Leicester Council of Faiths Board Profiles


FAYYAZ SULEMAN, Chair of Leicester Council of Faiths


Chair of Leicester Council of Faiths

Fayyaz Suleman's Bio

Fayyaz Suleman is an experienced and respected community-enabler who has worked for over 20 years to build bridges between different faith and ethnic communities, as well as non-faith communities.

With his expertise in charity governance and strategic insight and his grassroots links with many of the diverse (including hard to reach) communities of Leicestershire, Fayyaz has played a pivotal role in enhancing the work and profile of the Leicester Council of Faiths and supporting a strategic approach to building social and community cohesion. With his dedication to bring people together and build harmony at different levels, he has taken a leading role to diffuse tensions and take a united approach to dealing with events that undermine the unity of the communities of Leicestershire.

He has also led efforts for local NHS, local Councils, local Police and other stakeholders to ensure that faith communities are fully engaged in informing and shaping service delivery. He has previously served as a Non-Executive director in various public sector and third sector organisations including Leicester City NHS, Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, Places for People, Community & Economic Development Agency and Grazrootz.

Professionally, Fayyaz runs a consultancy firm Fusion Consulting Services which is responsible for registering and supporting development of over 300 charities working to benefit all sections of society here in the UK and abroad and has actively been involved in various advisory groups.

FAYYAZ SULEMAN, Chair of Leicester Council of Faiths


Vice Chair of Leicester Council of Faiths

Father John's Bio

Father John was born in Co Mayo West of Ireland. Served as a Catholic priest in England since 1967 with postings in Leicester, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire.  Parish Priest here at Sacred Heart church since 1989.

As well as his parish work and involvement in education and schools, Father John was Chair of the Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission from 1989 for 12 years. In that role he had much engagement with various overseas regions, as well as with home issues such as poverty, unemployment and Northern Ireland.

Founding member of Clockwise Credit Union, which was set up to serve the peoples of Leicestershire and Rutland with a particular concern for the financially excluded.

Father John remains fully committed to the Leicester Council of Faiths and its importance in to-day’s context and enjoys working with people from the various Faith communities and culture.

NARENDRA WAGHELA, Treasurer of Leicester Council of Faiths


Treasurer of Leicester Council of Faiths

Narendra's Bio

Narendra is also a Public Relations Officer of BAPS, a socio-spiritual International Organisation affiliated to the UN (since 1988), Trustee Board Member & Co-Chair Inter Faith Network UK, Trustee Board Member & Vice Chair of Voluntary Actions Leicestershire, Board Member of the Citizen Advice Bureau, Board Member of Mainstream Partnership – Helping & Promoting BME Artists.  As well as a member of the City Mayor’s Forum, the Bishop’s Forum, the Resilience Faith Forum and Radio Broadcaster and Treasurer for Hindu Sanskar Radio. Co-Chair Trustee Board Member of IFNetwork UK and Member of F&GP Committee

He has also previously been a Board Member of Health Watch Leicestershire, Chair of Leicester Hate Crime Review panel of the City and South Wigston Police, Member of Valuation Tribunal dealing with Council Tax and Rates, Member of SACRE (Leicester Standing Advisory Council of Religious Education), Chairman of ASRA Midlands Housing (Since 1995)

YASMIN SURTI, has been involved in interfaith work for several years


Secretary of Leicester Council of Faiths

Yasmin's Bio

Yasmin has been involved in interfaith work for several years and is currently the Secretary for the Federation of Muslim Organisations, an umbrella body with approximately 200 affiliates across Leicester and Leicestershire.

She is also a member of the Bishop’s Faith Leaders Forum, the City Mayor’s Faith and Community

Forum and a trustee for a number of local charities.  Yasmin has over 30 years experience of working strategically across the public sector at a local, regional and national level largely around learning disabilities, autism and mental health and am a strong advocate for equality and women’s rights.

MINOU CORTAZZI, Assistant Secretary of Leicester Council of Faiths


Assistant Secretary of Leicester Council of Faiths and an active representative of the Baha’i Faith.

Minou's Bio

Minou has been a member of the Leicester Council of Faiths since its inception in 1986 and has also been Treasurer and later Chair in that time.

She has been involved with a local environmental project in Aylestone, promoting the area by planting flowers and shrubs in different seasons for the last eight years.  Minou has volunteered as a Baha’i representative providing educational resources for primary, secondary, and some colleges in Leicester, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, and surrounding areas for the last twelve years.  She is actively involved in various women’s groups and continues her charitable work with Home Start, a valuable charity whose aim is to support families with young children.




Bharti's Bio

Bharti has lived in Leicester for over 45 years.  She enjoys meeting new people and working with them.  Bharti is very passionate about reflexology which she studied as part of her holistic therapies.  Bharti has worked for both the City and County councils for 35 years as a community worker and she also has a teaching degree DTTLS and has taught Gujarati and Hinduism for over 20 years.



Shital's Bio

Shital is a Financial Adviser by profession, with over 25 years’ experience in the Financial Services Sector.  Leicester born and bred, he is also the President of Shree Hindu Temple and Community Centre in Leicester. He is passionate about working in the community and helping others.

Shital is keen to work alongside other faith organisations in the area, share best practices, and build strong inter faith relations.



Bushra's Bio

Bushra is an award winning solicitor who secured her first post as an Immigration Appeals Advocate prior to graduating as a Barrister.  She cross-qualified as a Solicitor (2008) and, under the Immigration Asylum Accreditation Scheme, as a Supervisor and Senior Caseworker before being headhunted by a Leicester firm as their Head of Immigration where she set up and ran an Immigration Department.

Bushra founded Bushra Ali Solicitors (2015) and is passionate about the empowerment of persons from diverse and none traditional backgrounds.  This is key to all her work/activities and saw her launch (2021) The Bushra Ali Group which focusses on the various community projects that she runs with a particular interest in equality and diversity.

Bushra was awarded Solicitor of the Year by the Leicestershire Law Society in 2012 and again in 2016.  She served as the youngest President of that Society, being only the eighth female and second female of colour.  During her tenure there Bushra was Chair of the Equality and Diversity sub-board.  Having expanded her business into Wales (2021) Bushra was co-opted onto the Committee of the Cheshire and North Wales Law Society and is their first Chair of Equality and Diversity.  Bushra also serves as a Committee Member at The Law Society of England and Wales on their Immigration Law and Policy Committee.

Outside of work Bushra serves on the Leicester Steering Group as the Lead for Register Our Marriage and as a Trustee on the Board for One Roof Leicester, a homeless charity.

LEON CHARIKAR, Progressive Jew and member of Neve Shalom, the Leicester Progressive Jewish Congregation


Progressive Jew and member of Neve Shalom, the Leicester Progressive Jewish Congregation.

Leon's Bio

Leon’s parents came to the UK from India and he was raised in London. He is part of a small Indian – Jewish community called ‘Bene Israel’, or ‘Children of Israel’

Leon currently works for Leicestershire County Council on policy and community engagement. He is married and has varied interests including running, drumming, dancing and chess.



Board member of Leicester Council of Faiths

Reverend Father Paskel's Bio

Reverend Father Paskel, Priest in Charge of The Church of the Resurrection & Working in the Church of England Diocese of Leicester.

I strongly believe that together we are strong. And by acknowledging and respecting each other’s culture, traditions, customs & background, will enable us to create a society where love, peace and friendship grow and flourish.

HARMINDER SINGH JAGDEV, is the Sikh Faith advisor at De Montfort University and an executive member of the Leicester Council of Faith.


is the Sikh Faith advisor at De Montfort University and an executive member of the Leicester Council of Faith.    

Harminder's Bio

A qualified Engineer, Harminder has 33 years’ experience of running his own business in the engineering sector currently employing 700 staff globally supplying products to the global automotive marketplace.  Harminder is experienced in Manufacturing, Total Quality Management, Finance, and Project Management.

He is the co-founder of Akaal Education Trust and Falcons Primary School Leicester and currently serves as Vice President of Ramgarhia Board Leicester, the trust that runs the Gurdwara Sahib on Meynell Road along with the Ramgariha Community Centre on Ulverscroft Road, and the building of the new Gurdwara Sahib in Hamilton. Our main objective is to fulfil and encourage the religious, educational, cultural, sports and recreational needs of the community.



Piyush's Bio

Piyush came to the UK in 2010 and then moved to Leicester in 2015. Ever since then he has been volunteering at the Jain Centre. As an active member of the Jain Samaj Europe, he served as the youngest president of the Jain community from 2017 – 2019.

Professionally, Piyush is an IT Consultant with 16 years of experience.

SULAKHAN DARD SINGH, retired NHS Sikh chaplain,



Sulakhan's Bio

Sulakhan is a retired NHS Sikh chaplain, British Heart Foundation ambassador and member of various Sikh organisations.  Joined LCOF 2013.  

FAYYAZ SULEMAN, Chair of Leicester Council of Faiths


Projects Coordinator for the Leicester Council of Faiths

Gail's Bio

Gail has worked in interfaith since 2016, where she worked supporting schools with the interfaith part of the RE Curriculum throughout the East Midlands. Prior to this Gail has held various office-based support roles.

FAYYAZ SULEMAN, Chair of Leicester Council of Faiths


Advisor of Leicester Council of Faiths
Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of Favour.

Ashiedu's Bio

Ashiedu worked for over a decade in various capacities as an engagement professional and currently serves on several multi-agency Boards.  She is a faith practitioner and is involved in various initiatives and projects around understanding and improving relations and channels of communication between various communities (working within ethnic, faith, no faith) as well as facilitating access to hidden communities.  She is also passionate about raising awareness and support for victims of violence, abuse and exploitation. She is also a representative member of the Bishop’s Faith Leaders Forum as well as the Leicester City Mayor’s Faith and Community Form Forum.