Our vision is for every refugee in the UK to be welcomed by their local church

At the end of 2019 there were approximately 133,094  refugees and 61,968 asylum seekers living  in the UK (UNHCR, 2019).

If every church welcomed four people seeking refuge to their community then we could easily see our vision become a reality! No matter where your church is, there is something that you can do to welcome refugees and asylum seekers into your community.

Whether your church is big or small, old or young, urban or rural, traditional or contemporary, there IS something you can do to join with our vision. No matter how refugees are arriving in your area, we want to help you to be a welcoming community for them.

Get in touch!

Meet the team

EMILY

Emily is our Joint CEO, having cofounded Welcome Churches with Karina Martin in 2018, and is now based in Manchester. She has a wealth of experience in welcoming many asylum seekers through our Welcome Boxes project with her local church. Emily is passionate about seeing the UK Church being at the forefront of welcoming refugees. She has an MA in Conflict, Development and Security where she specialised in European citizens’ responsibilities to refugees.

SUE

Sue is our Joint CEO. She is passionate about supporting and training individuals and churches to be well equipped and confident in welcoming the refugees around them. Having lived in the Middle East for 24 years, involved in cross-cultural ministry, she is an Arabic speaker. She is also involved in welcoming refugees and asylum seekers in
High Wycombe and through resettlement schemes in the Thames Valley area.

JONATHAN

Jonathan is our Operations and Finance Officer. He has more than 25 years of cross-cultural experience, including living in Afghanistan, where he learnt the Persian language and culture, and Pakistan. Since returning to the UK, Jonathan has been working with a large group of asylum seekers and refugees at his church in Derby, including Afghans, Iranians and Iraqi Kurds amongst others.

Ali

Ali is our Integration Officer, providing support to churches on refugee integration into the community. He has 18 years of experience with the United Nations agencies and other international organisations in his home country. He has been helping other refugees in his community since his arrival in the UK in 2018.

Joanna

Joanna is our Communications Officer.She is responsible for developing our brand and creating communications content for our social media and website. She is passionate about telling the stories of refugees and asylum seekers and has a wealth of experience in photography and filmmaking. She has an MA in Broadcast Journalism.

Sidra

Sidra is our Digital Champions Coordinator as part of our Refugees Online project. She has a lot of experience working with people from different backgrounds and cultures. She is a fluent speaker of Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi.

Trustees

Mark Mumford

CHAIR

Mark’s leadership and pastoral experience has extended over four decades, particularly through leading East Midlands Christian Fellowships for over 30 years. The church has developed and grown over those years from small beginnings, to a church that is based in several locations around the East Midlands, including Community Church Derby. Mark also leads a team that oversees a number of other churches around the UK, as part of the wider family of Salt and Light Ministries. Mark has a passion for the church to become more influential and for it to demonstrate good news and hope to a divided and troubled world. He also loves to see people fulfilling their true potential in God!

Patrick Johnstone

Patrick served for 16 years in in Southern Africa as a missionary, and then 32 years as part of the leadership team of WEC International. He an author having written a number of books including Operation World, The Future of the Global Church and Serving God in a Migrant Crisis. He is in active retirement living in Derby with his wife, Robyn.

Marion Knell

Having worked in the area of Member care at a European and global level and instituted an MA in the subject, Marion now consults with Refugee Highway Partnership on care for refugees and refugee workers and leads trauma response for the EEA. Marion has developed courses for churches on working with traumatised refugees and sustaining refugee workers. She is an international speaker on Staff Care and works with an international relocation company as an intercultural trainer. She has written two books, ‘Families on the Move’ and ‘Burn-up or Splashdown – the survival guide to re-entry’.

Alex Jones

Alex is Head of Fundraising & Supporter Development at Christians Against Poverty leading their fundraising strategy and working to build a movement of supporters and churches committed to releasing people from grinding poverty in the UK. Alex is deeply committed to a world where each person is treated with inherent dignity and infinite worth and has led campaigning and fundraising at Christian Aid, including a campaign to change the story about refugees living here in the UK. An active member of a local Baptist Church in Bradford, he is passionate about church unity and celebrates the rich diversity of Christian expression across the world.

Patron

Patrick Regan OBE

Patrick is the Patron of Welcome Churches whose vision is for every refugee in the UK to be welcomed by their local church. He is CEO and co-founder of Kintsugi Hope, which came about following a series of personal trials and ill-health affecting him and his family. Prior to that, he led urban youth work charity XLP, which he founded in 1996 and ran for 22 years.

Patrick has travelled to over 40 countries, working with and on behalf of the poorest communities, and is a regular contributor on radio and TV on issues of justice and wellbeing. He has received the Mayor of London Peace Award and was also awarded an OBE from Her Majesty the Queen for services to young people. Patrick is an Honorary Fellow of the South Bank University for his contribution towards justice and wellbeing.

Patrick is a passionate communicator equally at home on the main stage at major UK political party conferences and engaging in robust debates in the media as he is connecting with business and community leaders, and speaking to inmates in a maximum security prison or gang leaders in Jamaica.
Patrick is married to Diane and has four children. He is the author of six books, mostly recently Bouncing Forwards.