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Theos stimulates the debate about the place of religion in society, challenging and changing ideas through research, commentary and events.

Core Team

  • Elizabeth Oldfield - Director

    Elizabeth Oldfield


    Elizabeth is Theos’ Director. She appears regularly in the media, including BBC One, Sky News, the World Service, and writing in The Financial Times. She is a regular conference speaker and chair. Before joining Theos in August 2011, Elizabeth worked for BBC TV and radio. She has an MA in Theology from King’s College London.

  • Nick Spencer - Senior Fellow

    Nick Spencer

    Senior Fellow

    Nick is Senior Fellow at Theos. He is the author of a number of books and reports, most recently The Political Samaritan: how power hijacked a parable (Bloomsbury, 2017), The Evolution of the West (SPCK, 2016) and Atheists: The Origin of the Species (Bloomsbury, 2014). Outside of Theos, Nick is Visiting Research Fellow at the Faiths and Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London and a Fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion.

  • Lizzie Stanley  - Head of Communications

    Lizzie Stanley

    Head of Communications

    Lizzie is Head of Communications at Theos. She has a BA in Politics from Durham University and a background in communications with over 10 years’ experience developing content and strategic communications projects for brands, government clients and not–for–profits. Lizzie spent the last two years in Australia establishing the Sydney branch of a social change focused communications agency, and has a particular interest in the power of human stories in shaping our foundational beliefs and culture.


    To contact Lizzie for out–of–hours media matters, call 07778160052.

  • Madeleine Pennington - Head of Research

    Madeleine Pennington

    Head of Research

    Madeleine joined Theos in 2018 as a researcher on the Free Churches Commission, investigating the impact of churches on social cohesion across England. She holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Oxford, and previously worked as a research scholar in Philadelphia. She is the author of The Christian Quaker: George Keith and the Keithian Controversy (Brill: 2019) and is now working on her second book, entitled Quakers, Christ and the Enlightenment (OUP, forthcoming). Outside of Theos, she is a member of the Engaging Young Adult Friends steering group, aiming to increase age diversity among British Quakers.

  • Lucy Colman - Head of Development

    Lucy Colman

    Head of Development

    Lucy is currently studying a Masters in Systematic Theology at St Mellitus College. Alongside her role at Theos she works as a policy consultant with a specialism in political advocacy and issues of modern slavery. From 2010 – 2016 she worked at the Centre for Social Justice, authoring the policy report ‘It Happens Here: Equipping the UK to fight modern slavery’, and subsequently acting as Specialist Adviser to the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee for the Modern Slavery Act, which was passed in 2015.

  • Paul Bickley - Research Fellow

    Paul Bickley

    Research Fellow

    Paul is Research Fellow at Theos. His background is in Parliament and public affairs, and he holds an MLitt from the University of St Andrews’ School of Divinity. Paul is the author of Building Jerusalem? Christianity and the Labour Party (2010) and numerous Theos reports.

  • Anna Wheeler - Operations and Events Manager

    Anna Wheeler

    Operations and Events Manager

    Anna joined Theos in June 2015. She read Theology at Heythrop College, University of London, and later gained a PG Diploma in Theatre. She has taught in Poland and Ghana and spent twelve years coordinating university programmes and working with students at Heythrop, SOAS, KCL and Imperial College. Anna’s main research interests are the links between the arts, theology and philosophy.

  • Nathan Mladin - Senior Researcher and Relationship Manager

    Nathan Mladin

    Senior Researcher and Relationship Manager

    Nathan joined Theos in 2016. He holds an MTh and PhD in Systematic Theology from Queen’s University Belfast and is the author of several Theos publications, including ‘Religious London: Faith in a Global City’ (with Paul Bickley), ‘Forgive Us Our Debts: lending and borrowing as if relationships matter’ (with Barbara Ridpath), and a chapter on Václav Havel in ‘The Mighty and the Almighty: How Political Leaders do God’ (Biteback, 2017). He currently acts as theology adviser and rapporteur to the Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) at the Church of England. His research focuses on technology ethics (Big Tech; AI), political economy, and cultural change.



  • Hannah Rich - Researcher

    Hannah Rich


    Hannah joined Theos in November 2017 as a researcher exploring the relationship between church growth, social action and discipleship, together with Church Urban Fund. Previously, she worked for a social innovation think tank and a learning disability charity. Hannah studied French and Spanish at Durham University, including a year abroad working with faith–based organisations in Paris and Madrid. She also holds an MSc in Inequalities and Social Science from LSE.

  • Simon Perfect - Researcher

    Simon Perfect


    Simon joined Theos in 2014. He is a researcher and tutor at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where he leads campus–based and distance–learning courses exploring Muslim communities in Britain and in other minority settings. Simon read History at the University of Cambridge and has an MA in the Study of Religions from SOAS.

  • Hannah Waite - Researcher

    Hannah Waite


    Hannah joined Theos in October 2019. She has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Counselling and she is just about to submit her PhD thesis in Practical Theology looking at the Stigma of Bipolar Disorder in Churches across the UK, both from the University of Aberdeen. She is particularly interested in disability theology and was a founding member and community developer of Friendship House Aberdeen, a movement towards creating an inclusive community for adults with and without disability. She is working on Theos’ Religion and Science project.

  • Lynne Robinson - Team Support Officer

    Lynne Robinson

    Team Support Officer

    Lynne joined Theos in 2018. She has worked in financial planning for several media companies, and has extensive experience of website management and social media through running her own small design business. She has a BA in Modern History, and an MA in Museum Studies.

  • Abbie Allison - Communications and Events Officer

    Abbie Allison

    Communications and Events Officer

    Abbie joined Theos in August 2019 as Communications and Events Assistant. Prior to this, she worked as a community fundraiser for a national homelessness charity based in the North East of England. She holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Bristol. Abbie is particularly interested in the power of diversifying content so that it is accessible to a wide range of people.

  • Emily Downe - Creative Content Designer

    Emily Downe

    Creative Content Designer

    Emily joined Theos in July 2019. She graduated with a MA in Documentary Animation from the Royal College of Art and achieved her BA in Illustration Animation at Kingston University. Alongside working as Creative Designer at Theos, she works independently as an animation director, specialising in documentary short film. Emily has a passion for visual communication; expanding research through visual metaphor and engaging design.


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