The Executive comprises the four elected honorary officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary, and eight other people elected by member SACREs at the annual meeting. The Executive has the power to co-opt up to three additional people. Also in attendance is the immediate past Chair, acting as Executive Assistant.

The Executive is responsible for policy and planning of events and activities in fulfilment of the aims of the association. It meets each term to plan events and discuss policy and operational issues as they arise.

Members of the executive for the year 2016-17 are:


Chair: Paul Smalley

ps.jpegPaul is a Senior Lecturer in Religious Education at Edge Hill University where he leads the Undergraduate Secondary RE course and contributes to the PGCE programme. He previously taught in high schools in West Yorkshire, Wigan and Halton for 12 years, being both Head of Department and Head of Year. A member of Halton SACRE since 2001, he is now vice-chair. He also provides support to RE teachers through work with Culham St Gabriel’s.

Vice Chair


Find out more about the Chair, Vice Chair and Executive Assistant's roles

Secretary: Sue Holmes

1-258-sh.jpegSue grew up in London before moving North in 1985. She is a cancer research scientist turned primary teacher, advisory teacher turned consultant. Previously an RE adviser for the local authority and the diocese, Sue is now an independent consultant. She has wide-ranging education experience, both in and out of the classroom. Previously a SIAMS inspector, lecturing at Hull University for B.Ed and PGCE courses, Sue is currently an REQM assessor. She chairs the local Church-School Trust and is on the Hull and East Riding Interfaith Committee. Sue weaves aspects of her personal passion - nurturing young people’s spirituality through the environment - into RE whenever she can, and as a volunteer for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. She has long-standing links with a faith school in Kenya, and is a regular volunteer with the local ecumenical Horseracing Chaplaincy team.

Treasurer: Michael Metcalf

1-455-mm.jpgMichael is one of the Church of England representatives on Group B of Staffordshire SACRE, and its elected Chair since about 2001. He is a retired priest and educationist, and a Prebendary (Emeritus) of Lichfield Cathedral.

His earlier posts include Head of Religious Studies and Senior Lecturer in a teacher training college, and Director of Education for Lichfield Diocese; he was an Open University tutor for 17 years on The Religious Quest course.

Married with one son, one daughter, and one son-in-law. Treasurer of NASACRE since its beginning, he currently also represents NASACRE on the Inter Faith Network (UK), and convenes the Awards Panel for SACRE Projects for Young People (the Westhill/NASACRE Awards).

Elected Members

Denise Chaplin

1-373-dc.jpgFollowing a degree in English & Theology from Southampton University, Denise taught in Middle, Junior and Secondary schools in Buckinghamshire & Hillingdon. She has since worked as an Adviser & Inspector with SACREs in many parts of London and currently supports the SACREs in Lewisham, Lambeth and the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Denise works part time for Lewisham LA as their School Improvement Officer for community cohesion and RE and is a part time carer for her mother. She has previously served on the REC as a Board member, chairing the Celebrating RE Bi- National Festival in 2011 and is still a member of the REC's Professional Development Committee. Having served on NASACRE as Chair in the past, Denise is currently on the executive, working with special interest in SACRE training, the involvement of local communities and the SACRE Briefings.

Nasr Moussa Emam

NE.jpeg/165x165I have achieved my Chaplaincy Certificate in 2003 from Markfield Institute of Higher Education (MIHE) and since I have been committed to be involved in Faith Sector and Community. I am the Chair of North Yorkshire SACRE for the last four years and a member since 2002. I have been working and liaise with many RE Consultants and Advisors like Lat Blaylock, to develop and deliver the North Yorkshire Agreed RE Syllabus especially for North Yorkshire. My work is around community issues and in the heart of the community in North Yorkshire, York and the Regional Area. I am the Muslim Chaplain for the NHS in Scarborough, Bridlington and Malton. I am also assisting the Chaplaincy at North Yorkshire Police and Hull University, Scarborough Campus. I am able to adapt my communication skills between Communities and Authorities and strive to provide a positive engaging environment and more of challenging for removing barriers. I would like to see more RE work in a community setting, i.e. Celebration of Cultural or Calendar Festivities as the Common Ground. Introduce Bilingual Education among the Faith Communities. I am looking forward to serve as an Executive Committee Member of NASACRE to help to bring better understanding among Faith Communities and schools. My commitment is my drive and I promise to be as effective as I could be.

Elizabeth Jenkerson

EJ.jpeg/165x165Though American, Elizabeth has lived in the UK for over a decade. Semi-retired now, she is a librarian by profession, but has also been a teacher; she currently works as a proofreader and editor. Elizabeth is an active member of the Baha'i community, and she assists the chaplaincy at the Royal Hampshire Hospital. She serves on Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton SACREs, supporting Youth Voice and serving on various sub-committees.

Sushma Sahajpal

SS.jpeg/165x165Sushma serves on the Dorset and Buckinghamshire SACREs as the Hindu Representative. As a Creative Education Consultant & Director of Save Childhood Movement, her work is dedicated to the whole-being flourishing of children & their communities. She uses creative RE-centred enrichment events to explore belonging, belief & diversity in schools, SACRE conferences & a range of interfaith forums. Sushma has written for RE Today & contributes to RE:ONLINE.

Executive Assistant

Lesley Prior

1-281-lp.jpgLesley worked as Adviser for RE in the London Borough of Hounslow from 1992 to 2010 and continues to support its SACRE . Since September 2010, she has been employed part time by the Diocese of London to support RE and Collective Worship in community schools. In that role, she currently advises a further eight SACREs in other parts of London.

Lesley also has extensive experience in Initial Teacher Training in RE in a variety of different contexts and is now based at the University of Roehampton for the rest of her time. She represents England on the European Forum of Teachers of RE (EFTRE) and is Chair of EFTRE. She is a member of the Shap Working Party on Education in World Religions and a range of other professional bodies, including the RE Council of England and Wales.


Philip Davies

1-391-pd.jpgPhilip Davies is Assistant Treasurer of NASACRE. He is a member of Northamptonshire and Peterborough SACREs.

From 1998-2013 he was Schools Officer and RE Adviser for the Diocese of Peterborough. He is Parish Priest to 6 villages in East Northamptonshire.

David Hampshire

1-94-dh.jpegDavid is the Assistant Director at the Inter Faith Network for the UK. Based in London he was previously the RE Adviser for Cornwall, and more recently Torbay and the Isles of Scilly. He was a consultant for RE at QCA/QCDA and has served on the AREIAC executive and is a previous Chair of NASACRE. David has a background in Education, Theology and Social Science. A published author his next major publication is on post-qualification CPD for secondary RE teachers. Besides RE, his passion is Rugby League.