karina - Executive Director

Having established and led Derby-based refugee charity Upbeat Communities for 12 years, Karina is now the Executive Director of Welcome Churches. A passionate social entrepreneur, she has helped start a number of social enterprises empowering and supporting refugees. After helping to plant a church in Estonia Karina returned to the UK in 1998 to join Reach Derby (formerly Community Church Derby). In 2002, with her husband, Adam, Karina led a team focussed on reaching out to refugees arriving in Derby and began to plant an inter-cultural church in the city centre.

Karina is a great communicator who regularly speaks at conferences and events about refugee issues and social transformation. She is one of the senior leaders at Reach Derby, a large, intercultural church with over a hundred refugee members. She also serves as a trustee to the Refugee Support Network and is on the organising committee for the Refugee Highway Partnership Roundtable in Europe.

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Emily is a key member of the Welcome Churches team, overseeing our operations and church training. She has a wealth of experience in supporting churches who are welcoming refugees and knows first-hand of the pressure this can bring. Emily is passionate about seeing the UK Church being at the forefront of welcoming refugees. She has an MA in Conflict, Development and Security where she specialised in European citizens' responsibilities to refugees.

When she isn’t travelling around the country, providing training to churches, Emily is very involved in her local church in Nottingham, where she runs Welcome Boxes. She loves getting to know people from different cultural bckgrounds and sharing life with them.

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Sue is based in High Wycombe and is our South-East Coordinator. Sue has lived and worked in the Middle East for around 24 years where she was involved in cross-cultural ministry, and in leading and mentoring team members and writing resources. She is an Arabic speaker and is thrilled to be continuing her Arab world life here in the UK.

Since coming back to the UK, she has worked in supporting asylum seekers through a national charity and in coordinating a VPRS (Syrian resettlement) scheme. She has an ongoing role in a Community Sponsorship resettlement scheme run by local churches and is involved in a community-based refugee partnership coordinating the ESOL provision and supporting the families who are mostly from Syria and Iraq.

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Jonathan is our Communications and Network Officer, providing support to our network of churches around the UK. He has more than 25 years of cross cultural experience, including living in Afghanistan, where he learnt the Persian language and culture, and Pakistan.

Since returning to the UK, Jonathan and his team have been working with a large group of asylum seekers and refugees at his church in Derby, including Afghans, Iranians and Iraqi Kurds amongst others. It’s been exciting to see many of them coming to faith and getting baptised. Jonathan has an MA in International Development, specialising in Conflict, Security and Development, which included some research into the Afghan community in the UK.

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Collin and Lyndsey

Collin and Lyndsey love to equip Christians to engage and connect with refugees in their community and provide training to our Partner Churches. Before joining the Welcome Churches team, Lyndsey developed the Google Refugee Coalition (GRC) and Collin pursued a self started community outreach venture in Austin, Texas. They were also on the advisory board for the government resettling program in the United States. Collin and Lyndsey now work in a full time capacity to serve refugees and under-represented peoples in the UK. They are also seeking to bring an American business they assisted to the UK, which provides job contracts for un-gainfully employed refugees.



Mark Mumford


Mark’s leadership and pastoral experience has extended over four decades, particularly through leading East Midlands Christian Fellowships for over 30 years. The church has developed and grown over those years from small beginnings, to a church that is based in several locations around the East Midlands, including Community Church Derby. Mark also leads a team that oversees a number of other churches around the UK, as part of the wider family of Salt and Light Ministries. Mark has a passion for the church to become more influential and for it to demonstrate good news and hope to a divided and troubled world. He also loves to see people fulfilling their true potential in God! 

Patrick Johnstone

Patrick served for 16 years in in Southern Africa as a missionary, and then 32 years as part of the leadership team of WEC International. He an author having written a number of books including Operation World, The Future of the Global Church and Serving God in a Migrant Crisis. He is in active retirement living in Derby with his wife, Robyn.

Marion Knell

Having worked in the area of Member care at a European and global level and instituted an MA in the subject, Marion now consults with Refugee Highway Partnership on care for refugees and refugee workers and leads trauma response for the EEA. Marion has developed courses for churches on working with traumatised refugees and sustaining refugee workers. She is an international speaker on Staff Care and works with an international relocation company as an intercultural trainer. She has written two books, ‘Families on the Move’ and ‘Burn-up or Splashdown – the survival guide to re-entry’.

Dan Lane

Dan is Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Christians Against Poverty, where he has worked since 2007. In that time he has directly supported Debt-Help Clients, led teams, over-seen the roll out of new services and most recently led CAP’s fundraising and marketing.

He is passionate about seeing local churches provide hope to people struggling under the crushing weight of poverty. Outside of work, Dan has worked on a number of charitable boards, is a regular attendee of his church, enjoys travel and is a bit of a foodie.