David Bradwell is the Refugee Co-ordinator for Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees. He has previously served as Secretary of the Churches Refugee Network, as Scottish Churches Parliamentary Officer and as Associate Secretary of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland. David is part of the Joint Public Issues Team. In June 2017 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe. He lives in East Lothian.
You can contact him by calling 07341 478 174 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sabine Chalmers is the Refugee Project Development Worker for Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees. She has a Bachelor and Master’s degree in International Development with a focus on forced migration. Working with IDPs and refugees in Vienna and Azerbaijan, as well as growing up in the Middle East, she is keen to apply her experience in helping the Scottish faith community respond to current refugee matters in a practical and compassionate way. Originally from Austria, Sabine is married to a Scotsman, lives in Edinburgh, works part-time at CrossReach and worships at a Presbyterian church. To contact Sabine email email@example.com
Members of our co-ordinating group:
Ephraim Borowski is the Director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities.
As its Convener of the grandly-titled Standing Committee of Scottish Jewry at the time of Devolution, Ephraim led its transformation into SCoJeC, a democratic representative body with the authority to speak on behalf of the entire Jewish Community of Scotland. Before his early retirement from Glasgow University, Ephraim was head of the Philosophy Department, a member of Court, and President of AUT. He is the joint author of the Collins Dictionary of Mathematics, and has been President of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow, a Governor of Hutchesons’ Educational Trust, Vice-President of Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, Chairman of Giffnock Synagogue, and Convener of BEMIS. He currently chairs the Regional Deputies of the Board of Deputies, is a Lay Member of GTC(S), and Chair of the National Independent Strategic Advisors Group which was recently established by Police Scotland to advise on equality and diversity matters. Ephraim was awarded an MBE for services on behalf of the Jewish Community, and was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Philosophical Society – only the third since Einstein!
Ian Buchanan is the current Convener of the Church and Society Committee in the United Free Church of Scotland. He is a retired Principal Teacher of Biology, having taught for 37 years. He is also a church elder and clerk to the Congregational Board of the United Free Church in Milngavie, just outside Glasgow.
Grace Buckley is a member of the National Justice and Peace Commission for Scotland, which is a commission of the Scottish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. The Justice and Peace Commission is a member of the Conference of European Justice & Peace Commissions, and works with them and the Pontifical Council Justitia et Pax.
Martin Johnstone is the Secretary of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council. Over the last 30 years he has supported the work of faith communities in many of Scotland’s economically poorest neighbourhoods including as the founding Chief Executive of Faith in Community Scotland. He is involved with a range of anti-poverty charities and currently helps to coordinate the development of a growing network of Poverty Truth Commissions across the UK. He is passionate that the wisdom of people who struggle against injustice is seminal to our ability to bring about real and lasting change.
Joan Lyon represents the Scottish Episcopal Church. She is the Priest-in-Charge of St Ninian’s Church in Aberdeen.
Mohamed Omar has been appointed by Interfaith Scotland. Mohamed helps to organise Interfaith Glasgow’s Weekend Club project. Mohamed has a bachelor’s degree in international Relations and Law. He has also achieved a Masters of Laws at the University of Aberdeen. Mohamed was recently elected as one of the Board of Directors at the Scottish Refugee Council. Mohamed is currently involved in the Scottish Government Refugee Integration Response Sub – Group and leads a new Interfaith Glasgow project designed to help asylum seekers, refugees and new migrants integrate in Scotland. This initiative brings together volunteers from different faith groups (and none) and provides a unique opportunity for interfaith cooperation on an issue of shared concern.
Mohamed has also worked in key governmental areas at a significant and historical period in Scotland (Independence Referendum and Commonwealth Games). He has participated in the UN Young professional programme at the Hague, was elected as the President of the Intern Council at the Institute for cultural diplomacy in Berlin and has successfully completed an internship at UNEP/CMS in Bonn. In his a spare time Mohamed uses his SFA qualification to coach young footballers and plays 5 a side football. Occasionally, Mohamed blogs about international affairs.
Hilary Patrick represents the Society of Friends (Quakers) on SFAR. She is a lawyer who has worked with a large number of organisations concerned with human rights, and specialising in issues relating to those living with mental health challenges. She is currently a board member of the Peace and Justice Centre, based in Edinburgh and loves singing with radical community group, Protest in Harmony.
Imam Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi is an international academic and public lecturer, with training in Islamic Sciences and UK degrees in History, Comparative Philosophy, and Law. He is the Director-General and Chief Imam of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society. Sayed is involved in academic and civic outreach to those of faith and no-faith backgrounds; engaging with congregations across the world, religious leaders, governmental and diplomatic bodies, and civil society. Sayed has represented the Muslim community at European Commission High-Level Religious Leaders meetings. An advisor on policy relating to religion, integration models and counter-terrorism, Sayed was one of the cross-denominational Imams leading a 2014 UK media campaign against ISIS, publicised on 350+ media outlets worldwide. He is a trustee of the Maimonides Interfaith Foundation, a representative on the National Council for Imams and Rabbis, a core member of the Global Covenant of Religions, a committee member in promoting the UN International Day of Peace, representative, advisor and interfaith-chair for Shia Muslim organisations in Europe, a faculty member for the Cambridge Coexist Leadership Programme at the University of Cambridge, and a founding member of a historic and newly established Shia–Sunni Muslim Alliance in Scotland.
Matthew Ross is General Secretary of Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS) – Scotland’s national ecumenical organisation. He is a minister of the Church of Scotland; he was ordained in 1998 and served as a parish minister for ten years, plus six years working in Brussels as Executive Secretary with the Conference of European Churches (CEC). Founded in 1990, ACTS is a joint initiative of the Church of Scotland, Congregational Federation, Methodist Church, Religious Society of Friends, Roman Catholic Church, Salvation Army, Scottish Episcopal Church, United Free Church of Scotland and United Reformed Church. ACTS aims to bring Christians of different traditions in Scotland closer to one another in their shared faith in Jesus Christ by meeting, praying, learning, reflecting and acting together on matters of common concern. ACTS is supporting Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees both with grant funding and through allowing Matthew to spend time supporting this work.
Linsay Taylor represents the Muslim Council of Scotland. She is currently the project manager of a low-carbon environmental project. Previously she was a human rights adviser and immigration and asylum case worker.
Born to Salvation Army officer parents, Steven Turner has lived in most parts of the United Kingdom. After obtaining a BSc in Physics and MSc in Applied Optics, Steven worked at GEC on optical systems for military applications, and designed and built a test-bed for one of the companies infrared sights. After a brief spell with a small software firm, Steven worked as an analyst for Reuters, monitoring and troubleshooting their internal data network.
With his wife Elizabeth, Steven was trained at the William Booth Memorial Training College in London as a Salvation Army Officer. For 19 years they have together led corps (churches) in various parts of England and Southern Scotland – most recently for three years in Berwick-upon-Tweed. Within The Salvation Army, Steven and Elizabeth have led worship, run groups for all ages and holiday clubs for children; in the community they have also worked with schools and supported families in difficulty. Steven has been a primary school governor, part of a team chaplaincy in a high school and initiator and co-ordinator of a food bank network in the Scottish Borders. In July 2016, Steven joined The Salvation Army’s Scotland Office with a brief to engage in public affairs with the Scottish Parliament and in matters of faith and social justice with other churches and faith groups.
Outside of work, Steven speaks Spanish, is an occasional writer and blogger, and plays piano for Sunday worship at The Salvation Army and trombone in a local band.
Laurent Vernet is a French citizen and has been working in Scotland for over 25 years. He is a trained economist, monitoring & evaluation officer and currently works as a head of marketing in the Scottish food industry.
He is a volunteer with several Scottish charities and has an experience of migrants and refugees camps through international voluntary works.
Laurent is a Local Preacher within the Methodist Church in Britain based in the Edinburgh and Forth Circuit and reporting to the Chair of the Scottish District on refugees matters. He is also a Presbyter student in the Methodist Church attached to Granton United Church.