Meet the team

We are passionate about building trusted relationships that enable peace and reconciliation to flourish.

Sarah Snyder (square)
Sarah Snyder (square)

Sarah Snyder

Founding Director

Sarah has over thirty years of experience working with communities and senior religious figures around the world to promote faith-based ways of finding peace and rebuilding relationships.

A Cambridge University theologian specialising in Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations, and a trained mediator, Canon Sarah is also the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Adviser for Reconciliation programmes and resources. She has previously worked as the Director of Partnerships at Religions for Peace International, and directed conflict schools for the Cambridge Interfaith Programme at the University of Cambridge.

Her early career as a documentary producer for BBC Television included time spent living and working with the Tuareg nomads in the Sahara Desert, which sparked her fascination with interfaith work and the power of hospitality. She since founded Rose Castle Foundation as a global network that equips reconcilers to cross divides and transform conflict.

Owen May (square)
Owen May (square)

Owen May

Finance and HR

During my undergraduate degree I spent two summers interning for the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme (CIP) alongside those of diverse and divergent faith backgrounds.

This was the first time that I was exposed to the possibility of genuine and deep friendships characterised by mutuality, trust, respect and learning, all within the context of deep difference and disagreement. This was a transformational and inspirational experience that challenged some my own deeply held assumptions about reconciliation and working with those of other faiths.

So, when Rose Castle was miraculously purchased in August 2016, I was the first in the door (quite literally!) to help launch the project. I am truly grateful to be a part of such an inspiring vision as well as a team who are passionately committed to our aim of creating a global network of reconciling leaders.

Over the course of my time at Rose Castle I've worn many hats, but I'm now primarily responsible for finance and human resources. I feel passionate about engaging and training the Church to live out its potential as a reconciling presence locally, nationally and internationally.

Contact: owen.may@rosecastle.foundation

Hannah Larn
Hannah Larn

Hannah Larn

Programme Coordinator

 
Anna Caffell
Anna Caffell

Anna Caffell

Advisor to the Founding Director Canon Sarah Snyder

I’m truly delighted to have joined the team at Rose and be part of their inspiring vision to help equip global leaders to transform conflict, which is needed to an ever-increasing degree!

My background involves having worked in the UK parliament for 7 years, prior to leading a research stream at a London based think-tank which examined how countries forged pathways towards sustainable peace. I’m passionate about both understanding and enabling environments where long-lasting reconciliation can take place.

For Rose my role involves supporting our Founding Director in both a practical and strategic capacity. Drawing on my experience of having practically supported MPs and being on the board of directors for a UK based organisation. Canon Sarah Snyder, our Founding Director, has three decades of experience in the field and I’m inspired by her insights on an almost daily basis!

If you have any questions, or I can help with anything specific, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Email: anna.caffell@rosecastle.foundation

Georgia May (square)
Georgia May (square)

Georgia May

Programme Director

Having grown up 20 minutes down the road from Rose Castle, it is amazing to now serve the place I call home in such a fulfilling way, working with communities locally and globally to transform conflict in their own contexts.

My passion for reconciliation really sparked when I started to understand how significant hospitality was, having been raised in a home where friends and strangers were equally welcomed around the meal table.

Through the raw times and the good times, I learned how fragile and risky hospitality can be yet how necessary it is for building resilient communities and servant hearted leaders.

My role is about designing and delivering programmes that create impactful environments for human connection, especially when people are encountering one another across divides in fragile circumstances. I love seeking out opportunities for new collaborations and journeying with partners to design programmes that offer creative and contextualised spaces for reimagining a reconciled future.

Contact: georgia.may@rosecastle.foundation

Joe Banfield
Joe Banfield

Joe Banfield

Marketing and Communications

I co-ordinate marketing and communications at RCF. I work closely with the team to disseminate information about programmes, workshops, and other events and activities via RCF's website, email, and social media.

My favourite thing about this work is being able to work together with so many inspiring people committed to making a tangible difference and building peace in difficult circumstances all over the world.

Before joining the team at RCF, I studied History and Theology at Durham University, where I founded an interfaith network to connect student leaders of different religious traditions in shared learning and action. I also edited a popular student news site, interned as a news reporter at a national newspaper, and had articles published in The Guardian, The Sun, and The Times.

I currently live in London, England. I love languages, food, history, cultures, travel, and just about everything else.

Contact: joe.banfield@rosecastle.foundation

Isabel Berry (square)
Isabel Berry (square)

Isabel Berry

Operations Director

I have worked in the charity sector for 15 years and joined the Rose Castle Foundation team in autumn 2019, initially with a fundraising remit.  Over the next few months I found myself able to contribute widely across strategic and operational aspects of RCF’s work and transferred into my current role, overseeing a broad range of operational aspects for RCF.  I work closely with Sarah, our Founding Director, and am responsible for identifying operational priorities, focusing the team and ensuring we balance the many projects, programmes and other priorities at RCF as effectively as possible. My job is a complete pleasure, especially as the RCF team is highly talented and motivated; all are so passionate about our mission and work, and so creative and resourceful in pushing us forward, meaning that I feel inspired in my work every day.

 

Outside work I like to be, well… outside!  I am a keen runner, orienteer and walker, competing for my orienteering club and in mountain marathons.  I enjoy cycling too and when I do want to batten down inside, a good book keeps me happily entertained.

Lakshmi Piette
Lakshmi Piette

Lakshmi Piette

Network Engagement

Having grown up in an interfaith and multicultural family, learning and growing through difference is something that has always felt intrinsic to me. It’s developed in me a heart for seeing the beauty in coming together across divides, and the strength of relationship which can emerge from meaningful encounter. Also a lover of people, and passionate about learning through relationship, I am overjoyed to be contributing to RCF’s work through the role of Network Engagement.

In this role, I aspire to foster, nurture and empower RCF’s ever-growing network of partners and programme alumni, to help build a resilient and passionate global community of reconcilers.

I bring to this role a methodical mindset, as fostered by my scientific degree and early career in tech, as well as a real passion for people and relationship, as nurtured by my experiences in living in Christian community.


My instinct for relationship also translates into a deep love of the outdoors, and when not frolicking about in fields and forest, I can be found expressing myself creatively through music, art and dance.

Phoebe Dill
Phoebe Dill

Phoebe Dill

Programmes Coordinator

I am often struck by the complexity of what it means to be human, in all its beauty and its brokenness. Our ability to connect in our humanness – across great diversity and difference- to build relationships over a shared meal or mutually experienced emotion cannot be underestimated. Reconciliation for me is a site where we can achieve unity while allowing diversity to thrive, to allow healing on a micro scale of individual relationships, that drives all the way up to the macro level of systemic changes.

At Rose I work as a Programme Facilitator. This role focuses on programme content design, ensuring programmes are meaningful and tailored to each individual context and need, within spaces of bravery and hospitality. I love to think creatively about the most impactful way to be co-learners and allow people to bring their whole self into a RCF program.

Before joining the team at RCF, I worked in my home country of Bermuda for a grassroots organization that sought to empower individuals who have struggled to find employment while completing my Masters in reconciliation and peacebuilding online. Prior to this I worked in the Philippines with an organization that sought to equip the criminal justice system to end impunity around the crime of modern-day slavery. I am excited for this new chapter in Cumbria!

When I am not at work you will probably find me cooking, baking or working on a DIY project. I love to hear people’s stories and experience other cultures. I hope I have a chance to hear yours!

Neil Satchwell Smith
Neil Satchwell Smith

Neil Satchwell-Smith

Strategic Partnerships

I have over 20 years’ experience as a diplomat and development practitioner supporting dialogue and programmes to reduce conflict and alleviate poverty. I was a Head of Office and Senior Governance Adviser for the Department For International Development and a Director for Gatsby Africa.

I am struck by how difficult human beings find it to engage and disagree well across divides, the lack of attention this receives in peacebuilding approaches and the significant and under-resourced role faith can play in building trust and restoring broken relationships.

No surprise therefore that I am inspired by the vision of the Rose Castle Foundation. My role is to identify how our experience with Abrahamic faiths and facilitating encounters across deep divides can best support those working in situations of conflict… an exciting prospect.

When not at work I love hanging out with my family, being outdoors and playing sport… though I find I’m increasingly better suited to watching it than playing it!

RCF Team

Volunteers

 
26 dedicated volunteers gave almost 6000 hours of their time to the Rose Castle Foundation in 2019. We are proud of and grateful for our volunteering team, who enable the smooth running of residential programmes, and support us in areas such as monitoring and evaluation and digital marketing. Volunteers are at the heart of our community and help uphold our values.
 
Apply to volunteer
RCPEP_291019-4347

Our Trustees

 
Our trustees come from many walks of life. They include Cumbrians, investors, entrepreneurs, theologians, and a former UK ambassador. The trustees are actively committed to shaping and supporting RCF’s reconciling mission. The breadth and diversity of their experience also helps deliver the highest quality of guidance to our organisation.
 
Professor David Ford (Co-Chair)
Bishop James Newcome (Co-Chair)
Dr Stuart Burgess CBE
Christopher Townsend
Mohamed Amersi
Brian Thompson
John Casson CMG