Council Members

Co-Chairs

Fr Gerard Mitchell SJ

Fr Gerard Mitchell SJ

London Church Leaders – Faith: Christian

Fr Gerard is the Parish Priest at St Anselm’s Church, Southall, as well as the Dean of Ealing in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster. He was ordained in 1983 after an earlier career as a teacher. He is Chair of Governors at St Anselm’s Catholic School and on the Governing Council of St John’s Beaumont School. Fr Gerard is on the Board of Reference for Heathrow Chaplaincy and active in the Southall Council of Churches. He is a Leader for West London Citizens and is an activist on local homelessness.

Dr Deesha ChadhaDr. Deesha Chadha

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

jasvirJasvir 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.

Leonie Lewis MBE

London Jewish Forum – Faith: Jewish

Leonie Lewis has a Masters in Sociology of Education & is an MBA UJIA Ashdown Fellow. 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 (FBRN), Co chair of the Faith Forum in London, Advisor to the Children’s Aid Committee, & Trustee of AJ6 & JLGB.

Dr Natubhai Shah, MBEDr. Natubhai Shah, MBE

Jain Network – Faith: Jain

Dr Natubhai Shah, retired doctor with a PhD in Jain Religion, is the author of Jainism: World of Conquerors (2 Volumes). He represents Jainism at the highest level and is Founder Chair/CEO of the Jain Network and Founder President Jain Samaj Europe. He was mainly responsible for the creation of the Jain Centre in Leicester and is now involved in establishing a Jain Centre in North London. He is Trustee of IFN, FbRN, Barnet Multifaith Forum and member of Barnet SACRE and Chair of Council of Dharmic Faiths. He was selected ‘Man of the Year’ by ABI, awarded ‘Jain Ratna’ by Prime Minister of India in 2001 and ‘MBE’ in 2012 by the Queen for his services to the Jain Community and Interfaith Relations.

Council Members

Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei, OBESayed Yousif Al-Khoei, OBE

Al-Khoei Foundation – Faith: Muslim

Sayed Yousif is the Director of Public Affairs at the Al-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 Bahá’í community, in different localities where he was living.

fred-ashmoreFred Ashmore

London Church Leaders – Faith: Christian

Fred Ashmore is a member of Quakers, primarily as a worshipper and Clerk of Kingston upon Thames local Quaker Meeting but also active in many roles within the Religious Society of Friends including interfaith work in London and with London Quakers. He seeks to follow George Fox’s advice…..”walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one”.

Jon Dal DinJon 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.

Malcolm DebooMalcolm 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 interests of Zoroastrians in UK. ZTFE is the oldest Asian religious voluntary organisation in UK. The first three Asian MPs elected in 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.

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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 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 of faith-based initiatives. Also a mindfulness trainer and life coach, he now focusses on Environment, Buddhism, Climate Change and Justice issues.

rajnishRajnish Kashyap

Hindu Council UK – Faith: Hindu
Working in Credit Management Profession for 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 UK, Providing a voice that represent voluntary and community-led organisations.

Dilowar Hussain KhanDilowar Hussain Khan

London Muslim Centres Group – Faith: Muslim

Dilowar Khan is the Executive Director of the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre, which is one of the largest Mosque and Islamic Centres in UK. He has been working in community/voluntary sector for the last 24 years and is actively involved in inter-faith and broad based community organising work for the last 15 years in London and beyond.

Ven Bogoda SeelawimalaVen. 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-sheikhTalat 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.

Rt Revd Dr Donnett Thomas

London Church Leaders – Faith: Christian

Rt Revd Dr Donnett Thomas (Pentecostal) was consecrated in July 2003.  She is Senior Pastor at Power of the Living Word Ministries International in London and has Apostolic Covering Churches in Mombasa, Kibwezi, Kitui in Kenya and in Pradesh, India.  Bishop Donnett has a missionary heart and believes it is our Kingdom responsibility to help the poor.  She is an experienced and articulate international preacher and teacher having spoken all over the world in Houston, California, New Jersey, Chicago, Antigua, Jamaica, the Philippines, Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Botswana.  Bishop Donnett is Chair of Churches Together in South London.

Rabbi Deborah Young-SomersRabbi Deborah Young-Somers

London Jewish Forum – Faith: Jewish

Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers teaches at Leo Baeck College on a course called World Religions 101 which allows students to explore their own encounter with other faiths, and dialogue between faiths. She was ordained by Leo Baeck College in 2009 whilst also earning a distinction for her Ma. Her first degree was in Religious Studies (1st class hons) at Lancaster University (2001), and she was a Buber Fellow at Paideia, the European Centre for Jewish Studies (2003). Having volunteered in the Interfaith world for several years, and served as the Chair of the Young Leadership Council of the International Council of Christians and Jews, Debbie worked at the UK Council of Christians and Jews from 2003-2004. Her first Rabbinic post was at West London Synagogue where she co-ordinated Interfaith activities and the Jewish Preparation programme, as well as developing an interfaith programme for teenagers. She is currently working at the Movement for Reform Judaism as the Community Educator. She has been published in magazines and journals, and is a regular contributor to Radio 2’s Pause for Thought and for the Jewish News.

Co-Opted Members

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

Co-Opted – Faith: 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.