The important work we do at Faith Network for Manchester would not be possible without our dedicated team of staff and trustees.
We work tirelessly to bring people of different faiths together on issues of community cohesion, regeneration and common concern.
Rabbi Warren Elf
Director, part time
Rabbi Warren Elf coordinates the day-to-day running of Faith Network for Manchester, with responsibility for organising activities, supervising and supporting the Women of Faith Peer Workers, preparing reports for the board, financial management, liaison with key partners and the development of relationships with current and potential stakeholders.
Miss Kadija Ollow
Administrator, part time
Miss Kadija Ollow is in charge of the office and administration of Faith Network for Manchester. She writes and sends our monthly newsletter, manages social media, communications and answers queries.
Mrs Nabila Farooq
Women of Faith Peer Worker, 3 hours per week
Mrs Nabila Farooq is responsible for organising and co ordinating the Women of Faith programme along with her colleague, Ms Ann Algar. They maintain regular communication with the growing number of women participating and encourage the involvement of women of all faiths and backgrounds.
Ms Ann Algar
Women of Faith Peer Worker, 3 hours per week
Ms Ann Algar is responsible for organising and co ordinating the Women of Faith programme along with her colleague, Mrs Nabila Farooq. They maintain regular communication with the growing number of women participating and encourage the involvement of women of all faiths and backgrounds.
Revd Charles Kwaku-Odoi
Charles is a Christian Minister of Religion overseeing a number of churches in the UK and Africa. He currently serves on a number of Boards including Command Prayer Centre Ministries Int., Manchester Street Pastors and CAHN (The Caribbean and African Health Network). Charles has expertise in stakeholder engagement, policy formulation, systems & process development and change management.
Mrs Qaisra Shahraz
Qaisra Shahraz is Co-Chair of Faith Network 4 Manchester, 'We Stand Together' and is an executive member of the 'Muslim Jewish Forum.' She was recognised as number one in ‘Most Influential woman in Manchester’ (2017), by ‘Lovin Manchester’ and is a critically acclaimed novelist, peace and community activist, as well as an Executive Director of the Muslim Arts & Culture Festival (MACFESTUK). Qaisra has also enjoyed a career in education as an Ofsted inspector, a quality manager, consultant and teacher trainer.
In 2016 she won the prestigious National Diversity ‘Lifetime Achiever’ Award for outstanding services to literature, education, women’s rights & interfaith relationships spanning 30 years. She also won the University of Salford ‘Alumini Achievement Award’ (2019) for making outstanding contribution to society. She currently devotes a lot of her time and energy to interfaith activities to promote messages of tolerance, and peace in the UK and abroad and through her literary tours. Her latest initiative to connect communities, tackle Islamophobia and barriers is the award winning, ground breaking national festival, MACFESTUK.
Rev Fujo Malaika
"My roots are African, my heritage is the Caribbean and my experience is the UK, as this is where I was born. As the vice chair of Faith Network for Manchester, I am very blessed to hold several roles within the community as an interfaith minister, peace ambassador, trustee/volunteer for several charities, radio presenter and a local florist and crafter.
As an interfaith minister, my belief is that like an umbrella, there are many ways to practice your faith, but at the top there is one truth. People of all faiths and those of none are equal to me. I am passionate about celebrating and promoting inclusivity, peace within communities and acknowledging the thread within us regardless of your faith, race, culture, sex or background; we are a human tribe.
My other interests are mental health, supporting issues effecting the Afro-Caribbean community and holistic therapy.
My motto: I am me, you are you, we are one."
"I have been involved with community service for many years because of my strong values and beliefs that came through my faith. My passion is to celebrate differences with all communities, supporting equality for all and to help to create our city of hope, full of positive energy and living in harmony with everyone. I am privileged to be co-vice chair of Faith Network for Manchester and person of Sikh Faith, it is essential that we work hard together in these challenging times and be a beacon to support all faiths and none. I feel proud of the work Faith Network for Manchester does both locally and nationally, especially in times of need as it is essential for peace and unity. Our work with schools and colleges, designed to engage young people, will ensure our future is in safe hands. I regard myself as a community servant. I am retired, married, with four amazing daughters and five grandchildren."
Revd Bob Day
Bob is a former teacher and minister in the United Reformed Church (URC). He is a qualified counsellor with 24 years of ministry in urban situations. His particular interests are in community development, serving as National Coordinator for the URC Church Related Community Programme, and in mental health, acting as chair for The Roby for nine years, a preventative mental health project in Longsight. He has particular expertise in fundraising, partnership working and project management. He is treasurer of the Christian Muslim Forum in Manchester, Synod Interfaith advocate and a trustee of Together Dementia Support.
Cody was born in Flint, Michigan where he attended the local Unitarian-Universalist church with his family. He felt a call to ministry when he was 16, but initially pursued a career in music. He came to Britain to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2006. Cody began his ministerial training at Harris Manchester College, Oxford, in 2011 under the Rev’d Dr Arthur Stewart. He was appointed minister at Cross Street Unitarian Chapel in 2015. He serves on the Unitarian Peace Fellowship, Manchester District Association, and has recently undertaken to act as a mentor to ministerial students. In addition to Faith Network for Manchester, Cody attends the Challenging Hate Forum, and works with Shelter and Christian Aid to contribute to vulnerable communities. He lives in north Manchester with his wife Catherine and son Thomas.
"I am the lead chaplain for Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS FT. I have a passion for mental well-being and for leading a chaplaincy team of diverse and inclusive individuals. I have been a healthcare chaplain for 13 years. Prior to that I was a vicar though didn’t like it too much. I value being a part of Faith Network for Manchester and for engaging and learning about faith and belief across a broad cultural range of groups and individuals that make up Greater Manchester. I am a native of Stockport, trained and worked as a psychiatric nurse over 35 years ago and have lived-experience of mental illness. Most importantly I am a son, brother, soon to be husband and ultimately friend to many people. The Faith Network for Manchester strap line, "fostering cohesion, understanding and harmony" means a lot to me. If we can see the person standing before us there is always hope."
Sonal Mehta is trustee of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur UK, a spiritual movement for inner transformation. Through this position, Sonal has made great strides in shaping a strong relationship between spiritual, Jain and other faith organizations. Promoting a compassionate way of life and helping those in need, she follows the goal of the mission to realize one true self and serve others selflessly. She is also in charge for Shrimad Rajchandra Divinetouch (SRD), a global chain of value-based education classes for children. In 2019, Sonal led the project to unveil a 9-foot-high bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside the Manchester Cathedral, which was preceded by an inter-faith service of non-violence, peace and unity. Her efforts in the wider community are centered around three pivotal pillars: leading by example, engaging in interfaith activities and a compassionate way of life by helping those in need.