Team

We wouldn’t be who we are, or achieve the wonderful things we do, without the invaluable work of our dedicated staff, volunteers, patrons and trustees. Here are the people who make The Feast what it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our
Trustees

Canon Dr Andrew Smith
Chair and Founder
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Andrew is the Director of Interfaith Relations for the Bishop of Birmingham. He previously worked for Scripture Union, and it is here where he developed the work that led to the founding of The Feast. He believes passionately that young people have an important role to play in building relationships between people of different faiths, and that whenever people of different faiths come together it should include laughter, good food and possibly a canal boat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
andrew@thefeast.org.uk
Sue Proctor
Vice Chair
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Sue is a businesswoman and a long-serving volunteer and supporter of The Feast. She attends St John’s Church in Kenilworth where she is involved in the youth work. Sue is passionate about ‘Fairtrade’ and is Chair of the local Fairtrade Action Group in Kenilworth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
sue@thefeast.org.uk
Martin Bull
Treasurer
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Martin is a Finance Consultant in the healthcare sector. A consultancy he held for 5 months in 2010-11 took him to Doha, which he really enjoyed as it had a huge impact on his faith and perception of Islam. Martin attends Knowle Parish Church in his hometown, and has one daughter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Tim Sheail
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Tim is the Housing Services Director at Staffordshire Housing Group and a member of Riverside Church in Birmingham.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
David Alcock
Trustee
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David is a member of St Christopher’s Church, Sparkhill, and a volunteer with the Feast. In his day job David is a Senior Associate with the law firm Anthony Collins in Birmingham, where he specialises in governance work for co-operatives, social enterprises and community organisations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Rev. Beverley Thomas
Trustee
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Bev joined The Feast as a Trustee in 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Lucretia Fields
Trustee
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Lucretia taught in Birmingham secondary schools for over twenty years where she also oversaw the Feast's staff activities for three years. Her daughter has also been involved in Feast events. Lucretia continues to be involved in school governance and attends a church in the north west.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Simon Slater
Trustee
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Local
Advisory Group

The Feast’s Head Office is in Birmingham, where our Trustees are based, but we also work in Bradford, Tower Hamlets and Luton. These locations are supported by Local Advisory Groups (LAGs). LAGs are groups of local volunteers who are committed to developing the work of The Feast in their region, and to promoting cohesion between young people of different faiths and cultures in their communities. They represent the local communities and provide the contextual, strategic and programmatic advice and pastoral support to local teams to enable the work of The Feast to flourish in that location. We are really grateful for their support.

If you would like more information on the Local Advisory Group in your area, please contact The Feast’s National Office (contact@thefeast.org.uk). If you are interested in exploring the idea of establishing The Feast’s work in your community, please contact us too or go to our Members page.

Please keep our LAG Members in your prayers:

Birmingham:

Geoff (Chair), Steve, Sue & Parmeash

Bradford:

Andy (Chair), Jenny & Sharon.

Luton:

Beki, Cathy, Linda (Chair), Peter & Ros. 

Tower Hamlets:

Erin, Jackie, Jonathan, Mark (Chair) & Tricia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our
Team

Faraz Ahmed
Youth Ambassador
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Rukshana Aktar
Youth Worker, Tower Hamlets
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Rukshana Aktar is the British Bangladeshi Muslim Youth Worker for Tower Hamlets. She has been with the Feast since 2017 and has worked on various projects across the different regions. Her background is in Community development, specifically working with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Rukshana has more than 10 years of experience in schools work and wider learning. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family, reading and travelling. 
 
rukshana@thefeast.org.uk
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jill Appleton
Birmingham Development Manager & Schools Consultant
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Hi, I’m Jill and I joined the team in January 2016. I’ve spent the last thirty years teaching in secondary schools but now I’m loving my role leading the Birmingham staff and volunteer team, and supporting our work in schools nationally. It’s great to be part of a wonderful organisation. When I’m not at work, I’m usually found eating chocolate - a habit I seem to share with other members of The Feast team!

jill@thefeast.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
David Brogan
Birmingham Volunteer
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The Feast’s method for talking about faith with youth people intrigued me when I learned about their work in 2010. So, I volunteered to learn how to talk honestly about what is important to me. At the same time, I learned to listen to someone who believes differently from me and discovered that we can be friends because we genuinely like and care for one another. It’s been a joy and privilege to co-lead various activities for The Feast and see my own children grow through their involvement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Eve Brogan
Youth Ambassador
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My name is Eve Brogan, I joined the Feast ten years ago when I was in year seven, staying on as a volunteer since then! My favourite thing to do at Feast events is leading faith discussions and really seeing the young people grow in confidence. These days I have just completed my undergrad and love looking into local heritage. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Tina Brogan
HubLife Coordinator & Birmingham Volunteer
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Hi, I’m Tina Brogan. I moved to Birmingham with my husband and children in 2010 and have been working with The Feast on a volunteer basis since then. We were previously in church youth ministry and we have loved the chance to get to know young people from different faith backgrounds and learn how to facilitate conversations between them. We have found the Feast staff and volunteers to be a family with which we can be involved as a family and help make the principles of The Feast a way of life for all of us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Rachel Butler
Youth & Schools Worker, Birmingham
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Hello!  I settled in Birmingham in 2019, having worked with and been inspired by young people in lots of places, from Manchester to the Middle East.  I enjoy adventuring in the outdoors (on a bike, in the sea, on a boat), hot chocolate with cream, and sharing food with others as often as possible!  It’s a joy to become part of The Feast at the beginning of 2020, as I love the vision to see people of different backgrounds and faiths coming together, learning to express themselves well, dignifying difference and being peacemakers.

rachelb@thefeast.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Ulrike Hunt
Luton Development Manager
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Ulrike is an experienced educator and facilitator in bringing together young people from diverse backgrounds, to help them break down the barriers that divide and to talk about faith and other things that matter. 

Ulrike currently manages The Feast’s work in Luton, where she lives with her husband and their teenage children. She is passionate about helping people grow in their faith and be authentic Christians

ulrike@thefeast.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Mark Hutchings
Senior Leadership Team, Chair of Tower Hamlets LAG.
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Hi, I am Youth & Children's Minister at Bethnal Green Mission Church in London's East End, innit! I first started my journey with The Feast back in 2010 and love the vibe of working with colleagues and young people, past and present who are committed to imagining and realising a world that is defined by shalom/salaam/peace. I love sport, particularly football...well I did work as a PE teacher once upon a time! I also love travelling, reading and playing the piano accordion!

 

markh@thefeast.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Nahim Khan
Associate Birmingham
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Hi I’m Nahim and I joined The Feast in January 2012 as their first Muslim employee, and have enjoyed being a part of a very interesting and unusual charity. I have done a lot of youth work in the past with Birmingham City Council and various projects, and so it is good to use my experience with young people, combined with my faith, to help them get on better. The Feast is like a diverse and crazy family, and we hope lots more people can join in and see how much fun we have. I’m no longer on staff but am still very involved as an Associate.

nahim@thefeast.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Bushra Khanum
Youth Ambassador
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Hi, my name is Bushra. I have been involved with the feast since I was in school. I am studying to be a Nurse and enjoy being a volunteer and building connections in the community. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Sandra Langston
National Administrator
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I joined The Feast in July 2016 to continue my career in admin and following my training to be a Reader in the Church of England Birmingham. Born and raised in Birmingham I worship at Immanuel, Highters Heath, and serve there as a Reader and a Guider with Girlguiding UK. This is a fabulous opportunity to provide support to The Feast team through my skills and experience in work and faith.

sandra@thefeast.org.uk
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Carolyn Merry
CEO
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Following in the footsteps of Tim Fawssett, I am also from Australia (Melbourne), although born in London. My Christian faith has led me to living and working with people of many different cultures and faiths around the world over the last 20 years, through the humanitarian, international development and peace building sectors, often in places of violent conflict, extreme poverty, repressive discrimination and exclusion of those most vulnerable. It is a privilege, having witnessed so much suffering, to now come and lead The Feast in this new phase for the organisation. I believe the work of The Feast is absolutely vital and a much-needed expression for young people of all faiths in how to truly love their neighbour in our world at this time.

carolyn@thefeast.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Dumaeza Nhlapo
Youth Worker, Tower Hamlets
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I’m a South African who was born and raised in Soweto. I first came to England in 2003 to do a Youth Work diploma in North Devon. While there, I met an amazing lady named Janet-Marie, who is now my wife. We moved to London in 2008. I love being a husband and father more than anything; and I think a meal doesn’t count as a real meal unless it contains meat (fish doesn’t count). I started working for The Feast, Tower Hamlets in February 2014, and work 2 days a week. I’m excited to see the impact that our work has in Tower Hamlets, as we help young people of different faiths grapple with their own faith, and show them how they can better love their neighbours (of different faiths, nationalities and ethnicities).

dumaeza@thefeast.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Steve Proctor
Training Coordinator
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Hi – I’m Steve Proctor and I’ve been volunteering at the Feast as a youth worker, fund raiser and trainer since we started up 11 years ago. My professional background is in road safety and vocational training but I’ve always been involved in youth work alongside my day job. I’m passionate about how our lives can be changed as we encounter people who are different to us, and how we can learn together to share what we have in common, and use our unique Feast Guidelines for Dialogue to negotiate difference without stoking fear and prejudice. And I love cycling too!!

training@thefeast.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our
Patrons

The Feast is very pleased to announce the support of its Patrons. Our Patrons are people of remarkable standing in their faith communities, as well as in the field of building better relations between people of different faiths.

Previous Patrons include the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who served as patron from 2010 until he retired from his role as Archbishop in December 2012, Professor Mona Siddiqui (Professor of Islamic and Inter-religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh), and Shayk Ibrahim Moghra (a local community activist in Leicester and Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, and has been at the forefront in deepening interfaith relations in the Midlands, across the UK and around the world).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Dr Beverly Lindsay OBE, OD.
Vice Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands
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Dr Beverly Lindsay OBE, OD was appointed the Vice Lord-Lieutenant for the West Midlands for a three-year term in 2017. Beverly is the founder and general manager of Diamond Travel, one of Birmingham’s leading independent travel agencies.

Beverly was born in St Thomas, Jamaica and came to Birmingham as a young teenager to complete her secondary education. She started her career in nursing and midwifery and after leaving nursing she worked as a Senior Community Worker in Handsworth Birmingham and later in financial services before establishing Diamond Travel in 1987.

Throughout her career, Beverly has always found time and energy to provide a selfless service to the development of her local community and her beloved country – Jamaica. Beverly is a celebrated mentor, champion and supporter of the African Caribbean community not only in Birmingham but throughout the UK and internationally. This work, alongside her success in business, has resulted in her receiving many awards in appreciation of her outstanding work and contribution to society, as well as two honorary doctorates from Aston University and Birmingham City University in 2017.

Beverly became a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham in 1997 and served as President during 2012/13, the first African-Caribbean woman president in almost a hundred years history of the Rotary Club of Birmingham. Beverly is a committed Christian and is a longstanding member of New Testament Church of God in Handsworth, Birmingham.

“Whilst there are a number of initiatives and many organisations seeking to promote community cohesion and interfaith dialogue in the City; THE FEAST is ground breaking in its approach by drawing in young people often living at the sharp end of difficult relations, those that may not be natural ‘joiners’ and engaging them in exceptional youth activities.

A Christian Organisation, rooted in its belief, that embrace and bring people of different cultures and beliefs together to share and fellowship, affording learning to understand each other so that each person can become a better citizen in today’s challenging Society.”

“Young people are the mirror within our community, we can reflect our cohesive and tolerant approach upon how young relate to each other and what is means to have pride in their civic inter-relationships”.

~ Dr Beverly Lindsay OBE, OD. 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Jehangir Malik OBE
Chief Executive of Muslim Aid
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Jehangir Malik is the Chief Executive of Muslim Aid.

He began his humanitarian career as a student collecting donations for victims of the Bosnian conflict in the 1990s, and subsequently moved from a law degree to a role at Islamic Relief UK (IR).He participated in relief and development efforts around the world for over 23 years at IR, with leadership roles covering the USA, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. He was later made the organisation’s UK director.

Jehangir was also chief executive of Olympic legacy charity International Inspiration, and in 2010 was awarded an OBE in recognition of his contribution to the humanitarian cause. He sits on the board of trustees at ACEVO (Association of Chef Executives for Voluntary Organisations, the Muslim Charities Forum and the NET (National Emergency Trust) and sat as a Commissioner on the Birmingham Children’s Commission into poverty.

In 2016, Jehangir came to Muslim Aid, overseeing a period of transition for the organisation. In addition to presiding over Muslim Aid’s existing work in dozens of countries he has overseen the response to a range of developing crisis, including the Yemen conflict, the 2018 Indonesian earthquake, and the civil society relief effort following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

Recently, Jehangir was a judge at the 2019 Civil Society Media Charity Awards.

“I am honoured to support The Feast Project, born out of my hometown Birmingham. The Feast is an amazing initiative bringing together young people from different faith backgrounds to learn, grow and develop into confident and active citizens within their respective increasingly complex environments. The notion of exploring one’s identity through a faith lens, building relationships and changing lives is a very personal experience for myself and I do very much believe that the Feast will be a key catalyst in the exploration of oneself with the social interaction of fellow citizens in Birmingham and beyond. Proud to support The Feast.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Julie Siddiqi
Mentor, Consultant and Gender Equality Campaigner
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Julie Siddiqi is a mentor, consultant and gender equality campaigner with a specific focus on Jewish-Muslim and other interfaith relations and on applying that to social action work together. She has a background in community grass roots work spanning 20 years and founded a local charity for Muslim women’s needs, which she led for 10 years. She is Co-founder of The Big Iftar during Ramadan, which has seen such events as the first ever Iftar (breaking of the fast) reception at Lambeth Palace hosted by Archbishop Justin Welby in 2014.

Julie was the Executive Director of the Islamic Society of Britain from 2010-2014 and is a Fellow in the Faith and Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths University.

She was previously a member of the Government’s National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group and mentor for the Prince of Wales Charity, Mosaic. She is a Governor at Eden Girls School in Slough.

Julie was previously listed in the Times Newspaper’s 100 Most Influential Muslim Women in the UK and is a regular voice on BBC Radio 4’s Thought For The Day.

She is Founder and Director of Sadaqa Day, a one-day Muslim-led focus on social action and is Co-founder of the Jewish and Muslim Women’s Network, Nisa-Nashim. She is Co-founder of Open My Mosque, a campaign to highlight and speak out about inequalities in UK mosques.

“I am thrilled to have been asked to become a patron for The Feast. The principles of young people coming together, leading the way on developing friendships and involving food, is surely a winning formula! I think it will continue to give hope and practical solutions to us as we enter a new decade finding more ways to connect and not allow those who seek to divide us to succeed” 

~ Julie Siddiqi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Jasvir Singh, OBE
Chair of City Sikhs
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Jasvir is the Chair of City Sikhs, which provides a voice for progressive Sikhs in the UK and which has over 7,000 members. In 2012, he launched the British Sikh Report, which provides robust data each year about the British Sikh community. He is currently Co-Chair of the Faiths Forum for London, working with the capital’s nine main faith communities in encouraging and promoting interfaith projects. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, an established family law barrister, Chair of the Grand Trunk Project, an Associate of St Paul’s Institute and an Honorary Fellow of the Edward Cadbury Centre. He was given an OBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours at the age of 36, becoming the youngest Sikh to hold that honour at that time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The Rt. Rev’d David Urquhart
Bishop of Birmingham
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The Feast was founded in Birmingham 6 years ago, and as one of the UK’s most culturally diverse cities, Bishop David is acutely aware of the need for young people and our future leaders to engage in healthy discussion and dialogue across all groups, be it on the basis of religion, culture or nationality. As a Bishop in the Church of England, in the largest UK city outside London, he is actively involved with education, industry and commerce. Chair of the Birmingham Social Inclusion Process and the University of Birmingham’s Wealth Distribution Commission, he is passionate about social and economic justice. David promotes inter-faith ‘presence and engagement’ in one of the UK’s most ethnically diverse regions, and is an enthusiastic practitioner of ecumenical Christian mission. Bishop David has served as a Patron of The Feast since 2014.