and takes an active part in the business of the House of Lords. He has been asked to remain Dean of HM Chapels Royal.
Rania Hafez is Senior Lecturer in Education & Community Studies at the University of Greenwich and Fellow of the Muslim Institute. Rania has researched and published on professionalism, cultural identity, and Islam and education. Her current research is on the intersectionality of British Muslim Identity. In 2008 Rania founded ‘Muslim Women in Education’ a professional network for educationalists and researchers. In addition to her academic work Rania is a regular political and cultural commentator whose media credits include the BBC, Levant TV, and the Islam Channel.
Latest publication ‘Faith in the Academy’ in Hudson, C. & Williams, J. (eds) (forthcoming) Why Academic Freedom Matters, Civitas
Catherine Butcher is a writer and editor, currently heading communications for HOPE, the UK missions charity supporting churches to make Jesus known with words and actions. Her most recent book is 40 Stories of HOPE, which was the 2018 Lent book for Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. She co-authored The Servant Queen and the King She Serves with Mark Greene – The Queen wrote the foreword. She is a Reader in Chichester Diocese.
Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu
Dr John Sentamu practised Law both at the Bar and at the Bench in Uganda before he came to the UK in 1974. He was ordained priest in 1979, he was appointed Bishop for Stepney in 1996, Bishop for Birmingham in 2002 and Archbishop of York in 2005. He is Primate of England and Metropolitan, a member of the House of Lords and a Privy Councillor.
Sarah Teather is Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service UK - part of an international Catholic organisation whose mission is to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of refugees and those who are forcibly displaced. Sarah has worked for JRS since 2015, initially as part of the organisation’s international advocacy team, working with JRS teams in the Middle East and East Africa. Sarah previously served for 12 years as a Member of Parliament in Brent, North London, including two and a half years Minister of State for Children and Families.
Bishop Joe Aldred
Dr Joe Aldred is responsible for Pentecostal and Multicultural Relations at Churches Together in England and is a bishop in the Church of God of Prophecy. Joe is Honorary Research Fellow at Roehampton University, Trustee of Movement for Justice and Reconciliation, and of NCLF – A Black Christian Voice; Co-President of Housing Justice, Reference Group member of Prison Hope, and Patron of the Nurses Association of Jamaica. He is a broadcaster including on BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 4’s Prayer for the Day and the Daily Service. Joe has experience as bishop and pastor, chair and member of strategic councils, boards and committees mainly in the areas of religion, education, health and community relations. He has a PhD in Theology from Sheffield University, is author and editor of several books including Respect: Understanding Caribbean British Christianity, The Black Church in the 21st Century, Thinking outside the box – on race, faith and life (Hansib 2013), and From Top Mountain – An Autobiography (Hansib 2015), and is a regular contributor to periodicals including the College of Preachers’ The Preacher.
Picture credit: Andrew Fox
Richard has been a Baptist minister for the past 30 years, serving at churches in Hertfordshire, Surrey and Middlesex before moving to Newbury in West Berkshire. He has always had an interest in innovative communication, and writes books which aid discipleship and Christian living for adults and children as well as running a busy blog.
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg
Jonathan Wittenberg was born in Glasgow to a German Jewish refugee family. After reading English at Cambridge and teacher training at Goldsmiths, he studied for the rabbinate at Leo Baeck College, London, and in Israel, following family tradition. He was appointed Rabbi of the New North London Masorti Synagogue in 1987 and Senior Rabbi of the Assembly of Masorti Synagogues UK in 2008. He is a President of the Council of Christians and Jews and a member of the Council of Imams and Rabbis. He is a co-founder of Eco-Synagogue and deeply engaged in environmental issues. He is closely involved in supporting refugees. Further interests include pastoral work, hospice care, and literature, especially poetry. He teaches and speaks widely, including on Radio 4’s Prayer for the Day. His publications include The Eternal Journey: Meditations on the Jewish Year (2001); The Silence of Dark Water: An Inner Journey (2008); Walking with the Light (2013); My Dear Ones: One family and The Final Solution (2016) and most recently Things my dog has taught me – about being a better human.
Rev Dr Bert Tosh
Rev Dr Bert Tosh is an Irish Presbyterian minister who served in congregations in Belfast, Donegal and Londonderry before joining the BBC in Northern Ireland as a Religious Broadcasting Producer in 1984. He retired three years ago but continues to do some freelance production and broadcasting
Anna Drew is the Director of Communications in the Diocese of Canterbury. Prior to that she worked as Lead Media Officer for the Methodist Church in Britain until 2015, specialising in crisis management and safeguarding. She studied Theology and Christian Spirituality with the University of London and more recently gained a diploma in PR. She writes and broadcasts on faith issues and is a trustee of the Sandford St Martin Trust, which awards excellence in religious broadcasting.
His Grace Bishop Angaelos
His Grace Bishop Angaelos, is General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, and is widely recognised for his extensive advocacy work.
Sarah Joseph is Editor & CEO of emel media.. A powerful and popular public speaker, she has lectured on Islam globally for over 20 years. arah was awarded an OBE by the Queen in 2004 for her services to interfaith dialogue and the promotion of women’s rights. She is listed as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by Georgetown University and the Royal Jordanian Strategic Studies Centre.
Sarah’s Facebook page, which has a large global following, declares her passion “to get people to recognise their shared humanity, and our common responsibility to this Earth.”
Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra
Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra serves as a scholar and imam in Leicester. He is a member of the World faiths Advisory Group at the University of Leicester and is the Muslim chaplain to Canary Wharf in London.
The Rev Tim Hughes
Tim Hughes is the Priest-in-charge of a new church in the centre of Birmingham, called St. Luke’s, Gas Street. A songwriter and musician, Tim has written many songs that are sung around the world in churches today. He has recorded a number of albums, the latest being ‘Pocketful of Faith.’ He is also the pioneer of Worship Central, a movement to train and equip musicians and songwriters through courses and events. The Worship Central Course is currently run in 110 different nations.
Bishop Libby Lane
The Rt Revd Libby Lane became the Church of England’s first woman bishop in January 2015. She serves as the Bishop of Stockport in the Diocese of Chester. In the Diocese of Chester Bishop Libby currently serves as Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education, and as Chair of the Foxhill Retreat Centre. Bishop Libby is Vice-Chair of The Children’s Society and the Chair of Cranmer Hall Committee of St John’s College Durham, as well as serving the national Church on various committees.
"I was born in Burry Port, Carmarthenshire and educated in the Copperworks Infants School, the Burry Port County Primary School and the Llanelli Grammar School for Boys. Then I gained my BA (Wales), MA (Cambridge) and PhD (London). I was ordained to the Methodist ministry in Haiti in January 1973. I have served in the following circuits: Cambridge, Petit Goave, Port-au-Prince, Reading, Cap Haitien, Wanstead and Woodford, The West London Mission, Finchley and Hendon, Wesley’s Chapel. I was President of the Methodist Conference in 1994-1995. I am President of the UK Boys’ Brigade and Chairman of the Trustees of the Central Foundation Schools of London. I received a Life Peerage (Lord Griffiths of Pembrey and Burry Port) in 2004."
Marie-Elsa Bragg is
half French, half Cumbrian and was brought up in London. She is a Priest
in the diocese of London, an Ignatian spiritual director, a therapist and a
Duty Chaplain of Westminster Abbey. She is also an author and her debut
novel is called 'Towards Mellbreak.'
Chine McDonald is head of Christian influence & engagement at World Vision UK – an international children’s charity and NGO. Prior to taking up her role at World Vision, she was director of communications at the Evangelical Alliance. She is the author of ‘Am I Beautiful?’ – a book exploring body image and faith among Christian women. Chine studied theology at Cambridge University before becoming a newspaper reporter. She’s a trustee of the Church & Media Network and the Sophia Network, which equips women in leadership across the Church.
N. T. (‘Tom’) Wright is Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews. He taught New Testament studies in Oxford, Cambridge and McGill Universities before becoming in turn Dean of Lichfield, Canon of Westminster and Bishop of Durham, returning to academic life at St Andrews in 2010. Prof Wright is the author of over 80 books and hundreds of articles, has broadcast regularly on radio and TV, and has lectured around the world including honorary professorships at the Harvard Divinity School, the Gregorian University in Rome, and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He holds honorary doctorates from twelve universities and was awarded the British Academy’s Burkitt Medal for Biblical Studies in 2015.
The Rev'd Andrew Martlew
Fr Andrew was born in the middle of the last century and North Nottinghamshire. After a short career as a research chemist he trained for the Priesthood and was ordained in Blackburn in 1977. He served as Vicar of Melaka, Malaysia and then of Golcar, Huddersfield. He was the Schools Officer for Wakefield Diocese and Director of Education for York Diocese.
He became a Territorial Army Chaplain in 1987 and, after a six month operational tour of duty in Bosnia, he became a full time Chaplain in 2002. He served three operational tours in Iraq before retiring in 2010.
He is now the Vicar of Womersley in Leeds Diocese and an Honorary Chaplain of York Minster.
The Venerable Karen Lund
Karen Lund is Archdeacon of Manchester and has lived in Greater Manchester since 2014.
She began life with her siblings in West London.
She is one of the first cohort of women in the Church of England to be ordained, following the decision at Synod in 1994
Karen has served as a parish priest in three other dioceses, in London, Rochester and Chelmsford Dioceses and worked as a prison chaplain in her early ministry.
Her interests include walking, felting, and her dogs. She has been a vegan for over 30 years.
Jasvir Singh OBE is Co-Chair of the Faiths Forum for London, one of the leading interfaith organisations in the UK, and the Chair of City Sikhs, a national representative body for British Sikhs. He is an Associate of St Paul's Institute, a think tank linked to St Paul's Cathedral. He is also a practising family law barrister with over 12 years of experience.
Dr Eve Poole who chairs the Church Commissioners' Bishoprics and Cathedrals Committee
Dr Eve Poole is the Third Church Estates Commissioner for England, and Chairman of the Board of Governors at Gordonstoun. She has a BA from Durham, an MBA from Edinburgh, and a PhD in theology and capitalism from Cambridge. Her recent books are Leadersmithing, Capitalism’s Toxic Assumptions and Buying God