Ruth joined the Multi-Faith Centre in November 2015 as the Centre’s Youth Work Manager. In March 2017 Ruth took on the role of Director and is now the Centre’s strategic lead. Before officially joining the Multi-Faith Centre, Ruth had been involved with the Centre through the Religious Diversity and Anti-Discrimination (RDAD), Overcoming Islamaphobia and Overcoming Anti-Semitism training, as well as the Inter-faith Youth Forum. In addition to this she supported the development of the City wide Youth Workers Forum and has overseen the delivery of the Level 3 Diploma in Youth Work. Ruth has over ten years’ experience working in youth and community, including statutory services and the voluntary sector. Ruth is a trustee for the Children and Young People’s Network (CYPN) Derby and a co trainer for the Independent Working Class Education (IWCE) Network. Ruth is very interested in Human Rights/ Child Rights and how they can be implemented at a community level that positively impacts on people’s lives. It is to these ends that she remains a committed and passionate youth and community worker.
Jo joined the Multi-Faith Centre in August 2004 when it moved from the University facilities to the new Centre. Over the last 12 years she has been an integral part of the Centre, seeing staff come and go and the Centre flourish. Her responsibilities at the Centre have changed over the years to include management of the Centre, finance, bookings and lettings, the general running of the Centre on a day to day basis, supporting the development of Roma Community Care and much more!
The Centre has enabled Jo to gain a depth of experience and has allowed her to develop her knowledge and appreciation for the vast array of areas in which the Centre works.
Lorraine Stokes – Project Officer
Lorraine joined the team in June 2014 after being a part of the Community Organising programme hosted by the Centre. Lorraine studied Theology and Religious Studies at Leeds University and has volunteered in various community settings for over 10 years. Since joining the team she has worked in a variety of roles and is now responsible for the ‘Survive and Thrive’ project. This project works in partnership with Upbeat Communities and the British Red Cross to support refugees and asylum seekers to have increased resilience and ability to adapt to their uncertain environments through providing destitution relief and advice, training and support, and advocacy and community cohesion.
Jennie first started with the Multi-Faith Centre during her second year at University. Through her University work placement she continued to support the Centre’s youth clubs as a volunteer. She is now a fully qualified JNC accredited Youth and Community Worker and has been employed by the MFC as a Youth Worker since June 2017. Jennie supports the delivery of the Centre’s youth clubs and helps to oversee the mentoring of young people on the project.
The Rt. Revd. Dr. Alastair Redfern has been Bishop of Derby since 2005, and was previously Suffragan Bishop of Grantham. He has expertise in the fields of theology, church history, social justice, clergy training, leadership and spirituality. He is an accomplished speaker, lecturer and teacher, and an author of books and papers on a variety of Christian themes. His publications include The Leadership of the People of God, Discipleship, Mission in Action, Living in Love, The Word on the Street, and Peace that Passes Understanding. Bishop Alastair is a member of the House of Lords and Chairman of the Churches’ Legislation Advisory Service.
Graham has been a trustee of the Multi Faith Centre for three years. Graham is also Chair of the Derby Holocaust Memorial Planning Board and was a founder member and now Chair of Derby Open Centre. Graham grew up in Leicester during a time of great social change when the ethnic and cultural landscape of that city was to change dramatically and irreversibly. Engaging with religious and cultural diversity has been central to Graham’s life on both a personal and professional level. Graham read Theology at Bristol University and after graduating in 1978 began a teaching career which in 1991 saw him move into advisory work, eventually becoming the Religious Education Adviser to schools in Derbyshire and latterly Derby City. In 1998 Graham gained an MA in Religious Pluralism at Derby University. Graham is married with four children and remains a passionate supporter of Leicester City Football Club!
Guy Freeman joined the board of trustees of the Multi Faith Centre in 2013 as an independent member. He is also a member of the MFC advisory board.
Guy is a chartered engineer and spent his early career at Rolls-Royce, where he worked for 26 years. Since leaving Rolls-Royce Guy has worked in the charity sector, first at Young Enterprise and then at the British Red Cross, where he is currently the service coordinator for the refugee support service in Derby.
Guy has also held a number of other voluntary positions including chair of school governors. His interests include music (playing the saxophone) and outdoor pursuits. He is married with two daughters.
Originally trained to teach Physical Education and Biology, Pam taught in secondary schools in Yorkshire, later moving to Derbyshire. She married, took an Open University degree in Sciences and had 2 daughters.
After an enjoyable teaching career, she trained as a therapeutic counsellor, gaining experience in counselling University students and adults from Rape & Sexual Abuse & Bereavement agencies.
Presently Chair of Derby Cruse Bereavement Care, she helps to organise the recruitment of volunteers, their training, seeing clients, supervising and fund raising.
For the past 15 years she has been involved with Multi Faith activities at the University of Derby, as a Baha`i Faith Consultant; being for some time, Chair of the Pastoral Services committee and the Planning & Development committee. Besides organising the monthly Conversation Across Faith discussion group for the last 8 years, Pam finds time to strum the ukulele, ballroom dance, walk and ski.
Paul Weller is Professor of Inter-Religious Relations and Head of Research (MPhil-PhD students and Research Excellence Framework [REF Outputs]) at the University of Derby, and Visiting Fellow in the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture based at Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford. He is a Academic Editor of the Journal of Dialogue Studies. Among his publications, he was editor of Religions in the UK: Directory, 2007-10 (Derby: Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby published in association with University of Derby). In the early 2000s he wrote one of the first concept papers for what became the Multi-Faith Centre. Part of this story is told in his authored journal article on “How Far Can We Go Together? Reflection on and from the Development of the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby” in the Internationale Kirchliche Zeitschrift/Berner Interreligiö se Őkumenische Studien, Volume 2, 2015, pp. 95-113.
Qazi Abdul Mateen joined the Multi-Faith Centre Board of Trustees in May 2016. He is the Director of Education at Derby Jamia Mosque, responsible for over 900 children. Previously Qazi Mateen has worked as a prison service Chaplain and taught Islamic Studies at Jamia Al Karam in Retford. He has studied various aspects of Islamic Studies in Pakistan, England and Egypt and speaks English, Arabic, Urdu and Punjabi. Qazi Abdul Mateen has been a long standing supporter of the Centre and has been integral in supporting training at the MFC.
Richard joined the board of trustees in February 2017.
Richard has over 15 years’ experience in providing support for students and young people in schools, Colleges, Higher Education, Sport and the Connexions Services. In his current role as Head of Student Services at the University of Derby Richard has management oversight of various services for students including disability support, counselling, mental health, student conduct and complaints, information advice and guidance and the Chaplaincy Team.
Richard has a Masters in Social Research, is a qualified teacher and also acts as a Governor at Bilborough College. Richard lives with his partner and 3 year old daughter.
Rupinder is currently working as a Prison Chaplain. She sees the role as a service to her community as it gives her an opportunity to help people better themselves and connect with their Faith.
Prior to this she worked as a Librarian for 17 years. Over the years her work experience and interaction with the community have made her passionate about equality for men and women, one of the fundamentals of Sikhi.
She has been involved with the University’s Multi-Faith Centre since the early days. She is an experienced event organiser who has planned and held many cultural and literary events. She is also proud to have organised the very first Panjabi women’s festival called Tian on a large scale. She has also organised events to celebrate Vaisakhi and Diwali at the Multi-Faith Centre.
She is a founding member of the Sikh Religion and Heritage group alias Gurmat School which has been running classes on Sikhism since 1997 for all ages.
Ruth was born and brought up in the Liberal Tradition of Judaism, attending the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St John’s Wood London. She attended JFS Secondary School which is run under the United Synagogue Orthodox auspices. Over the years she has worked as a summer camp leader and taught in religion schools in Liberal and Reform Synagogues. After moving to Derby for work over 20 years ago she served for 10 years on the Derby City SACRE and has enjoyed building on the multi-faith dialogues that she has always sort to participate in as well as supporting schools who had questions on the Jewish faith and ways to bring lessons alive to make them more accessible for students and teachers alike. Currently she is Jewish Faith Advisor the Chaplaincy at the University of Derby
Ruth is a member of Leicester Progressive Jewish Congregation and is married with one grown up daughter.
Soshain was brought up as a Hindu, schooled in Derby and began his professional career firstly in the Oil Industry and then to the Whitehall corridors working in the communication and publishing sector for over 30 years. Since his return to Derby he has been working as a freelance designer/ photographer, a Hindu Faith trail leader at the Derby Open Centre, a Derby Museums Assistant and an advocate for QUAD. His MA in Design Studies at Central Saint Martin’s college of Art saw him research the topic of “How have the Ethnic creatives changed the face of London”. He has since mentored students on the course. Soshain is also actively involved in the Planning and Developing Committee at the Multi Faith Centre. He enjoys sports and travel.
Christopher Cunliffe was installed as Archdeacon of Derby in April 2006.
Christopher began his ordained ministry in the Diocese of Derby when he was Assistant Curate at St Mary and All Saints Church in Chesterfield (the famous Crooked Spire) from 1983-1985. He worked alongside his wife who was also a Curate at the Church in one of the first job-share arrangements in the Church of England. In 1985 he became Chaplain of Lincoln College, Oxford, until 1989, when he became Chaplain of the City University and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. In 1991 he took a post in the Church of England’s Advisory Board of Ministry, Westminster, which involved co-ordinating vocation and selection conferences for people seeking ordination. From 1997-2003 he was Director of Ministry in the Diocese of London, carried out an interim role for a large educational charity, and was Chaplain to the Bishop of Bradwell in the Diocese of Chelmsford from 2004-2006.
Christopher is a keen historian, with a doctorate in the subject and a continuing interest in research and writing. He also has an interest in African history and culture – particularly in Angola and Mozambique – stimulated by recent visits there. To relax, he enjoys reading fiction and poetry, listening to music, and watching sport.