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Geoff 4
Director

Geoff Sweeney

Director
Geoff Sweeney

Geoff has 18 years senior management experience; demonstrable success in strategic planning, leading teams and a track record of stakeholder management, partnership building and income generation. He has worked collaboratively with stakeholders and partners to develop resilient charities that have impact and make a difference. A Derby resident, he has worked mainly for cultural and heritage organisations such as the National Holocaust Centre and Museum and Birmingham Royal Ballet. He has also worked for Derby Playhouse (now Derby Theatre) and in a voluntary capacity as Chair of the Trustees at Déda Derby Dance.

Sarah El Rayyes
Office Administrator

Sarah El Rayyes

Office Administrator
Sarah El Rayyes

Sarah (she/her/hers) studied Middle Eastern studies and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna. Before moving to the United Kingdom in 2019, she was part of the Erasmus+ Connecting (ex)You Programme for radio journalism and reporting in Bosnia, Austria and Macedonia, focusing on issues such as freedom of press, asylum and migration. She has also volunteered in various community and faith settings.

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Project Manager - Race and Religion Hate Crime

Dr Tavleen Kaur

Project Manager - Race and Religion Hate Crime
Dr Tavleen Kaur

Tavleen Kaur (she/her/hers) holds a Ph.D. in visual studies from the University of California, Irvine. Her past research looks at contemporary hate violence on the bodies and buildings of racialised people. As Project Manager of our Race and Religion Hate Crimes Project, Tavleen works with local community-based organisations to help facilitate access to support services for survivors and witnesses of hate crimes.

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Finance Officer

Nazia Khan

Finance Officer
Nazia Khan

Nazia’s duties include book-keeping and producing monthly management accounts, forecasting/budget reporting and providing project finance support, running payroll and helping to produce the Year End Accounts. She has a BSc Hon degree and over 10 years Finance experience.

Bishop Libby Lane
Chair of Trustees

The Rt Revd Libby Lane

Chair of Trustees
The Rt Revd Libby Lane

The Rt Revd Libby Lane is Bishop of Derby.

Bishop Libby was the first woman to be appointed a bishop in the Church of England when she became Suffragan Bishop of Stockport within the Diocese of Chester in 2015. In 2019 she became Bishop of Derby and entered the House of Lords. She has the Lords Spiritual profile for Sport. She is Chair of Cranmer Committee for the Council of St John’s College Durham, Vice-Chair of Trustees on the Church of England’s Children’s Society and was made an honorary fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford in 2015. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity (DD) degree by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. In July 2017, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) by the University of Bath.

Bishop Libby is married to the Revd George Lane with two adult children.

Hardial S Dhillon
Trustee (Sikh representative)

Dr Hardial Singh Dhillon

Trustee (Sikh representative)
Dr Hardial Singh Dhillon

Hardial is a founder member of MFC and has been a Chair of Religious Resources and Research Steering Committee of University of Derby from 1992-1999 which saw the conception, inception and the realisation of MFC. He has been an active Sikh Advisor since 1989 and is currently a trustee and Vice President. From 1990, he has been an active member of Derby SCACRE as well.

He obtained his BSc (Hons) from University College London, and later completed his Masters in Medicinal Chemistry and PhD in Microbiology from Loughborough University of Technology. He has been a Charter Biologist and a Charter Chemist. From 1989 he has been a lecturer of Biology and for the past 11 years of his service, a Head of Biology at Joseph Wright Centre of Derby College and recently retired in 2017.

His interests include Sikhi and Science and he has lectured and published several articles upon this theme. Recently, he has written articles on Sikh position on current climate change and our responsibility (Sikhi and the Eco-system; Sikhi and the Inspirational Nature; Sikhi and the Pearls of Nature). In 1997, he found a Gurmat School (alias Sikh Religion and Culture Heritage Forum) at Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara Derby, where he still serves as a volunteer lecturer. He has also translated the Sikh Scripture – Guru Granth Sahib Ji into English, which is awaiting publication.

Ruth Dolby
Trustee (Jewish representative)

Ruth Dolby

Trustee (Jewish representative)
Ruth Dolby

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 Progressive [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 4 years as Jewish Faith Advisor to the Chaplaincy at the University of Derby, gaining great enjoyment from building on the multi-faith dialogues with people of all faith and none.

Ruth is a member of Leicester Progressive Jewish Congregation and is married with one grown up daughter.

Shain Bali2
Trustee (Hindu representative)

Soshain Bali

Trustee (Hindu representative)
Soshain Bali

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 graphic designer/photographer, a Hindu Faith trail leader at the Derby Open Centre, a Derby Museums Assistant and an advocate and member of the Diversity subgroup at 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 was involved in the Planning and Developing Committee organising events and faith trails at the MFC, The Roma Community Centre, the Fund Raising Committee and the Strategy Performance Committee at the Multi Faith Centre. He has been committee member of the Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults in Derby faith places. Current work is with the Punjabi Diaspora Derby project and the Derby Forum of Faiths steering committee. Soshain fondly remembers the London Olympics, 2012 as a volunteer Gamesmaker and photographing ‘Lighting the Olympic torch’ across the East Midlands.

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Trustee (Muslim representative)

Qazi Abdul Mateen

Trustee (Muslim representative)
Qazi Abdul Mateen

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.

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Trustee

Andy Oakley

Trustee
Andy Oakley

Andy joined the University of Derby in 2013 and his background is in Finance. Shortly after graduating from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1991 with a degree in Accounting and Finance, he joined Bass plc.’s graduate training scheme. He qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in 1995. Andy’s career at Bass started with its Leisure Division. In 1998 he moved across to its Brewing Division, where he performed a variety of senior Finance roles as well as being a National Account Manager selling beers like Carling, Coors Light and Grolsch to Safeway plc. prior to its acquisition by Morrisons. Andy enjoys holidays in Bournemouth and also has a soft spot for Cornwall having worked there throughout 2011 when he was Finance Director for Sharp’s Brewery (Doom Bar). Andy is married with four children and ‘enjoys’ watching Derby County, dog-walking and playing golf.

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Trustee

Graham Falgate

Trustee
Graham Falgate

Graham has been a trustee of the Multi Faith Centre since 2012 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 Freeman2
Trustee

Guy Freeman

Trustee
Guy Freeman

Guy Freeman joined the board of trustees of the Multi Faith Centre in 2013 as an independent member.

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.

Terry Waite
Honorary President

Terry Waite CBE

Honorary President
Terry Waite CBE

Terry Waite CBE has spent many years in different parts of the world working alongside people of different cultures, faith and nationalities. He has worked as an advisor to Robert Runcie, former Archbishop of Canterbury and as a hostage negotiator. He himself was kept as a hostage in solitary confinement for almost five years. He is the author of several books and co-founder of Hostage International. He has received many honorary doctorates and other awards.

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Honorary Vice-President

Emeritus Professor Jonathan Powers DL

Honorary Vice-President
Emeritus Professor Jonathan Powers DL

First Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the University of Derby, and Project Champion, subsequently Vice-Chairman, Acting Chairman and now Vice-President of the Multi-Faith Centre. He has been involved in developing several Derby cultural and educational institutions, and has had a wide range of experience on various national bodies and as an advisor and external examiner at a number of other universities. He studied Physics at Birmingham University then Philosophy at Sussex University (now an Honorary Fellow). He is an Honorary Professor at Middlesex University where he headed degree programmes in three different Faculties before becoming Dean of Humanities. He is also a sometime Veteran County Champion Hammer Thrower. His publications include several editions of Philosophy and the New Physics; articles in the Concise Encyclopaedia of Western Philosophy and Philosophers, The Genius of Erasmus Darwin, and Enfield Voices: the Birth of the People’s Universities; plus a series of mini-monographs on the work of influential figures associated with the East Midlands from 17th to 19th centuries, arising from his public lectures. He has published a Pictorial History of the Origins and Development of the Multi-Faith Centre and most recently has written A Short Illustrated History of the Timeline of the University of Derby.

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Honorary Vice-President

Most Ven Dr Ajahn Phra Rajawithetpanyakhun Abbot (Laow Panyasiri)

Honorary Vice-President
Most Ven Dr Ajahn Phra Rajawithetpanyakhun Abbot (Laow Panyasiri)
Hardial S Dhillon
Honorary Vice-President

Dr Hardial Singh Dhillon

Honorary Vice-President
Dr Hardial Singh Dhillon

Hardial is a founder member of MFC and has been a Chair of Religious Resources and Research Steering Committee of University of Derby from 1992-1999 which saw the conception, inception and the realisation of MFC. He has been an active Sikh Advisor since 1989 and did several programmes to raise funds for the MFC (something which he still does to continue to support MFC). Currently, he is a trustee and an Honorary Vice President of MFC.

He obtained his BSc (Hons) from University College London, and later completed his Masters in Medicinal Chemistry and PhD in Microbiology from Loughborough University of Technology. He has been a Charter Biologist and a Charter Chemist. From 1989 he has been a lecturer of Biology and for the past 11 years of his service, a Head of Biology at Joseph Wright Centre of Derby College and recently retired in 2017.

His interests include Sikhi and Science and he has lectured and published several articles upon this theme. Recently, he has written articles on Sikh position on current climate change and our responsibility (Sikhi and the Eco-system; Sikhi and the Inspirational Nature; Sikhi and the Pearls of Nature) In 1997, he found a Gurmat School (alias Sikh Religion and Culture Heritage Forum) at Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara Derby, where he still serves as a volunteer lecturer with other colleagues to run it on weekly bases. Last year, his interest culminated in translating the Sikh Scripture – Guru Granth Sahib Ji into English, by following proper grammar rules, which is awaiting publication.

From 1990, he has been an active member of Derby SCACRE as well.

Wendi Momen
Honorary Vice-President

Dr Wendi Momen MBE

Honorary Vice-President
Dr Wendi Momen MBE

Dr Wendi Momen has been associated with the Multi-Faith Centre from its early days as the then chair of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the UK, on which she still serves as trustee.

Interested in everything that promotes social justice and harmony, Dr Momen supports women’s organisations, including Soroptimist International and UN Women UK. She is currently chair of the National Alliance of Women’s Organisations, a trustee of Widows Rights International and an executive member of UK Civil Society Women’s Alliance and of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, Geneva.

In 1982 Dr Momen was appointed a magistrate in the criminal courts and a lay judge in the family court, retiring in October 2020. She is a board member of Ethical Business Building the Future, a Governor at London School of Economics, trustee of Bedford Council of Faiths, board member of the International Environment Forum and member of the International Tree Foundation.

Dr Momen is an editor and author of 13 books. and was awarded an MBE in 2014.

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Honorary Vice-President

Dr Muhammad Manazir Ahsan MBE

Honorary Vice-President
Dr Muhammad Manazir Ahsan MBE
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Honorary Vice-President

Revd Malcolm Weisman OBE

Honorary Vice-President
Revd Malcolm Weisman OBE
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Honorary Vice-President

Raj Kumar Bali MBE

Honorary Vice-President
Raj Kumar Bali MBE

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