National, Regional and Local Conferences organised by the Sea of Faith Network (UK)

Sea of Faith is a registered charity, no. 1113177

The Sea of Faith Network

SOF 2017

We alone create our religion and our faith

Abby Day has been Reader of Race, Faith and Culture in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, since September 2013

Abby Day’s work is focused on building capacity and representing sociology of religion both inside and outside universities, nationally and internationally, through teaching, research, publishing and supervision. Abby leads the BA Religion, a unique interdisciplinary programme offered jointly with Sociology, Anthropology and Politics & International Relations http://www.gold.ac.uk/ug/ba-religion/. The programme explores critically the relationships between religion and other aspects of society as diverse as culture, communication, politics, economy, nation, education, gender, law and ethnicities.

Abby was recently Principal Investigator on an ESRC project exploring the role and sociological impact of women’s labour in churches and related communities, and before that completed an AHRC-funded project on ‘Belief in Cultural Relations’, investigating the dynamic of ‘belief’ in recent transitions in the Arab world.

She is past-Chair of the Sociology of Religion study group within the British Sociological Association, a member of the ESRC Peer Review College, and a Trustee of  the Sociological Review. She also served as a Member, Office for National Statistics, on census questions regarding Ethnicity, Identity, Language and Religion.

Her activities at other universities and centres, as a key-note speaker, research and teacher, allow her to build truly collaborative research and teaching initiatives. With international colleagues in the UK, Canada and Nordic countries, Abby is developing a research network in what they are loosely describing as ‘northern’ approaches to the sociology of religion. Abby has been, since 2013, teaching an annual workshop on ‘Multi-sited and Mobile Ethnography’ on the MSc Social Research Methods programme, ESRC Doctoral School, University of Sussex. In 2015/2016 she was Research Director, Religion Media Centre Research Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London; in July-August 2015 she was a Visiting Research Fellow, Center for Studies in Religion and Society, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; from 2011 – 2016 she was Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer in Anthropology and Sociology of Religion; Department of Religious Studies, University of Kent, UK; from 2012-2015 she was Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Sussex, Department of Geography; in 2012, Abby was a Visiting Lecturer at Uppsala University, Sweden and in 2013 Abby was a Visiting Lecturer in Anthropology of Religion at Helsinki University, Finland.

Dilwar Hussain is a British academic and independent consultant working on social policy, Muslim identity and Islamic reform in the modern world.

He is founding Chair of New Horizons in British Islam, a charity that works on Muslim identity, integration and reform; Research Fellow at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, University of Coventry and Lecturer at the University of Leicester.

He teaches courses on Islam in contemporary society and has a number of published works in the field. He has worked in academic research, policy consultancy and training for over fifteen years, delivering contracts for private sector groups as well as various government departments. His recent research and advisory work includes: Literature Review for the Casey Report on Integration (2016); a report on the Somali Diaspora in Leicester for the Open Society Foundation (2014); a report on Muslims in Leicester for the Open Society Foundation (2010); Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Inquiry on Prevent (2010); Consultant to the Cambridge-Azhar Imams Training Project, Cambridge University and FCO; steering group of the Contextualising Islam in Britain Project, Cambridge University.

He is Vice-Chair of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and a Trustee of the Three Faiths Forum (3FF) and the Islamic Society of Britain, where he was President (2011–2013). He is a member of the Faiths Advisory Panel for Near Neighbours, a grant scheme managed by the Church Urban Fund. Dilwar established and headed the Policy Research Centre, at the Islamic Foundation (2007–2013). He was also a Commissioner at the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) (2006–2007). He served on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Urban Life and Faith (2005–2006), was Co-Chair of the BBC Standing Conference on Religion and Belief (2011-2013), was co-chair of Alif-Aleph UK (2005), a Trustee of Maslaha (2011–2013) and worked on the Preventing Extremism Together workgroups set up by the Home Office after July 7th 2005. He has been listed in the ‘Who’s Who of British Muslims’ by http://www.salaam.co.uk and the British Bangladeshi Power and Inspiration 100.

Richy Thompson is the BHA’s Director of Public Affairs and Policy. Richy works on issues from across the BHA’s public policy remit. From 2015 to early 2017 Richy was the Campaigns Manager. From 2011 to 2015 he was the Faith Schools and Education Campaigns Officer, and before that he was the President of the Atheist, Humanist and Secular Students.

Richy is also the Treasurer of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales and represents the BHA on the steering groups of Voice for Choice, the Accord Coalition for inclusive education and the Fair Admissions Campaign. He was formerly a member of the advisory group of the Sex Education Forum and the humanist representative and Vice Chair of Lambeth Standing Advisory Council on RE.

During his time at the BHA, he has proven himself as a formidable campaigner, achieving widespread media coverage and policy change.