Sabeel-Kairos UK Board of Trustees
We are delighted to have a dedicated, experienced and passionate board of Trustees guiding and supporting the work we undertake. Please find their short biographies below.
Karen Fairfax-Cholmeley (Chair)
Karen’s background is law, community education and project development and she has a strong belief in the rule of law and the universal application of human rights. She is a member of the Church of England.
Karen’s interest in liberation theology was triggered by the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre in Jerusalem and the wonderful teachings of the Rev. Naim Ateek. She discovered Kairos Palestine by chance when sharing breakfast with a group of American pilgrims in a hostel in Beit Sahour. They let her join their meeting with a Kairos Palestine representative and she realised that this was a very important movement, relevant to us all if we care seriously about Christ’s message of love and justice.
Peter Woodall (Treasurer)
Peter is a qualified accountant with 38 years of varied experience in Local Government finance. Most recently, until retiring in January 2019, he supported Adult Social Care and Public Health services at Birmingham City Council. He is a Local Preacher in the Methodist Church and Treasurer of The Church at Carrs Lane.
Peter is involved with several organisations supporting human rights in Palestine and Israel and visited in 2006 and a number of times since. He enjoys gardening, hiking and stone carving.
Lynn lives in Southport in the NW of England & attends an Anglican church in Liverpool. She has been a member of Friends of Sabeel UK, now Sabeel-Kairos, for about 15 years. Her journey towards advocating for Palestinian rights began in the early 2000s with the arrival of a Christian Aid report through her letter box. It stirred something in her, and she wanted to find out more. As is often the way, shortly afterwards, she was presented with an opportunity to do exactly that when Naim Ateek was a keynote speaker at Greenbelt. Lynn believes that revealing the truth of what is going on in the land we call holy, to members of the various Christian denominations, is so important and one of the reasons why she is wholeheartedly committed to the work of Sabeel-Kairos.
From 1988 to 1999 Lesley was on the staff of Bethlehem University, teaching physiotherapy and occupational therapy students. During that time, she worshipped at Christchurch Anglican Church in the Old City in Jerusalem for a while, then at St George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem and latterly with the De La Salle Brothers in their chapel at BU.
It was during this time that Lesley began to be involved with Musalaha, Sabeel Jerusalem, Bethlehem Bible College and Action around Bethlehem Children with Disability (ABCD). On her return to teach in the UK, and then to retire, she continued these links and became a member of the then Friends of Sabeel UK, The Living Stones of the Holy Land Trust and the British Palestine Friendship and Twinning Network.
Lesley has been involved in regular visits to Palestine with Living Stones (during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity), once on a Witness tour with Sabeel-Kairos and most years since 1990 has returned to teach at BU, Al Quds University and Arab American University in Jenin. She also did an evaluation visit to Gaza for Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).Lesley is a life member of the Palestinian Physiotherapy Association and she is on the Parish Church Council of Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Eastbourne, where she worships regularly.
Miranda is the daughter of a secular Jewish refugee from the Sudetenland. Her mother was bitterly opposed to what was happening to the Palestinians supposedly in her name, as a Jew. Because of her, Miranda, now a retired Social Worker and practising Christian, spent 3 months in Hebron and the South Hebron Hills in 2009 as part of an international group monitoring the situation and accompanying Palestinians through checkpoints and to school (https://eappi.org/en) and has returned almost every year since. She is an active campaigner for human rights and international law and works with several organisations in that field as well as having produced a film, ‘From Balfour to Banksy- divisions and visions in Palestine’ www.balfourtobanksy.com.
John has been a District Chair in the British Methodist Church and Chair of JACEI, the Joint Advisory Committee on the Ethics of Investment. He was a volunteer in EAPPI (the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel) and later the Methodist representative in the Jerusalem office of the Methodist Church from 2017 to 2019. He is Chair of the Sabeel-Kairos Methodist campaign Group. John recently published ‘Hope in Israel Palestine’, a book based on his experiences in the region.
Nicholas is a Biblical Scholar and an Anglican Priest, currently serving in the Scottish Episcopal Church as Rector of St Aidan’s, Clarkston, on the southern outskirts of Glasgow. He is also Convenor of the Liturgy Committee and an Associate Tutor in the Scottish Episcopal Institute, through which candidates of ministry receive their formation and training. He is an honorary Fellow of New College, the School of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh, and a member of the Society for New Testament Studies (SNTS).
Before coming to Scotland, Nicholas taught in universities in Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, and served the local church in a number of parish, school and university chaplaincy, and theological education roles. On three occasions he spent periods of sabbatical leave in Palestine, and had opportunity both to observe developments on the ground and to meet with local Christians – and also with Jews and Muslims committed to justice and peace.
Diana is a Postgraduate Researcher in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter. Her research looks at individual and cultural trauma in the Hebrew Bible and she holds an MA and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge. She is a member of the United Reformed Church and an elder at yourchurch, the URC’s first digital church. She first visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in 2019 as a youth representative on the URC Educational Visit. Since the visit, she has become committed to developing understanding in the UK about the situation and has organised Palestinian cookery demonstrations, spoken to local churches, and been involved in creating resources for youth groups.