Jez Sweetland, Project Director, Bristol Housing Festival
Jez Sweetland is an experienced leader and has managed and initiated change and strategic development in a variety of settings and has worked across a wide range of key stakeholder relationships. He has led both corporate and charitable organisations and enjoyed the challenge of setting and achieving a mission (in partnership with others), affecting culture change and developing relationships.
He is resourceful, emotionally intelligent, entrepreneurial and has excellent organisational and communication skills. In previous job roles he acted as the CEO of Guildhall Chambers, a Barristers Chambers in Bristol, and CEO of a charitable national skills training organisation. His working career started in law where he qualified as a solicitor with Eversheds and then moved to Berwin Leighton Paisner in London where he spent nearly 4 years in their corporate finance department working on M&A transactions and a mix of private equity and public listings.
On leaving private legal practice he spent several years in broader management roles including setting up the operations of a new think tank before moving into his first CEO role.
Jez lives in Bristol, with his wife and 3 children (aged 12,8 and 8).
Marvin Rees - Mayor of Bristol
Marvin Rees has worked in diverse areas throughout his career. He was a freelance journalist and radio presenter at BBC Radio Bristol and Ujima Radio. He was the Communications and Events Manager at Black Development Agency (now Phoenix Social Enterprise), an agency devoted to empowering individuals and communities through opportunities to work abroad.
Marvin Rees was employed in the city of Bristol as the Programme Manager for race equality in mental health issues at NHS Bristol. His experiences in the United States included work as an outreach assistant at the Sojourners Community and as a Youth Co-ordinator at Tearfund.
On 5 May 2016, Rees was elected Mayor of Bristol.
Oona Goldsworthy, CEO, Brunel Care
Oona is passionate about the role that housing can play in shaping cities and supporting residents and communities to become more resilient which comes together under the banner of ‘More Than’.
As well as being Chief Executive, Oona is a Trustee of Bristol Hospitality Network for Refugees. In 2017 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research global approach’s to housing millennials.
The Right Reverend Dr Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington
Bishop Graham worked in insurance for a number of years before training for ordination at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He was curate at St Leonard’s Church in Exeter, before returning to Oxford to be Chaplain of Jesus College and a tutor at Wycliffe Hall. He completed a PhD on the Theology of the Cross in St Paul, Martin Luther and Blaise Pascal, and went on to teach Historical Theology full-time at Wycliffe, where he was also Vice Principal for eight years. He also taught within the Theology Faculty of Oxford University. In 2005, he moved to London with his wife, Janet, to help launch St Paul’s Theological Centre, which in 2007 became part of the newly launched St Mellitus College. He was the College’s first Dean and oversaw the initial significant growth of the College over the following eight years, and he continues in a role as President of the College today. He became Bishop of Kensington in 2015 and was closely involved in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.
Lynne Cullens, Parish vicar, Trustee and Vice-Chair of the National Estate Churches Network (NECN)
Lynne is a Parish vicar and trustee and vice-chair of the National Estate Churches Network (NECN). Prior to ordination she was a CEO with a professional background in charities, community development and housing, having worked as a local authority housing officer and as company lead on tenant participation and engagement for a social housing provider. Lynne had several years’ engagement in fieldwork for PSSRU - a research unit of the Universities of Kent and Manchester and the London School of Economics - as part of the evaluation of the extra-care housing initiative. She has also worked as consultant to policy reviews, community planning and cohesion interventions. Born in Ordsall, Salford, Lynne is passionate about issues of poverty, inequality and disadvantage. She writes and speaks on such issues as they affect the Church and wider culture.
Charlie Arbuthnot (Chair)
Charlie Arbuthnot worked in investment banking in the City from 1978 until 2008. During this time, he opened up various new markets including the market for private finance for housing associations and advised Her Majesty’s Government on introducing private finance to the social housing sector.In 2008, he left to set up his own business and became a self-employed financial advisor to housing associations. This has allowed him to focus on a wider remit covering both financial advice to housing associations and strategic advice around building community and inter-connecting relevant stakeholders with a view to community transformation. Charlie also sat on the main board of The Housing Finance Corporation (2008-2018) and was the Chair of THFC's Credit Committee (2014-2018). His pro bono roles include work with the London Borough of Wandsworth on faith and community, hate crime and elderly outreach, mentoring various individuals and several small emerging businesses, and chairing his church’s strategy team.
Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol
Bishop Viv has been Bishop of Bristol for a year. Her grandparents grew up in Redcliffe ward and after being bombed out lived in a prefab before being rehomed in Sea Mills.
She was previously Dean of York where she chaired the City of York community process to enable York Central, the largest urban brownfield development site in the north of England, to be planned as and for a whole community. Earlier her work as Dean of Leicester focussed on the regeneration of the community around the cathedral. Just before she left the body of Richard III was exhumed.