The Team

Warwick Hawkins and Jenny Kartupelis, the Directors of Faith in Society, are highly experienced in the faith and social sector and have a diverse range of skills. Their work has been officially recognised, both of them having been honoured with MBEs for their contributions to inter faith understanding.

Between them they have some 35 years of experience in working with faith communities and spiritual issues: designing and running interfaith dialogue and social action projects, communicating with and representing the ‘faith voice’, providing religious literacy training for local authorities and civil servants, facilitating contacts between faith groups and Government on public policy issues, undertaking surveys and research into faith-based activity, or helping faith groups boost their organisational capacity.

The Directors have a wide range of well-placed contacts within the religious and community cohesion sphere, from national leaders and umbrella bodies through to local inter faith forums and places of worship.

Warwick and Jenny Kartupelis are members of the University of Cambridge
and Fellows of the Faith and Civil Society Unit of Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Warwick Hawkins MBE

Warwick worked on faith engagement for 18 years as a senior civil servant, most recently as head of the Faith Communities Engagement team of the Integration and Faith Division in the Department for Communities and Local Government. He has continued to work on interfaith projects in private, consultancy and Trustee capacities. He has worked in a number of other relevant civil service roles including promoting neighbourhood empowerment through community rights, and developing multi-faith events to mark the First World War centenary, the Millennium and the Golden Jubilee.

Jenny Kartupelis MBE

Jenny has a professional background in public relations, and has run her own consultancy businesses since 1987. In 2002 she was instrumental in establishing the East of England Faiths Council, of which she was director for 11 years. She provides strategic planning advice and activity recommendations, undertakes survey and research projects – most recently, a faith audit commissioned by Peterborough City Council and a study of spiritual life in care homes – and is also the part-time Strategy and Development Officer for the World Congress of Faiths.

Specific and distinctive skills offered by the Directors include:
  • Designing and delivering interfaith programmes and events
  • Direct policy advice to Government Ministers
  • Writing and assessing funding applications
  • Writing reports and policy papers
  • Advising local faith groups on e.g. governance, communications
  • Academic research
  • Developing and delivering religious literacy training packages
  • Designing surveys to guide strategy for faith-based charities and local authorities
  • Event planning and management

 

 

 

Our Team of Experts

Faith in Society has the capability to bring in specialist expertise in all areas of its work. We have a team of trusted Experts who work with us when required. Together they offer a vast wealth of experience, specialist skills and the flexibility necessary for diverse and bespoke projects.

Nayeer Afzal
Nayeer Afzal is a professional Muslim woman who has worked in Government, across a range of Whitehall departments over the last 25 years. She has particular expertise in Diversity and Inclusion and stakeholder management of Muslim communities, and experience in providing strategic direction to organisations.
Maqsood Ahmed OBE
Maqsood Ahmed worked until 2012 as the senior Muslim Adviser to the Home Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government. He was awarded an OBE for his ground-breaking work as the first Muslim Advisor to HM Prison Service. His background lies in anti-poverty and racial equality projects and he is currently Director of Community Welfare and Development at the charity Muslim Hands. He is a founding member of the Leicester Central Mosque and Islamic Centre.
Solma Ahmed
Solma Ahmed is a former Civil Servant and a Housing Association Chief Executive. She has over 20 years experience in social housing, emergency planning and community development having built a strong track record of working with local authorities and communities including faith based organisations. Her wide ranging experience includes driving improvements in delivering organisational goals and aspirations by building lasting relationships and partnerships with boards, residents, staff and local councils. She has a highly successful track record of providing support and advice to diverse communities and developing and implementing strategies that have resulted in measurable improvements in service provision.
Paul Blakey MBE
Paul Blakey MBE is the founder of Street Angels and founder / CEO of CNI (Christian Nightlife Initiatives) Network, which supports and resources around 130 local projects working in the night-time economy. Paul is an author, broadcaster, and communicator and has the vision to see communities and lives changed through the model of ‘love the person in front of you.’ Paul is a Christian and worships in a charismatic church, is chair of his local Christian school’s trust and is involved in several initiatives such as Love Your Streets.
Reverand Jon Dal Din
The Rev Jon Dal Din is a Permanent Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, and Director of the Diocese of Westminster’s Interfaith Agency. At the time of his ordination in 2000 he was a lecturer in a large Further Education College, where he had pastoral responsibility for both staff and students. This involved dealing with a variety of cultural, ethnic and religious issues and Jon had a particular role as Chaplain to the Caribbean Community.
Rt. Revd. Christopher Herbert

The Rt. Revd. Christopher Herbert has long experience as an Anglican priest, having been ordained in 1968 and serving as Bishop of St Albans and a Member of the House of Lords from 1995 to 2009. He is a former Chairman of the Council of Christians and Jews. Since his retirement, he has been a lecturer in Art History across the UK and Europe. He is also Visiting Professor of Christian Ethics at the University of Surrey, and the author of numerous books on Christian spirituality, including the forthcoming publication (September 2016), “Foreshadowing the Reformation: Art and religion in 15th century Northern Europe” (Ashgate).

 

Barney Leith OBE
An active member of the Bahá’í community, Barney Leith is Chair of the Faith Based Regeneration Network and past Chair of the Healthcare Chaplaincy Faith and Belief Group. He was a Trustee of the Inter Faith Network for the UK for many years. He has been involved in interfaith and multi-faith work at national level for very many years, and has experience in building and strengthening relationships between faith, Government and Parliamentarians.
Leonie Lewis
Leonie Lewis is Director of the Jewish Volunteering Network. She has an MBA in Education and Community Leadership. She is particularly interested in faith, young people and community development issues and holds several voluntary positions including Trustee of the Faith Based Regeneration Network, Co-Vice chair of the Faith Forum for London, Advisor to the Children’s Aid Committee, and Trustee for Remembering Srebrenica.
Dr David Perfect
David Perfect is Visiting Research Associate at the University of Chester – he is an expert on religion and belief research as well as equality legislation.
Jane Roemer

Jane Roemer is a Project Consultant with over twenty years’ senior management experience in the not-for-profit businesses, small enterprises and private sector. She holds a Masters Degree in Museum and Gallery Management from City University, London. Jane has specialized in regenerating economic renewal through local communities and culture as a platform for growth. She currently represents the Voluntary and Community Sector as Board Lead for the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership. She has project managed several successful high profile interfaith initiatives, and with her considerable business experience has been able to support organisations around sustainability.

Testimonial

“I value our excellent working dialogue, professional partnership, collaborative networking and information sharing. Jane’s straightforward style, transparency and integrity is refreshing and greatly appreciated.” Ian Campbell,  RDPE LEADER Programme Facilitator Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity.

 

Baldev Singh
Baldev Singh has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and 25 years experience in management consultancy and auditing services. He is Southern Regional Coordinator for the Sikh Council UK, a member of the Faith Advisory Panel for the Church Urban Fund’s Near Neighbours programme funded by government, and a Universal Peace Federation Ambassador For Peace.
Paresh Solanki
Paresh Solanki is an award-winning media specialist who has worked all around the world on media related social action projects. After leaving his post as a senior executive at the BBC, he worked with the Council of Europe and then he became Assistant Director of the Inter Faith Network for the UK where he helped develop national Inter Faith Week. Since then he has worked with various NGOs in the UK including government funded projects. Paresh is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Development, a Trustee of the Media Diversity Institute and the Sanford St Martin Trust awards, and a judge for the annual Faith through a Lens national photo competition.
Professor Paul Weller
Paul Weller (Cert. Ed., MA, MPhil, PhD, DLitt) has academic expertise and practical experience from over forty years engagement with matters of religion, state and society; inter-religious and inter-convictional dialogue; racial justice and ethnic relations; and religion, conflict and peace. Prior to retirement, he was Professor of Inter-Religious Relations at the University of Derby where he is now Emeritus Professor and employed one day a week as a Professor in its Social, Cultural and Legal Research Centre. He is also working one day a week as a Professor in the Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University and one day a week as Research Fellow in Religion and Society at Regents Park College, University of Oxford. He is Director of Religion and Belief Research and Training Ltd.
Swaminathan Vaidyanathan
Swami Vaidyanathan is Hindu chaplain for the London North West Healthcare NHS Trust. He appears on Let’s Talk Hinduism, a weekly show on a community TV channel aired all over Europe and North America. Previously he held the position of Secretary General of the Hindu Forum of Britain.

Sugnall Hall 

Meetings & Conferences