Our board of trustees
Their role is to oversee the programme and govern Near Neighbours by establishing its policies and objectives, ensuring the legal duties of the charity, its finances and operations, are carried out properly.
Baroness Margaret Eaton, Chairman
Baroness Eaton DBE became a Dame Commander of the order of the British Empire in 2010 and is a Conservative Life Peer in the House of Lords. From 1986 until 2016 she was an elected Councillor on the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, and Leader of the Council from 2000 to 2006. She has extensive experience working in the political sphere and also in environments that are diverse in both faith and ethnicity.
Rt Revd Richard Atkinson OBE
Richard is Bishop of Bedford and has a track record of community focused ministry. He was founder Chair of the St Philip’s Centre in Leicester and is Co-Chair of the Inter faith Network (UK).
Mr Brian Carroll
Brian is a Trustee of the Church Urban Fund, appointed when a Church Commissioner. He was formerly a senior Treasury civil servant and then Finance Director of Waitrose. He has experience of urban regeneration as a previous Board Member of the London & Quadrant Housing Association.
Rt Revd Mark Davies
Mark Davies is the Suffragan Bishop of Middleton in the Church of England Diocese of Manchester. Mark has the Episcopal brief for issues concerning church and society including urban and interfaith matters.
Mr Francis Davis
Francis is Professor of Communities and Public Policy at the University of Birmingham and non - executive director and Chair of Finance of an NHS Trust. He previously taught at Cambridge and held a Fellowship at Oxford University and has held ministerial and departmental advisory roles at DCLG, DH, Cabinet Office and DWP as well as directing and co-chairing major community initiatives of the Mayor of the West Midlands and and the Mayor of London. He is a regular contributor to news and think tank publications most recently a pamphlet on inclusive enterprise and disability for Localis.
Revd Canon Mark Poulson
Mark Poulson is the Inter Faith Advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury, chair of Near Neighbours' Faiths Advisory Panel, chair of the Southall Faith Forum and Member of the Church’s National Presence & Engagement Task Group. Mark has been instrumental in setting up and supporting a range of church projects in multicultural, multi-faith areas, addressing poverty, community fragmentation and exclusion.
Rt Revd Toby Howarth
Toby is Bishop of Bradford, and was previously the National Adviser for Inter Religious Affairs and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs. He has long experience of inter religious relations and previously served as Inter Faith Adviser to the Bishop of Birmingham. Toby was Vice Principal at Crowther Hall in Selly Oak where he also taught Islamic studies having previously spent five years in India where he carried out research on the subject of Islamic preaching.
Canon Guy Wilkinson CBE
Following a degree and post graduate degree from Cambridge University in geography and economics, Guy worked on development aid projects in Kenya, Uganda and Mauritius. In 1987 he was ordained and served in parishes in Coventry, Guildford and Birmingham dioceses, before being appointed Archdeacon of Bradford in 1999. Between 2005 and 2011 he was National Inter Religious Affairs Adviser for the Church of England and Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury. In January 2011 he was appointed Commander of the British Empire for services to inter faith relations. In 2018 he was licensed as honorary assistant curate in the benefice of Eardisley in Hereford diocese and is a consultant in the diocesan Ministry Development Review programme.
Revd Dr Anderson Jeremiah
Anderson is the lecturer of World Christianity and Religious Studies in the department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University. He is an ordained priest from the Church of South India (an Anglican Province)whose research interests and publications lay in the lived facet of Global Christianity, and its theological and missional engagement with other faith communities.
Revd Canon Denise Poole
Denise Poole is a priest living and working in inner city Bradford, West Yorkshire. She has experience of working with people of different faiths in community development, in inter faith work and in education. She is a consultant to Faithful Neighbours, Leeds Diocese and a member of SACRE.
Revd DR RICHARD SUDWORTH
Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs and National Inter-Religious Adviser for the Church of England. Richard was ordained in 2010, after working for 10 years for CMS in North Africa and then Birmingham where has been in parish contexts committed to ministry and the common good amongst other faiths. Richard has a doctorate in Christian-Muslim Relations from Heythrop College, University of London and is one of the Church of England’s leading practitioners in inter faith matters. He was appointed to his present role in July 2018.