Anna Rowlands


+ Click for Biography

Anna Rowlands is the Founding Chair of the Centre for Catholic Social Thought and Practice. She teaches Political Theology in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Durham and is Deputy Director of the Centre for Catholic Studies there. She works with a range of academic and practitioner groups, aiming to bring theory and practice together for purposes of social change and social conservation. She writes widely on Catholic social teaching, aspects of British and European political cultures and theology and the political including her main research focus at present - theological ethics and migration. She is author of the forthcoming ‘Catholic Social Teaching: A Guide for the Perplexed’ (Bloomsbury, 2017) and editor of ‘Political Theology: A Reader’ (Bloomsbury, 2016).

Phil McCarthy


+ Click for Biography

Phil McCarthy is the Chief Executive Officer of Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), the social action arm of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. He is a former family doctor and has held many leadership role in the NHS, including clinical lead for the Bristol Homeless Health Service. He recently completed an MSc in Global Ethics and has a strong interest in Catholic Social Teaching. In 2008 he walked alone from Canterbury to Rome and in 2015 continued this journey on to Istanbul.

Daniel Hale

+ Click for Biography

Daniel Hale is Head of Campaigns at CAFOD. He has a longstanding commitment to Catholic social thought, particularly its potential to encourage action by Catholic laity. As a campaigner Daniel's work spans the environment, economy and society. Daniel's interests also include supporting young people to play a more active role in the community and is a Trustee of Catholic youth charity Million Minutes. Daniel holds a PhD from the University of Leeds and lives in London.


Dr Richard Finn

+ Click for Biography

Dr Richard Finn OP is Director of the Las Casas Institute for Social Justice at Blackfriars Hall in the University of Oxford, where he is a member of the faculties of Theology and Classics. The author of Almsgiving in the Late Roman Empire (Oxford 2006) and Asceticism in the Graeco-Roman World (Cambridge, 2009), he was recently one of two curators of the virtual exhibition, ‘A Pipeline from Heaven: 800 Years of Dominican Books’, and is currently beginning research on the history of the English Dominicans. As part of this project he will be examining the friars’ role in forming cooperatives on Grenada, and in the development of distributism.

Dr Ashley Beck

+ Click for Biography

Dr Ashley Beck is Assistant Priest of Beckenham in the Archdiocese of Southwark and Programme Director in Pastoral Ministry at St Mary’s University, Twickenham; he is also responsible for the academic formation of permanent deacons in most of the dioceses of southern England and Wales. At St Mary’s he teaches Catholic Social teaching as part of modules in the Foundation degree in Pastoral Ministry, the MA degree in Theology and the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies; within St Mary’s he is also a member of the Aquinas Centre for Educational Research and an affiliate of the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society . He has published a large number of articles and monographs relating to Catholic Social teaching and his PhD dissertation was entitled Catholic Social Teaching in the Contemporary Church - towards a Radical and Prophetic Methodology. He represents the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on the Management Committee of Faith in Europe, a research body linked to Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. At present he is leading a project at St Mary’s to set up a new MA degree in Catholic Social Teaching from 2017.

Nick Townsend

+ Click for Biography

Nicholas Townsend has worked in the private sector, in Parliament, and for many years in teaching Christian ethics and political theology, including at Sarum College, Salisbury, and St Augustine’s College of Theology, Canterbury. He has written extensively on Catholic Social Teaching for the VPlater Project based at Newman University, Birmingham. He is reviews editor for Studies in Christian Ethics. His main interests include Christian understandings of the role of government.

Dr Sara Silvestri

+ Click for Biography

Dr Sara Silvestri is Senior Lecturer in the International Politics Department at City, University of London. She is also an Affiliated Lecturer at POLIS (University of Cambridge) and a bye-fellow of St Edmund’s college, where she is Director of Research at the Von Hügel Institute for Critical Catholic Inquiry. Sara is an interdisciplinary social scientist interested in the role of political theologies and faith-based actors in global politics, as well as related issues, at the intersection of migration, multiculturalism, and security. While a large part of her research has focused on the relevance of faith in EU public policy as well as on Muslim identities and political mobilisation, her latest projects (partly funded by the Plater Trust) examine the contribution of the Christian churches and charities to migration policy and to addressing migrants’ needs in the UK and in Europe. Prior to that she was involved in collaborative projects on The Role of Religion in Conflict and Peacebuilding (British Academy 2015), Religion and Diplomacy (Brookings 2015), and comparing representations of Irish and Muslim communities in Britain (ESRC-funded 2008-10) Sara holds a PhD and an MPhil from Cambridge University, where she also completed her ESRC-Postdoctoral Fellowship. She previously earned a Laurea degree from La Sapienza University (Rome), studied EU migration policies at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, trained in church-state relations as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Institut Catholique in Paris, and worked as a journalist for Vatican Radio and other print Christian media. She has also taught at the Muslim College in Cambridge and at Bristol University. Dr Silvestri developed strong ties with the policy world while working on the intercultural dialogue dossier in President Prodi’s Cabinet at the European Commission in 2001-2 and subsequently as an Associate Fellow at Chatham House, by leading the Islam in Europe programme for the Brussels’ think tank European Policy Centre (2007-08), as an advisory board member of the Anna Lindh Foundation for Intercultural Dialogue (Alexandria, Egypt), and as a “global expert” of the UN Alliance of Civilisations. During 2013-14 she collaborated with the UNFPA, the Foreign Office, DfID and various US partners on policy initiatives reflecting on the role of religion in development and foreign policy. A frequent international media commentator and guest speaker at prestigious institutions, Dr Silvestri has advised and provided training for a range of Church bodies, government agencies, EU institutions, and NGOs including: the UK Home Office, FCO, BIS, the German Ministry of Migration, the European Commission, the Canadian Federal Government, the UK Youth Justice Board, the Anglican Diocese of Wells, Caritas Internationalis, the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People, and the Methodist Church.

Dr Philomena Cullen

Awaiting Biography

Clifford Longley

Awaiting Biography


Linda Jones

Linda Jones is Head of Theology at CAFOD, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development. She is on the Board of Grassroots, an ecumenical network committed to interfaith dialogue, and is Chair of Trustees of Phoenix Bereavement Support, a child bereavement charity. She is interested in how theology, creativity and imagination can best contribute towards bringing about positive change in favour of the poorest and most disadvantaged people amongst us