Research and Policy

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Jessamin Birdsall

Head of Research and Evaluation

Jessamin joined CUF in March 2018. Jessamin is a PhD Candidate in Sociology and Social Policy at Princeton University, specialising in inequality, race and ethnicity, and religion. She has conducted quantitative and qualitative research on social capital formation, interfaith relations, immigrant identity, and social and political attitudes of evangelical Christians. Prior to her studies at Princeton, Jessamin spent several years working in international development programme design and institutional fundraising, based in Delhi and London. She is an active member of her church in East London and has great love for travel, music, low-maintenance houseplants, and strong coffee.

Miriam Brittenden

Miriam Brittenden

Research and Policy Officer

Miriam joined CUF in August 2018. Prior to joining, she completed a year-long leadership program with the Centre for Theology and Community exploring Christian engagement in politics. She was previously the Parliamentary Assistant for the Bishop of Durham, resourcing his role as a peer in the House of Lords, focusing on the policy areas of UK poverty, welfare and refugees & asylum. Miriam is passionate about the intersection of faith, politics and social justice and excited to develop the policy and influencing side of CUF’s work. In her spare time she loves finding new coffee shops to visit, listening to podcasts, and getting stuck in with her parish community in Shadwell.

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Hannah Rich


Hannah is a Researcher working on the GR:ACE project, which is delivered in partnership between Church Urban Fund and Theos. Based at Theos, she is exploring the relationship between social action, discipleship and church growth, and is always keen to hear stories of what churches are getting up to in their communities. Before that, she worked as a research assistant and completed a MSc in Inequalities and Social Science at LSE. Hannah has also worked as a support worker for young adults with learning disabilities and managed a social enterprise sweet shop. She studied French and Spanish at university and spent a year abroad working with local churches in Paris and Madrid. In her spare time, Hannah enjoys going running, reading crime novels and taking her fantasy football team far too seriously.

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Ana Franca Ferreira

Postgraduate Researcher

Ana joined CUF and Near Neighbours in October 2018 as a postgraduate researcher. She is a PhD candidate in Social Policy and Theology at the University of Birmingham where she will be specialising in integration amongst ethnic and religious diversity. Prior to her studies, Ana worked with different research centres conducting quantitative and qualitative research on different aspects of ethnic minorities in the UK. She also has over 7 years experience working directly with local organisations and community groups where she worked as a regional coordinator for Near Neighbours and as a community organiser for Citizens UK. As a practising Catholic, she attends a Church in east London and has great love for black coffee, Latin American music and dance, travelling and boxing.