Co-Chairs

Reverend Dr. Woyin Karowei Dorgu

London Church Leaders – Faith: Christian

Reverend Dr Woyin Karowei Dorgu, the Bishop of Woolwich studied at the London Bible College for his BA, and studied for his ordination at Oak Hill Theological College from 1993 to 1995 and also holds an MA in missiology. He was Curate at St Mark’s Tollington in London Diocese from 1995 to 1998, before moving to be Curate at Upper Holloway in the same diocese until 2000. From 2000 to 2012 he was Team Vicar at Upper Holloway before becoming Vicar in 2012, from 2016 he was Prebendary at St Paul’s Cathedral before his appointment as Bishop in March 2017.

Dr. Deesha Chadha OBE

Hindu Forum of Britain – Faith: Hindu

Dr. Deesha Chadha is currently a lecturer at Imperial College, having gained her PhD in 2005 from the University of Surrey. She is an interfaith committee member with the Hindu Forum of Britain and is also on the national executive committee for faiths and beliefs in further education.

Vice-Chairs

Jasvir Singh OBE

City Sikhs Network – Faith: Sikh

Jasvir is a Director of the City Sikhs Network, a professional networking organisation for Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike. He is involved in community cohesion and integration projects throughout Britain and actively promotes political engagement within the British South Asian community. He is also a barrister specialising in Family Law and Landlord & Tenant Law.

Ervad Yazad Tehmuras Bhadha

Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe – Faith: Zoroastrian

Ervad Yazad Tehmuras Bhadha is the Resident Priest for the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (ZTFE), London and the Secretary for the 8th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress (8WZYC). He graduated in 2012 in the field of commerce from the Byramjee Jeejeebhoy College of Commerce (BJCC) and then completed my Masters in Commerce 2 years later from Mumbai University. He was appointed the position of Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe’s (ZTFE) Resident Priest in 2014 and came to the UK in November of that year.

 

Council Members

Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei, OBE

Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei OBE

Al-Khoei Foundation – Faith: Muslim

Sayed Yousif is the Director of Public Affairs at theAl-Khoei Foundation where he is engaged in Interfaith, community cohesion, capacity building and academic projects locally, nationally and at the UN. Sayed Yousif is a founding member of the Mosque and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) which was set up in 2006. He was a founding member of FAIR (Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism), is a founding member of the National Council for the Welfare of Muslim Prisoners, a member of the Prison Service Chaplaincy Council and is the Shia Muslim advisor to HM Prisons. In 2008, Sayed Yousif was awarded an OBE for services to community relations.

Dr. Riaz Sanatian

National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United Kingdom – Faith: Bahá’í

Dr. Riaz Sanatian is an active member of the Bahá’í Community and interested in initiatives that contribute to the betterment of our society. He comes from an engineering background with a PhD in computational Fluid Dynamics from Cranfield Institute of Technology. After working as a university research associate, he joined a start-up company, Computational Dynamics Ltd, to help develop industrial and commercial applications of computational fluid dynamics technology. He worked as the Chief Engineer and Director until his retirement in 2014. Over the years Dr. Sanatian has been involved with a number of multi faith forums, mainly as a local Bahá’í representative. He has diverse interests and over the years has been involved with various art projects, working and exhibiting in both the United Kingdom and Spain. His activities within the Bahá’í community include serving as a member of various Local Spiritual Assemblies, the local governing bodies of the Baha’i community, in different localities where he was living.

Malcolm Deboo

Malcolm Deboo

Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe – Faith: Zoroastrian

Malcolm M. Deboo is President of Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (ZTFE), established in 1861 to look after the interests of Zoroastrians in the UK. ZTFE is the oldest Asian religious voluntary organisation in the UK. The first three Asian MPs elected in the UK were all ZTFE members. At the ZTFE, Malcolm’s primary responsibilities are to coordinate interfaith activities and disseminate information on Zoroastrianism, especially to inter faith and educational establishments, local and national government agencies.

Prof. Fr. Michael Barnes SJ

London Church Leaders – Faith: Christian

Michael Barnes, S.J. is reader and senior tutor in Interreligious Relations at Heythrop College, London. A Jesuit since 1965, his area of expertise is Buddhism and Eastern religions. He is also the director of the De Nobili Dialogue Centre in London, which focuses on interfaith communication and understanding. Barnes has served as a consultant to the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue in Rome and to the ecumenical Churches Commission on Inter-faith Relations; he is a member of the Roman Catholic Committee for Other Faiths. From 1996 to 2001 he was general editor of The Way journals. He is the author of, among others, Interreligious Learning: Dialogue, Spirituality and the Christian Imagination (2012) and “Reading Other Religious Texts: Intratextuality and the Logic of Scripture” (2011).

Jon Dal Din

Jon Dal Din

London Church Leaders – Faith: Christian

Jon Dal Din has been Director for London Church Leaders since July 2008, he is a married permanent Deacon and before joining Westminster Interfaith he was a lecturer in Further Education.

Major Karl Gray

London Church Leaders – Faith: Christian

Major Karl Gray is a Salvation Army Minister and the pan-London emergency services co-ordinator and has been part of the church and charity’s emergency response at major incidents in recent years including the Grenfell Tower Fire, the Croydon tram crash and terrorist incidents. During his time he has attended more than 440 incidents, providing refreshments and a friendly face to firefighters on the ground.

Esther Offenberg

Board member of the World Union of Jewish Students – Faith: Jewish

Esther studied at the University of Birmingham where she developed her keen activism for youth issues and representation. This involvement spurred Esther on to take her voice further and become the President of the Union of Jewish Students, 2019-2020.

Esther is now a Board member of the World Union of Jewish Students as well as of the JW3 Young Advisory Board. She is one of the founding members of the Faiths United Youth Network, where she runs the Leadership & Democracy programs and Trustee for London Jewish Forum, focusing on interfaith and youth engagement.

Adrian Cohen

London Jewish Forum – Faith: Jewish

Adrian Cohen sits on the board of the Jewish Leadership Council, is Chair of the London Jewish Forum and lay Chair of Labour Friends of Israel. He is also on the advisory board of the LSE Faith Centre (multi-faith chaplaincy) and the conflict resolution charity Concordis International. He is a partner in the banking and finance practice of Clifford Chance LLP. His expertise includes law reform in emerging markets and has advised a number of Governments.

Laura Marks OBE

Mitzah Day International & Holocaust Memorial Day Trust – Faith: Jewish

Laura Marks OBE is an inter-faith social activist, policy adviser, writer and media commentator. Laura has founded and chaired a range of social organisations including Mitzvah Day International and the government-founded Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

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Don de Silva

Buddhist Chaplain and Mentor – Faith: Buddhist

Don de Silva is a Buddhist Chaplain and a University mentor. He worked as a Senior Official with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and several international environmental institutes. A journalist, environmentalist and media strategist, he has managed and implemented programmes on environment and advocacy in over 130 countries. In the UK, he has worked to facilitate business enterprise skills among disadvantaged communities and has also in the creation of a sustainable communities network, comprising faith-based initiatives. Also a mindfulness trainer and life coach, he now focuses on Environment, Buddhism, Climate Change and Justice issues.

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Rajnish Kashyap

Hindu Council UK – Faith: Hindu

Working in the Credit Management Profession for the last 35 years, in depth knowledge of Export and Freight. Director/Trustee Hindu Council UK. Secretary Council of Dharmic Faiths UK. General Secretary Arya Samaj Middlesex. Faiths forum for London. Speaker on Hinduism, Promoting Social Justice & welfare for Hindus in the UK, Providing a voice that represents voluntary and community-led organisations.

Ven Bogoda Seelawimala

Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala

London Buddhist Vihara – Faith: Buddhist

Venerable B. Seelawimala is the Head of the London Buddhist Vihara. He is also Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain. He did his monastic training in Sri Lanka and came to the UK in 1992 as a resident monk at the London Buddhist Vihara. This is the oldest Buddhist monastery in the UK. He is also an executive member of the InterFaith Network in the UK and a Buddhist Chaplain to various hospitals in London.

talat-sheikh

Talat Shaikh

Muslim Community & Education – Faith: Muslim

Talat Shaikh is the chairperson of Muslim Community & Education Centre (Palmers Green Mosque) and one of its founder trustee. With a background of IT and Management he has been working in the Charity sector since 1992 and is a Trustee (inc. past chair) of Enfield Racial Equality Council and also is part of the Executive board of Enfield Over 50 Forum.

Shaykh Muhammad Yazdani Raza

London Fatwa Council – Faith: Muslim

Shaykh Muhammad Yazdani Raza (Misbahi) is a Hanafi Jurist, who received primary education in the sciences of Islam, under the supervision of his father, the noble Shaykh Muhammad Ismail (Misbahi). Shaykh has also studied at the oldest and most widely recognised Jamia in the Muslim world, Jamiatul Azhar, in Cairo. Whilst in Egypt he also studied at the Alexandria University, in Alexandria. Shaykh has a BA (Hons) in Middle Eastern Studies from The University of Manchester, and studied MA Islamic Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London and later completed the PGDL/CPE in Law, from the Manchester Metropolitan University. Shaykh Muhammad Yazdani Raza has held the position of Imam at various mosques in the UK, including a branch of the Ghamgol Shareef Mosque in Manchester, Hounslow Mosque and the Mosque and Islamic centre of Brent, amongst others.

Shaykh has launched the London Fatwa Council, in Neasden, Brent. The Council offers legal advice and counselling, in accordance with Islamic law on personal issues such as marriage, divorce and wills to more transactional legal advice in relation to business contracts, mortgages and Islamic finance.

He has lectured both in the UK and abroad, including much of Europe, Syria, Egypt, Dubai, Bahrain, Malaysia, India, Sudan, Morocco, and various states in America and South America

Co-Opted Members

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson, Brent Councillor & Trustee of Willesden New Testament Church of GodFaith: Christian

Robert was born in Kingston Jamaica and came to this country as part of the Windrush generation in 1961. He has been an active Church member throughout his life after his conversion to Christianity after attending a Billy Graham crusade in 1967. Robert has attended a number of churches and arrived at Willesden New Testament Church of God (WNTCG) in December 2004 quickly settling into the role of a servant leader working in several departments, including being a Deacon on the Church and Pastors Council. Robert is integral in developing policies and strategies for WNTCG and have helped to bring his property management specialism to support the Church’s endeavours.

Robert is a qualified member for the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators specialising in Local Government. He is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Housing, specialising in Regeneration and Housing Management. He is also a member of the Institute of Management. Having worked for central and local government for over 39 years mainly in management/Director role. Throughout his life Robert has given of his time to both Church and Community. Robert has sat on a number of boards as a non-executive Director for a number of voluntary organisations as well as businesses. Robert list of Directorships include The Glasshouse Trust, The South Kilburn Trust, Catalyst Housing Association, Arhag Housing Association, Willesden Pentecostal Assembly and Advice for Renters – which supports renters in the Private sector. He contributes to local authorities strategies and governance lending his vast experience in public sector housing and planning.

the-ven-luke-miller-archdeacon-of-hampstead-320x320The Ven. Luke Miller

Co-OptedFaith: Christian

The Ven. Luke Miller has been Archdeacon of London since January 2016, and was previously Archdeacon of Hampstead. Between school and university he came to London for a year as Pastoral Assistant at St James Sussex Gardens in Paddington before training for the priesthood at St Stephen’s House Oxford where he completed a degree in Theology.He was ordained in 1991 and served as curate of St Matthew’s Oxhey in the Diocese of St Albans. In 1994 he was appointed curate of St Mary’s Tottenham, and became vicar of that parish in 1995. The parish is one of two straddled by the Tottenham Hale development and he was involved at the very beginning of the project to establish church work on the site there, as well as planting a church nearby in Tottenham. From 2005-2011 he served for two periods on Diocesan Synod and was Area Dean of East Haringey. Fr Luke became Archdeacon of London in January 2016. He is currently a member of the General Synod and Chair of the London Diocesan Board for Schools. He chairs the Faith Sector Panel of the London Resilience Forum and is responsible for helping Faith Communities across London be ready to respond in major incidents.

Steve Miller

Co-Opted, London Borough Faith Network & Faith Based Regeneration Network – Faith: Jewish

Steve Miller is a social entrepreneur, community activist and independent consultant. Originally an adventure playground worker, Steve has over 35 years experience in the voluntary sector. Steve was on the original steering group of Faith-based Regeneration Network and has been a consultant to a number of faith projects and organisations including the London Borough Faith Network. Steve is a Fellow of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths College, London. Steve has been responsible for forming or co-creating various third sector organisations including Tzedek, Jubilee Debt Campaign, Restore Community Projects and North London Action for the Homeless. Steve is a facilitator assisting many groups with organisational dynamics, strategic planning, creativity and leadership development.

Veronica Simpson

Co-opted, Back in Control Consultancy – Faith: Christian

Veronica Simpson is one of London’s leading specialists in Safeguarding and Domestic Violence training. Veronica has over a decade of experience, working with faith communities, local authorities, and voluntary organisations to build their confidence. She is a qualified Nuco Safeguarding Trainer & Educator and holds IRIS (Identification and Referral to Improve Safety) and IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advocate Educator) Qualifications (Accredited by SAFELIVES). She is Director of Back in Control Consultancy (BiCC) which provides advocacy, practical and emotional support to those that are or have been affected by domestic violence or abuse, supporting victims and survivors from faith backgrounds. She was awarded a Women Appreciating Women Award and has also been nominated as one of 100 Inspirational Women.