The William Temple Foundation’s small, dedicated staff team is supported by a council group of eight trustees. Together with our Associate Research Fellows, the Foundation encompasses a broad range of skills, experience and expertise.
Prof Chris Baker joined the William Temple Foundation in 2001 as Development Officer, before becoming Director of Research in 2003. He completed his doctorate on religion in English New Towns at the University of Manchester in 2002, where he taught urban and public theology until 2009. Chris holds the post of William Temple Professor of Religion and Public Life at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Chris has researched and published widely on the role and contribution of faith to urban and public life, including nearly 40 articles and book chapters and eight books. Recent publications include Postsecular Cities – space, theory and practice (Continuum 2011), Christianity and the New Social Order (SPCK 2011) and A Theology of Christian Materialism – Entangled Fidelities and the Public Good (2015) He has also been involved in six research projects exploring the relationship of religion to public life, including a major Leverhulme Trust funded enquiry into religious and spiritual capital. His current research project for the ARHC is called Re-imagining Religion and Belief for Public Policy and Practice and is being conducted with Professor Adam Dinham at Goldsmiths, University of London.
He provides regular training and consultation events based on his research across the UK, Europe and Australia. Chris is passionate about cinema, live music and Charlton Athletic Football Club. Follow Chris on Twitter — @DrChrisRBaker
Dr Tim Middleton joined the William Temple Foundation as Communications Officer in July 2018.
Tim holds degrees in both theology and science, including a PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of Oxford. He is currently a postgraduate student in the Faculty of Theology and Religion at Oxford, where his research focusses on intersections between ecotheology, trauma studies, and strands of contemporary philosophy. He has previously worked in science journalism and has written widely on religion and science. He is also an Associate of the Faraday Institute of Science and Religion, as well as a member of the European Forum for the Study of Religion and the Environment, the Society for the Study of Theology and Modern Church. You can follow him on Academia here and on Twitter @TimMiddleton1.
The Venerable Peter Robinson (Chair) is an ordained priest in the Church of England currently serving in the Diocese of Newcastle as the Archdeacon of Lindisfarne. Peter has a longstanding interest in social ethics arising from his ministry in both urban and rural areas of the north east. He has a particular interest in partnership working and developing the voice of the church in the public realm. He recently chaired the Anti-Poverty Commission in Northumberland and is committed to helping communities build their capacity by strengthening existing assets.
Dr Philip Lewis advised Bishops of Bradford on Islam & Christian-Muslim relations for more than twenty five years and lectured on ‘Religions, Conflict and Peace-making’ in the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. Since retiring, he continues to lecture in his specialist field and is Visiting Fellow at York St John University. His most recent book, co-authored with a Muslim academic, is entilted British Muslims: new directions in Islamic thought, creativity and activism (Edinburgh University Press, 2018). Philip’s passion is to find resources in both the Christian and Islamic traditions to shape public life for the common good.
Revd Dr Hayley Matthews is Director of Lay Training for the Anglican Diocese of Leeds, teaching Ethics, New Testament and Pastoral theology under Common Awards, as well as developing a range of Lay Training Pathways which includes the conception, design and implementation of an online Digital Learning Platform. Her PhD No Faith in Equality and Diversity (Lancaster University Management School: forthwith) explored gender and sexuality through the experiences of female, gay male and transgender priests ordained and serving in the Anglican Church. She has taught short courses at St Stephen’s, Oxford; trained curates in IME 1-4; as well as writing and delivering modules for an MA in Contextual Theology at Luther King House, Manchester, and on gender for the Roman Catholic A-Level Syllabus for Religious Education. She is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Hayley has published a wide variety of articles for The Guardian, a faith column for the Manchester Evening News, and been an editing reviewer for the journal Gender, Work and Organisation. She has also broadcast extensively with BBC radio Manchester, BBCRadio2, BBCRadio4, TWR, UCB and a number of independent radio stations. She has also appeared in documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4.
Hayley’s passion for inclusion is built upon Archbishop William Temple’s social and political heritage which she hopes will continue to inspire and challenge both Church and State for the good of all as we learn to live together with multifarious and complex identities. You can follow her on Twitter @RevDrHayleyM.
Revd Richard Peers is an Anglican priest. Most of his working life has been spent in schools in challenging circumstances as a teacher, chaplain and Executive Head at Secondary and Primary level. He worked in schools in Portsmouth, Southampton and London. Richard has also served as a full-time priest in two parishes (in Middlesbrough and Portsmouth) and, since then, as a self-supporting minister in others. Committed to education as a work of social justice, Richard has used Christian character, Restorative Justice and Mindfulness practice as tools for school improvement. He was Head of a black majority school in Lewisham and is committed to working to remove bias in our systems against BAME people. He is particularly devoted to working on issues of unconscious bias. He is currently Director of Education for the Diocese of Liverpool where he has established a diocesan led Multi Academy Trust.
Richard is convinced of the importance of social action as the outworking of spirituality and contemplative practice. He acts as a Spiritual Director to individuals and as an Adviser to emerging communities within the Church of England and beyond. He has recently contributed a chapter on Mindfulness to a book for social justice activists.
Dr Maria Power, FRHistS, is a Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford. She is the Director of the Human Dignity Project at Las Casas Institute for Social Justice. In June 2019, she was a Holland Visiting Fellow at the University of Durham. In 2017 she was appointed as a Visiting Fellow at the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society at St Mary’s University as well as being awarded membership of the Catholic Theological Association.
Maria is the author of Catholic Social Teaching and Theologies of Peace in Northern Ireland (2020) and From Ecumenism to Community Relations: Inter-Church Relationships in Northern Ireland 1980-2005, (Dublin, 2007). And she is editor of Building Peace in Northern Ireland, (Liverpool, 2011). She has also published numerous scholarly articles on the role of faith-based organisations in building peace in Northern Ireland. She has spoken both nationally and internationally on the topic, and is a regular contributor to the media on issues relating to faith, politics, and justice, most recently appearing on a PBS documentary on Pope John Paul II’s visit to Northern Ireland and writing for the Irish Times. Her next single-author project, Justice Not Politics, will combine her interests in the eradication of structural violence and the role of faith in society, by reimaging the British Welfare State for the 21st Century.
As well as being the Chair of Trustees for Good Works UK, a charity that helps young people make ethical choices in their careers, Maria also works with life-without-parole prisoners in the United States.
Revd Dr John Reader is a parish priest, theological educator and practical theologian with over 30 years experience in rural ministry. John has degrees from Oxford, Manchester and a Ph.D from the University of Wales, Bangor. He is Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Worcester and a Senior Tutor in Christian Rural and Environmental Studies at Ripon College, Cuddesdon. John’s most recent publications are ‘A Philosophy of Christian Materialism: Entangled Fidelities and the Public Good’ (Ashgate, 2015) co-written with Chris Baker and Tom James, and Theology and New Materialism: Spaces of Faithful Dissent (2017) published by Palgrave Macmillan. Follow John on Twitter @DrJohnReader
Dr Helen Reid is Director of Leeds Church Institute, a faith based organisation for lifelong learning. LCI is based in Leeds city centre and works city-wide. Its mission focuses on ‘Learning for a Faithful City’ through education and events, research, city engagement and a not-for-profit business. Previously, Helen has held three different posts each focused around education and action for better understanding between different faiths. She was awarded a PhD in Peace Studies (1997) for research into the role of conflict resolution in Religious Education in schools in Bradford and Leicester. This was a formative time in her career and she continues to be motivated by a commitment to acting with others for the city to be a better and more peaceful place for all.
Dr Anna Ruddick is a freelance community theologian and researcher working to resource the church in its engagement with communities. Her doctoral work, Missional Pastoral Care, innovation in charismatic evangelical urban practice (2016), took an ethnographic and practical theological approach to incarnational urban mission and Evangelical identity. Publication of the thesis is pending. Anna currently represents Livability, as Community Engagement Associate and Urban Life as a Core team member, she is also a Research Fellow at Bristol Baptist College. Living in Leicester and working nationally Anna is an active reflector, facilitating theological reflection and learning by coaching leaders, leading learning processes for congregations and enabling strategic development in Christian organisations seeking to deepen and strengthen their relationships with their local community. Working within Practical Theology Anna continues to explore issues in mission and the role of the church in the public sphere, poverty and marginality and religious identity.
Dr David Shaw is a historian and graduate of the University of Liverpool, where he obtained his PhD. His PhD research examined the impact of the Irish in Post-War Britain as a political diaspora. Whilst at Liverpool he won the prestigious University of Liverpool and Franklin College International Research Fellowship University of Georgia (UGA). He has delivered lectures in the UK, Ireland and the United States. At Liverpool he taught undergraduate and taught-MA modules covering faith-based peacebuilding, history and politics. He is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
His work has been featured in The Irish Times, Belfast Telegraph, The Conversation and The Irish World. He has also published articles and book reviews in academic journals. He is also a member of the Comité consultatif for the journal Études Irlandaises.
David is currently researching the impact of William Temple in Manchester, seeking to bring forward to the present Temple’s legacy in the city and its relevance to the latest generation of faith-based activists. You can find out more about David’s research here. And follow him on Twitter @DrDavidShaw1.