Enabling all ages to grow in faith

Meet the team

Senior Team and Ministry Leads

Canon Richard Fisher

Chief executive
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Richard has been at BRF since 1988 and provides leadership and direction for the charity as a whole, working closely with BRF’s department heads and the leaders and pioneers of our individual ministries.

Aike Kennett-Brown

Messy Church ministry lead
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Aike Kennett-Brown was appointed ministry lead of Messy Church in January 2022, after having been a longstanding voluntary member of the Messy Church family. She was previously the mission support officer for children and young people in the diocese of Southwark.

Anna Hawken

Parenting for Faith Ministry Lead
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Anna is Parenting for Faith ministry lead, having previously served as the ministry’s national coordinator. She joined BRF in March 2018.

Debbie Thrower

Pioneer, Anna Chaplaincy for Older People
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Debbie Thrower joined BRF in 2014. A former broadcaster, Debbie leads the national network of Anna Chaplains and others in equivalent community-based roles offering spiritual care and support to older people, their relatives and carers.

Jay Elliott

Head of finance and operations
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Jay has been at BRF since 2017 and leads the finance and operations team. She aims to ensure that the resources of BRF are used efficiently and effectively to make the biggest impact in realising BRF’s mission. Jay is a chartered accountant and MBA graduate.

Julia Burton-Jones

Church lead, Anna Chaplaincy for Older People
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Julia Burton-Jones joined BRF in May 2020. Since 2015 she has pioneered Anna Chaplaincy in Kent and south-east London, and now she works with church organisations across the UK in developing Anna Chaplaincy teams in a variety of contexts, drawing from her experience of working with Rochester and Canterbury dioceses.

Julie MacNaughton

Head of fundraising
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Julie joined BRF in June 2020, having led fundraising, marketing and events departments at several charities. She oversees BRF’s fundraising strategy and develops fundraising programmes to ensure BRF has the generous support and income needed to continue delivering its remarkable work.

Karen Laister

Head of marketing, communications and strategic relationships
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Karen has been at BRF since 1991 and oversees the whole of marketing and communications for the organisation. This involves developing a communications strategy to reach both existing and new audiences through digital and print marketing. Karen is also responsible for developing relationships and initiatives with other organisations and is the lead for BRF’s Holy Habits discipleship initiative.

Jane Butcher

Church Advocate Lead
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Jane joined BRF in 2007 and has held roles overseeing our Barnabas in Schools work in primary schools and as children and families pioneer. She is a national advocate for BRF, developing and leading a team of volunteer advocates to promote BRF across the UK.

Olivia Warburton

Head of content creation and Living Faith lead
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Olivia has been at BRF since 2011. An editor by background, Olivia oversees editorial, design, production, web and media for the organisation and commissions resources across BRF’s different ministry areas. She is the ministry lead for Living Faith.

Sara Sheerin

Head of people and culture
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Sara has been at BRF since 2016. She oversees BRF’s people and culture practices, working to make BRF a great place to work and provide everyone with the skills, knowledge and development opportunities required to help them grow and BRF thrive.


Alistair Booth

Member of Finance Committee
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Alistair is a non – executive director of number of businesses in the not for profit sector. He is also a trustee of 3 charities, including one other Christian charity. Alistair has been associated with BRF since 2008, prior to which he ran his own business.

Andrew Barton

Strategy and Fundraising Consultant
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Andrew is a strategy and fundraising consultant, having worked for many years in senior fundraising positions in a variety of international development charities. Prior to that Andrew had a career in strategic planning and marketing in retail banking, holding senior positions at Abbey National. Andrew became a BRF trustee in March 2020.

Andrew Howard

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Andrew is a full-time parent to 3 teenage kids, one of whom has additional needs, as well as being a School Governor and Chair of the forum for parents with young people with additional needs in his local area.  Previously Andrew worked for the Church of England and served in 4 Dioceses including being Diocesan Secretary in Leicester and in Winchester.

Bishop Colin Fletcher

Chair of Trustees
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Bishop Colin is a member of the Anglican clergy and has recently retired as the Bishop of Dorchester (October 2020). He has been a BRF trustee since 2001.

Canon Dr Christina Baxter

Vice-Chair of Trustees
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Christina is a reader in several village churches and, alongside serving as a trustee of BRF (offering occasional theological reflection), works voluntarily for a number of other causes. Formerly, Christina was the principal of St John’s College, Nottingham, lay chair of General Synod and a member of Archbishops’ Council.

Jane Whittington

Trustee with responsibility for Safeguarding
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Jane is schools officer with the diocese of Guildford education team, advising schools on their RE teaching and collective worship and supporting clergy and lay people with their work in schools. This follows over 20 years as a teacher and headteacher in primary schools in Surrey. Jane has been a BRF trustee since 2015.

Julian Hills

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Canon Julian Hills is a lay canon of Canterbury Cathedral. Most notably he was a senior finance manager for Pfizer Ltd for nearly 20 years, the financial director for Canterbury Diocese for 5 years and the Diocesan Secretary of that diocese for the last 13 years. He is recently retired and has been a trustee of numerous Christian trusts over the years and a member of Canterbury Cathedral Council.

Mike Wilkinson

Member of Finance Committee
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Mike is a chemical engineer, recently retired after working 40 years in a major oil company. In retirement he divides his time between assisting in the national leadership of Who Let The Dads Out? (a ministry formerly attached to BRF and now sponsored by Care for the Family), coordinating the men’s ministry at the Baptist Church where he is a member, learning to play golf and serving as a BRF trustee. Mike joined the board of trustees in 2019 and helps with finance and advising on general management.

Paul Cox

Chair of People Committee
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Prior to embracing an early semi-retirement, Paul held senior HR roles mostly in large global companies. More recently he has worked with and supported a number of non-profit-making organisations on people and remuneration issues, and is a trustee director of a large UK pension fund. He has been a trustee of BRF since 2017.

Revd Sarah Hayes

Member of Finance Committee
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Sarah was for many years a partner in a city law firm specialising in finance and corporate governance for the social housing and charitable sector. She was ordained in 2010 and after a curacy in the Cotswolds, spent seven years as vicar in Horsell, Woking. An enthusiastic boater, she is now lead waterways chaplain for the south of England, working with the volunteer chaplains supporting the communities on our inland waterways. Sarah has been a BRF trustee and finance committee member since 2010.