Our team

We’re a small team with a big vision. As lawyers, church leaders, religious freedom advocacy experts, and a talented and creative communications team, we come from many different backgrounds and church traditions. But we work together to achieve incredible results: setting prisoners free, speaking truth to power, and changing the laws that deny millions of people their religious freedom.

Meet some of our team:

Mervyn Thomas, Founder and Chief Executive

mervynA passionate advocate for the right to religious freedom, Mervyn speaks at conferences and churches both in the UK and internationally. He is a member of the World Assemblies of God Religious Freedom Commission, Chairman of the Religious Liberty Partnership (an international network of organisations focused on religious liberty,) and is a member of the Foreign Office Advisory Group on freedom of religion or belief. Mervyn has been Chief Executive since 1999, and was one of the founding members of CSW almost 40 years ago. He is married to Wendy, and they have two children. 

Scot Bower, Chief Operating Officer

scot bower

Scot Bower is CSW's Chief Operating Officer. With 15 years experience of leading charity communications he is passionate about seeing innovative digital tools used to engage new audiences.  Scot is married to Misty and, together with their two children, they spent 5 years living and working in Eastern Europe before returning to the UK in 2010. A rather slow, but enthusiastic, long distance runner you can find Scot running the Surrey hills in his spare time. Scot and Misty are part of the leadership of Emmaus Rd, a growing church in the heart of Guildford. Scot is also the author of ‘Saints’ published by Lion Hudson.

Adesina Adesanya, finance director 

sinaSina Adesanya is a chartered accountant and joined CSW in October 2005 as Finance Director after two decades of experience in Nigeria and Tanzania. He holds a first degree in Chemistry and an MBA. He and his wife, Moji, spent some time as a missionaries in Tanzania between 2000 and 2002 before moving to South London where he pastors the Redeemed Christian Church of God. They have four daughters.

Kiri Kankhwende, Press and Public Affairs Team Leader

KiriKiri issues press releases, liaises with journalists and monitors CSW’s coverage in the media. She also researches CSW’s show ‘Voice for the Voiceless’ on Premier Radio on Saturday mornings at 11.30am.  A fan of lemon drizzle cake, she also enjoys cycling and gardening.



Strategic Leadership Team

Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive
Scot Bower, Chief Operating Officer
Adesina Adesanya, Finance Director
Dr Khataza Gondwe, Head of Advocacy
Anna-Lee Stangl, Head of Advocacy
Bill Lowe, Head of Fundraising
Emma Howlett, Head of Communications

Board of Trustees

David Taylor (Chair)
Sarah Snyder (Deputy Chair)
Dr Peter Bibawy
Anne Coles
Franklin Evans
Michael Gibbons
Simon George
Nigel Grinyer
Hector Mackenzie
Dr David Landrum
Claire Arthern
Michael Gowen

Board of Reference

President: Jonathan Aitken

Shola Ameobi
Sir David Amess MP
Lord Anderson of Swansea
His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos
Lord Bates of Langbaurgh
The Rev Preb Richard Bewes
The Rev Lyndon Bowring
Viscount Brentford
Alistair Burt MP
Lord Clarke of Hampstead
Gerald Coates
The Right Revd Chris Cocksworth
The Revd David Coffey
The Revd John Coles (New Wine)
The Right Revd Chris Edmondson
Roger Forster
Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE
Andy Hawthorne
The Right Revd and Right Hon David Hope (KCVO)
Simon Hughes MP
Canon J John
The Right Revd Thomas McMahon (RC Bishop of Brentwood)
The Revd Mark Melluish (New Wine)
The Right Revd Dr Michael Nazir-Ali
The Right Revd Patrick O’Donoghue
The Earl of Powis
Andy Reed
The Rev David Shosanya
The Revd Martin Smyth
The Most Revd Dr John Sentamu (Archbishop of York)
Julián Speroni
Sir Peter Vardy DL
Phil Wall
Paul Weaver
Ian White
Charles Whitehead
Dom Timothy Wright OSB

#2 CSW manifesto

We believe no one should suffer discrimination, harassment or persecution because of their beliefs