Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

Cardinal Nichols has been Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales since 2009.  His Eminence was created a Cardinal by Pope Francis in 2014, and installed in 2015 as first Chancellor of St Mary’s University, Twickenham.  As a patron for several Catholic charities including the Cardinal Hume Centre, The Passage, and the national body of Caritas Social Action Network, Cardinal Nichols is devoted to working for those on the margins of society.


The Most Reverend Malcolm Patrick McMahon OP KC*HS – Chair of Trustees

The Most Reverend Malcolm Patrick McMahon OP was born and brought up in London, the second of three brothers. He joined the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) in 1976, and made his religious profession in 1977. He has been Archbishop of Liverpool since May 2014. He is also National President of Pax Christi, the International Catholic Movement for Peace.

Rt Rev Paul Hendricks

Bishop Paul Hendricks was born in Beckenham, Kent on 18 March 1956, the first of four children. He grew up in Orpington, Kent and attended Holy Innocents Primary School and St Mary’s Grammar School, Sidcup, Kent. After reading Physics at Oxford (Corpus Christi College), he trained for the priesthood at the English College, Rome. Bishop Paul was ordained by Archbishop Kevin McDonald on 14 February 2006 and has responsibility for the South West pastoral area of the Archdiocese of Southwark. He also serves on the Diocesan Finance Committee and is the Diocesan Advisor on New Religious Movements and Cults.

Lisa Lilley

Lisa currently works as a SIPP Operations Manager for FNZ (UK) Ltd and has had various roles within the pensions and financial services since 2009. She is also a qualified teacher and has experience working with children with additional needs. In addition to her role at CSAN, Lisa is also a trustee of Salford Diocese and Caritas Salford where she chairs their Health and Safety committee. Lisa is also a trustee of the Stepping Stone Projects, a charity that provides accommodation and support across the North West to people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes. She also chairs their Risk and Compliance sub-committee. Lisa lives in Greater Manchester with her husband Andrew and their three children. She is an active member of her church and local community and especially with the Young Christian Workers group there. 

Rt Hon Sir John Battle KC*SG

Born in Bradford. Married with grown up son and two daughters (with five grandchildren). Leeds University 1972-1977 (First Class Honours and MPhil research). 1977-1984 Research for European Parliament. 1984- 1987: Director, Church Action on Poverty charity. 1987-2010 Member of Parliament for Leeds West. 1997-2001 Minister of State (DTI & FCO). 2002: Appointed to Privy Counsel ( Prime Minister’s Envoy to Faith Communities. 2010 :retired from Parliament. Chair of Trustees of Bramley Baths social Enterprise. John is also a trustee of Citizens UK, Joseph Aspden Skills Trust, New Wortley Community Centre, Leeds, and of St Vincent’s Community Project, Leeds. In addition to this, he is a Pro Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University and a Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford.

Maria Blazquez

Maria is a financial services lawyer and has held senior roles at Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Barclays and various other major financial institutions. She has experience dealing with illegal immigration while being involved with the Jesuit Refugee Service. During that time she regularly visited detainees in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook centres. Maria is also involved in One of Us, an infancy UK cultural platform think tank to promote the value of human life. Maria is a native Spanish speaker.

Richard Harries

Richard is the Director of Caritas Westminster. He was previously a senior civil servant and deputy director of the independent think tank Reform. He has extensive experience of research and policymaking in the public sector and third sector and has advised governments in Australia, Japan, Europe, Africa and the Middle East about various aspects of public service reform. He has published on a wide range of topics, including crime and criminal justice, deregulation, fiscal sustainability, philanthropy, social investment and impact evaluation. Richard is a trustee of the Forces in Mind Trust, and sits on the Advisory Councils of Volunteering Matters, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Our Common Good. He is also a Senior Associate of the Power to Change Trust and a Visiting Senior Fellow at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

Elizabeth Palmer

Elizabeth is Chief Executive Officer of the St Vincent de Paul Society (England and Wales).

Nicola Thomas

Nicola is Diocesan Secretary (Chief Executive Officer) of the Anglican Diocese of Southwark which covers all of south London and east Surrey. She was previously a Senior Civil Servant in the Home Office, most recently leading on integration for refugees and safeguarding of vulnerable asylum seekers. She is particularly proud of having led the team which created the Community Sponsorship Scheme for resettled refugees. Nicola has worked in a variety of interesting and challenging roles, including as Private Secretary to two Home Secretaries, and specialises in policy and strategy for operational delivery. In her spare time, she enjoys choral singing, especially in the English Cathedral tradition. She is active in her local Catholic parish.

Johan Bergström-Allen

Johan is a professed lay member of the Carmelite Order and worked for 18 years as the Order’s Communications and Outreach Manager in Britain. He has written and edited a number of books on spirituality, and leads retreats and quiet days in Britain and abroad. He has a Doctorate in Medieval Literature, a Diploma in Pastoral Ministry and Christian Leadership, and teaches literature, history, and theology in a number of institutions. Johan is a Research Associate at the University of York’s Centre for Medieval Studies, a Fellow of the Centre for Marian Studies, a Fellow of the Institutum Carmelitanum, Rome, and Associate Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. For over thirty years Johan has accompanied pilgrims to Lourdes, especially sick and disabled people, and he serves on the international formation team for volunteers in the sanctuary. Johan lives in York where he serves on the pastoral councils of Our Lady’s Parish and the Diocese of Middlesbrough’s LGBT+ Ministry. A keen ecumenist, Johan has served several terms as Chair of Churches Together in York, and as Chair of the Ebor Lectures in Theology and Public Life. His interest in Catholic Social Teaching has prompted Johan to become involved in hospital chaplaincy, mental health promotion, a parish foodbank and warm welcome centre, and projects in collaboration with CAFOD and the Archbishop Romero Trust. He is training to become a counsellor in person-centred therapy.

Daphne Amevenu

Daphne is a cradle Catholic currently working as a freelance consultant supporting development of social and health care innovations and their scaling to regional and national levels. She also supports organisations on their journey to become more sustainable and more equitable, diverse and inclusive organisations. She previously worked as a sustainability and climate change consultant and in grantmaking in the healthcare sector. Alongside her work, Daphne is Chair of the IRISi board, a national organisation enabling delivery of interventions from a health care lens that support women experiencing domestic violence and abuse. She is passionate about ensuring all organisations and work she’s involved in live out values of equity, diversity and inclusion. This also applies to her faith and Daphne has led sessions with young Catholics to explore the role of the church in tackling racism.

Julia Corcoran

Julia currently works for Operation Noah as the Bright Now Campaign Manager. She previously worked for CAFOD in the Education team working on the Step into the Gap programme. Julia lives in a Jesuit Young Adult Community with other young adults as part of a formation programme.

Jonathan Heard

Jon is currently Head of Major Gifts at the Catholic maritime charity, Stella Maris. He has over fifteen years’ professional experience in the not-for-profit sector, helping NGOs and charities build relationships with funders, businesses and philanthropists. Jon’s previous roles include working for a number of agencies of the Catholic Church in the UK and West Africa and working for the Royal Air Force’s charities helping develop services and facilities for the families of RAF personnel. He recently completed a Master’s in Voluntary Sector Management at Bayes Business School, City University.


Raymond Friel OBE, Chief Executive

Raymond has spent most of his professional life in Catholic secondary education in the state sector, including roles as Headteacher (2002-2016), General Secretary of the Catholic Independent Schools Conference (2016-2018), and CEO of two multi academy trusts, in Plymouth and Westminster Dioceses (2018-2021). He has written a number of books on education and Catholic life, including The Revolution of Tenderness: How to be a Catholic in Today’s Church (2016), and At Your Side (2020), a book of original prayers with David Wells (both available from Redemptorist Publications). His latest title, Catholic Social Teaching: An Introduction for Schools, Parishes & Charities, was published in August 2023. He lives in Somerset with his wife, Janet, who is an artist and maker. They have three sons, some of whom have left home. Raymond was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours 2022, for services to education.

Kweku Bedu-Addo, Finance and Operations Manager

Kweku is a resilient individual with more than a decade of financial experience gained from various operational roles in both charity and commercial environments. His main strength lies in meeting all financial reporting deadlines and ensuring the highest level of financial integrity within an organization. He is well-known for developing strategic and long-term business plans to continuously improve processes within an organization, ensuring its financial stability.

Daisy Vanderputt, Senior Officer for Policy and Public Affairs

Daisy comes to this role with experience of working in a number of different charities in advocacy and communication roles. Most recently she worked at the Legatum Institute as a policy and advocacy officer, focusing on racial disparities in the UK, as well as assisting on UK poverty work. Daisy previously spent time as a fellow with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York and is also a trustee of the Catholic Student Network.

Aliya Zahin, Caritas Migration Officer

Aliya has a varied experience in migration work and has worked with numerous charities involved in both refugee support and advocacy for survivors of trafficking. She has extensive experience in refugee resettlement, having worked in resettlement operations in Ethiopia, Libya and Peru.

Bernadette Durcan, Research and Programmes Officer

Bernadette comes to this role with an academic background in the sociology of Catholicism, having undertaken a range of projects within this field. She has co-authored Why Catholics Leave, What They Miss, and How They Might Return (Paulist Press, 2019), and is interested in the role of the Church in contemporary society particularly at the grassroots level. Bernadette has worked and volunteered in various capacities in the Archdioceses of Westminster and Liverpool and the Diocese of Nottingham.