Shaping debate on religion in public life.

Staff & Trustees

The William Temple Foundation’s small, dedicated staff team is supported by a council group of eleven trustees. Together with our Associate Research Fellows, the Foundation encompasses a broad range of skills, experience and expertise.



Professor 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, Belief 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 over 40 articles and book chapters and 11 books. Recent publications include Theology for Changing Times: John Atherton and the Future of Public Theology (SCM 2018); Re-imagining Religion and Belief for 21st Century Policy and Practice (Policy Press 2019) and Postsecular Geographies: Re-envisioning politics, subjectivity and ethics (Routledge 2019). His current research, commissioned by the UK Parliament, analyses the impact of partnership working developed between local authorities and faith groups during the COVID 19 pandemic on policy practice and changing attitudes towards inclusion and diversity.

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 Matthew Barber-Rowell FRSA joined the William Temple Foundation as Communications Officer in October 2023.

Matthew has a long association and knowledge of the work of the Foundation stretching back to 2014. In 2019 Matthew was awarded a Temple Scholarship by the Foundation. In 2020 Matthew was a researcher on the Keeping the Faith Report for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Faith and Society, which was led by the Foundation. In 2021 Matthew became the first of our Temple Scholars to achieve their doctorate from the Faith and Civil Society Unit at Goldsmith’s, University of London. In 2022, Matthew became a Research Fellow and was the inaugural recipient of the Len Collinson Postdoctoral Fellowship offered by the Foundation.

Matthew’s doctoral work offered a new paradigm and consultative methodology for faith based organisations, called Curating Spaces of Hope. Since the pandemic, Matthew has developed a varied portfolio of work deploying Spaces of Hope and developing local leadership that responds to global crises and explores approaches to building resilience. This portfolio includes Ecological Transformation with Diocese of Manchester including the launch of Eco Stepping Stones, postdoctoral research at Liverpool Hope University considering the role of faith in higher education, and consultancy work, for example a recent piece with Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services, co-creating a vision and strategy for eradicating poverty in the city. Matthew’s first monograph is expected to be published by SCM Press in Autumn 2024 offering a political theology of leadership for uncertain times.

You can follow him on Twitter @DrBarber_Rowell


Dr Katya Braginskaia joined the William Temple Foundation as Digital Learning Lead in April 2023.

She is based at Goldsmiths, University of London and her research interests include comparative approaches to the study of multiculturalism, hospitality and integration, minority faith activism and representation of refugees and religious minorities in national/local settings.

Before coming to Goldsmiths, she worked at the University of Bristol where she was awarded the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship and convened undergraduate courses on religion and politics. Her postdoctoral project was entitled ‘Minority faith and civil society responses to refugee integration in Britain’ in which she examined Muslim and Jewish initiatives aimed at supporting newcomers in the context of devolved social policies, local mobilisation, and government approaches to community integration in England and Scotland (2018-2022). She presented her work on religious minorities and refugee integration at different interdisciplinary conferences and events and is currently writing up her research. Prior to that, she worked on the collaborative project Public Faith and Finance, and was also involved in researching and developing the AHRC-funded Connected Communities forum entitled Co-Creating Cities and Communities. The event brought together participants from universities and communities interested in co-creating flourishing cities, engaged citizens and sustainable urban environment, with a series of case studies published in the report on  Co-Creating Urban Living.

Katya had previously completed her PhD in Politics on the role of the Muslim Councils in Britain and Russia at the University of Edinburgh in 2014. She published on Muslim umbrella organisations and British politics (1997-2013) and on the processes of institutionalisation and representation of Islam in Russia in comparative perspective.

She is the UK correspondent for EUREL network, an online portal providing information and news about religion and legal affairs in Europe.



Professor Simon Lee (Chair) is Professor of Law, Open University, and Emeritus Professor of Jurisprudence, Queen’s University, Belfast. He was a Brackenbury Scholar at Balliol College (where William Temple studied, a little earlier), Oxford, and a Harkness Fellow at Yale Law School. He became Rector of the ecumenical Anglican-Catholic Liverpool Hope University College, Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University, Chair of Level Partnerships, Executive Director of the Cambridge Theological Federation and a Fellow of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge. He was awarded honorary doctorates by Virginia Theological Seminary in 2011 and Liverpool Hope University in January 2016.

His grassroots contributions to peace included editing Freedom from Fear: Churches Together in Northern Ireland (Institute of Irish Studies, 1990) and co-founding the citizens’ movement, Initiative ’92, which established the Opsahl Commission. He was appointed by different governments to the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights and to the Standards Task Force for schools.

Simon writes and broadcasts about law, ethics, religion, politics, history and sport. His books include Law & Morals (Oxford University Press, 1986), Judging Judges (Faber, 1988), The Cost of Free Speech (Faber, 1990), Uneasy Ethics (Pimlico, Random House, 2003) and Vincent’s Club Oxford 1863-2013 (Third Millennium, 2014, foreword by Sir Roger Bannister). Simon’s lifelong interests in ecumenism, education, multi-faith societies and social justice come together in studying the influences of four Balliol students from the same era: Beveridge, Tawney, Temple and Toynbee. Simon is on Twitter: @paradoxbridge


John Bridgeman CBE TD DL has had a career involving international business, government service and charities. He is currently Chairman of the Audit and Standards Committee of Warwickshire County Council, Independent Complaints Commissioner for the Direct Marketing Authority and a Pension Trustee of The British Horseracing Authority. As Honorary Colonel Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars he is President of the Oxfordshire Yeomanry Association and a Trustee of the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum Trust. He advises charities and trusts on strategy, fund raising, brand identity and corporate governance.

John is also an educationalist. He was the founding Vice Chairman of the Heart of England Training and Enterprise Council and awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Sheffield Hallam University for services to Management Education. He has been visiting Professor in Management at the Universities of Keele and Surrey and at Imperial College, London. For 12 years he was a Trustee of the UK Foundation for Canadian Studies (UK Vice-Chairman for 5 years, then Chairman for 3 years).

Earlier in his career John was Chief Executive of British Alcan Aluminium plc, Director General of Fair Trading, a non-ministerial department of Government, founding Chairman of the Horseracing Regulatory Authority and Vice Chairman of British Waterways.


Lois Guthrie pursued a career in taxation, first at PwC and then at Zurich Insurance Group until 2016. Having joined the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in 2004, she simultaneously developed a career in climate and natural capital corporate reporting. ln 2007, when the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) was established, Lois was appointed Executive Director and became responsible for CDSB’s work to develop a framework for reporting on environmental information and natural capital in mainstream corporate reports. Lois was seconded for two years to the lnternational lntegrated Reporting Council (llRC) as a Technical Director during the development of the Framework. Lois is currently a director at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in the Redefining Value Programme.

Lois studied environmental policy at the Open University and holds an MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice from the University of Bath. She studied the Oxford Blockchain Strategy Programme in an effort to understand the capacity of technology to support the transition to a just and low-carbon society. Lois’ first degree was Theology, studied at the University of Birmingham, and she has retained a life-long interest in the role that religion plays in society. She is a member of the ACCA Global Forum on Sustainability, the Carbon Tracker Advisory Board and Fulcrum Leaders. In her spare time Lois practices yoga and ballet, gardens, reads and travels in her camper van.


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.


The Very Rev’d Dr Peter Robinson was made Dean of Derby in July 2020, joining the Bishop of Derby’s staff team and leading the life of Derby Cathedral. Formerly, from 2008, Peter was Archdeacon of Lindisfarne in Newcastle Diocese. Peter has wide experience of theological reflection in different settings – the inner urban, remote rural and in the city centre. Peter led the pioneering Urban Ministry and Theology Project in the East End of Newcastle which experimented with new forms of contextual training following the impetus of Faith in the City in the mid-1980s. In Newcastle Diocese Peter chaired the Lindisfarne Regional Training Partnership (2009 to 2017) and also the Diocesan Board of Education (2014 to 2020) through which he gained extensive experience working with academies and multi-academy trusts. Peter’s experience in  theological training (both as a practitioner and in governance) continues to develop in his membership of the national church’s Resourcing Ministerial Formation Review panel. He is also a lead reviewer for theological eduction institutions on behalf of the Bishops and Ministry Division.

Peter chaired the William Temple Foundation from 2011 to 2020 during which time he oversaw a five year development programme from 2011 to 2016 which re-shaped the focus of the Foundation’s activities and its communications. Peter is continuing as a member of the Council to support the continued development of the Foundation’s work.


Rev’d Dr Yazid Said is a Lecturer in Islam at Liverpool Hope University. He studied Classical Arabic and English Literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Christian Theology at the University of Cambridge. After being ordained an Anglican priest, he completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge (2010) on the medieval Muslim theologian Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111). His research is focused on medieval Muslim political and legal thought and on Christian-Muslim theological encounters, with reference to the manner in which Greek philosophical thought was appropriated in both Christian and Muslim texts. He is the author of Ghazali’s Politics in Context (Routledge 2012) and co-editor of The Future of Interfaith Dialogue: Muslim-Christian Encounters through A Common Word (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Yazid is currently working on two projects: a critical edition of an Egyptian Muslim polemical manuscript against Christians and Jews in seventeenth century Ottoman Egypt and an investigation of Ghazali’s concept of ‘taste’, dhawq.


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 also a 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.