About Us

LAPIDO MEANS TO SPEAK UP in the Acholi dialect of Northern Uganda.  Religiously literate media work helped to end a war there between 2003-5.  We were founded by journalists to advocate for greater awareness of the faith dimension in policy, governance, and conflict in the UK and abroad.

Many news stories do not make sense - whether to journalists or policy makers who feed off what they report - without understanding religion. Lapido Media is an internationally networked, British-based philanthro-media charity, founded in 2005, that seeks to increase understanding among journalists and opinion formers of the way religion shapes world affairs. 

It’s called religious literacy.  We run media briefings, publish research and essays and work with journalists around the world.  Our stringers practise on our website the kind of religiously literate journalism we wish to see, going deeper to the sources of social motivations, and providing a resource for other journalists.  And we work with civil society groups on campaigns and media strategy to improve the flow and quality of stories with a religion dimension. 


Who we are

Jenny TaylorFounder and Executive Director - Dr Jenny Taylor
A journalist and author, she trained with Yorkshire Post Newspapers and became the first race reporter in the Westminster Press Group. She has reported from areas of conflict and poverty all over Asia and Africa, deciding to specialize in Islam and secularization, which resulted first in the book Faith and Power in 1998, co-authored with Professor Lamin Sanneh of Yale, and Lesslie Newbigin.  She speaks and writes on the connection between faith and culture, on which she has addressed parliamentary, Commonwealth and media gatherings around the world.  Her doctorate is from SOAS in London.


David Sseppuuya

David Sseppuuya is a senior journalist and media consultant and was until recently the Executive Editor of Monitor Publications Ltd. in Kampala, Uganda. He has also worked as Editor-in-Chief of New Vision in Kampala. 


Paaras Abbas

Paaras Abbas is a writer, photographer and artist, and occasional translator for the BBC. A scion of the famous family of Pakistan journalists, she is a contributor to a number of websites including The Samosa. She divides her time between London and Karachi while continuing her studies in anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University.


Jayson Casper

Jayson Casper is a writer and researcher with Arab West Report based in Cairo. He is also the editor of Orient and Occident, a magazine of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. He serves as local correspondent for Christianity Today and blogs regularly at A Sense of Belonging. Jayson has worked previously in Mauritania, Jordan, and Tunisia, and holds an MA in Islamic Studies from Columbia International University. Fond of all things Arabic, Jayson enjoys crossing boundaries to promote understanding, bringing the ‘other’ closer to home.


Heather PayneHeather Payne was born in Orissa, and lived alone for years in a remote Himalayan village working on women’s development.  She now writes for us from Delhi.  ‘Social development is my main pre-occupation with extensive experience in Africa and Asia, particulary on gender and disability issues.  My Indian roots are an advantage in addressing injustices in this society. The Hindu caste system is the biggest barrier to development.  Foreign aid should be tied to addressing human rights abused by religious practices. I am learning to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and to encourage others to do so. But there’s nothing like supporting people to speak for themselves.’


Nick PageNick Page was the well-modulated voice behind Radio 2's Nick Page Programme for many years, and has clocked up 35 years behind one mic or another. As a radio anchorman and producer he hosted Nightline for the London Broadcasting Company as well as programmes for schools on BBC Radio 4. As a communication consultant, he choreographs public events and conferences around the world, and is Secretary of the International Christian Media Commission. He is a member of the panel of judges for the Andrew Cross Awards.


Dr. Irfan Al AlawiDr. Irfan Al Alawi is an expert in Middle East affairs and Tasawwuf (Islamic spirituality), and studied at Al-Azhar University, Cairo as well as under the famous Imam Sayyid Habib ahmad Mashhur al Haddad Al Alawi.  He is International Director at the Centre for Islamic Pluralism and a Visiting Fellow at The Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars (Washington).  He has written for the Independent, The Guardian, The Times, as well as for The Weekly Standard, The Spectator, and many Islamic journals. He has translated many works into Arabic, English, Swahili and Urdu.


Chine MbubaegbuChine Mbubaegbu is Editor of Idea magazine. After gaining her BA in Theology & Religious Studies at Cambridge University, she became one of the country’s first ‘faith’ reporters - at that hotbed of religious radicalism, the Reading Evening Post.  There she interviewed the Revd Jesse Jackson, and reported on an historic trip to Auschwitz with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. She has written for regional and national newspapers including the Guardian, the Sunday Telegraph and the Independent, and was former Editor of the Crown Prosecution Service’s legal magazine Eye Witness.


Sunny Peter is a freelance writer on global affairs, and a social development consultant based in Mumbai, India.  He contributes regularly to Global Asia, The Diplomat and Foreign Policy Association Blog.



Sam Hailes is a freelance journalist. Since graduating with a BA in Journalism he has written on a range of subjects including faith, music, the Middle East, technology and film. He also works as a social media manager and proofreader for a variety of clients. He can be found at his popular blog SamHailes.com and on Twitter @samhailes.


Ruth Gledhill has spent more than a quarter of a century in religious affairs journalism, mainly for The Times. She has also written for The Daily Mail, The Birmingham Post, The Church of England Newspaper, The Tablet and The Jewish Chronicle. She is studying for an MS/MSc in digital journalism at Goldsmith’s. She is passionate about justice and human rights. Follow her on Twitter @ruthiegledhill. Some of her recent articles can be accessed via http://journalisted.com/ruth-gledhill. She also reviews theatre for LondonTheatre1.com




  • Eric Thompson (Treasurer)
  • Revd Arne Fjeldstad, PhD
  • Tom Holland
  • Philip Lewis, DPhil
  • Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, PhD
  • Jenny Taylor, PhD  

Advisory Board

  • The Revd Andrew Rumsey
    Vicar of Oxted, London; Author Homing In (Paternoster 1998) andStrangely Warmed: Meditations on God, Life and Bric-a-brac – the Mowbray Lent Book 2010
  • Yemi Adedeji
    CEO, Mind The Gap Consult.  Ecumenical Adviser to the Chair and  Executive Council of Redeemed Church UK.  Curate, Nigerian Chaplaincy of St  Marylebone Church, London.
  • The Revd Gareth Wardell
    Associate Vicar, All Saints Hampton.  Formerly Head of  HR for the United Mission to Nepal and the International Assistance Mission, Afghanistan, and former Research Fellow at York University's Post-war Reconstruction & Development Unit.
  • Neil Addison
    Barrister-at-law; author, Religious Discrimination and Hatred Law (Routledge Cavendish, 2007)
  • Rev Dr Arne Fjeldstad
    Journalist; CEO, The Media Project, Washington;  Chair, International  Board of Gegrapha
  • David Landrum
    Director of Advocacy, Evangelical Alliance, UK
  • David Taylor MA (Cantab)
    Senior Editor, Middle East and North Africa, Oxford Analytica.  Former British diplomat


Featured Publication

  • Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent: Inside British Islam

    WHAT ARE THE RELIGIOUS trends that inform the thoughts, feelings and actions of Britain's Muslim communities? Philip Lewis reviews an indispensable and accessible work that lays bare the ideologies informing the main Islamic movements in Britain today.