Our trustees are elected by the congregation to help oversee New Unity's finance, policy, staff, buildings, and long-term strategy.
John Bates, Chair
John is a Fellow at London Business School, and a board advisor to several early stage ventures in the creative and technology industries. He married Wendy at the Unitarian Church in Cambridge in 1992, and they've been members of New Unity since 2008. When not involved with New Unity projects, business commitments or children & grandchildren, John and Wendy enjoy travelling around Europe by Camper van or walking with Holiday Fellowship. As Chair of Trustees, John is especially active in the plans to renovate New Unity's Newington Green building, bringing its unique heritage to life for the wider community.
Franck Bordese, Treasurer
Franck is an arts manager working in the fields of visual arts, performance and dance. He joined New Unity in 2005 and has been involved in the life of the community ever since. He brings knowledge of the charitable sector, finance and organisational development. Interested in the spiritual, cultural and social aspects of New Unity’s programme, Franck advocates for personal growth, enlightenment and social justice, encouraging New Unity to be a place for radically progressive ideas to inspire action.
Jenn Flandro, Secretary
Jenn is a trainee Islington social worker and a governor of a local school. As such, she brings knowledge of the local community. In her previous role, she was principal of a primary school where she was responsible for all aspects including curriculum and learning, recruitment and training, and managing the budget. She enjoys spending time with her three children. Her perfect day would be spent outside in the sun: she likes running, hiking, and exploring cities. She tries to see museum exhibitions and loves going to concerts. She also enjoys reading contemporary fiction and checking out new restaurants, especially vegetarian-friendly ones.
Raúl Leal Ascencio
For more than 10 years Raúl has been in charge of business development in an academic/commercial group with steady commercial growth. He is deputy director of that group. In the past, he has also been involved in the starting and running of two small businesses. He is an engineer by training and holds two postgraduate degrees but has been engaged in more human and business aspects of engineering for the past decade. He has provided training and consultancy for industry in the transport and space sectors and for governmental and non-governmental organisations in several countries. He believes in New Unity’s values and vision and it is a privilege for him to contribute in his free time to influence the direction, effectiveness and efficiency of the community.
Laurence graduated in computer animation and moved to London to become a graphic designer and children's illustrator for a startup company. As a lifelong atheist, he was drawn to New Unity's focus on justice, kindness and inclusivity without the need for religious deities or dogma. He has since become involved in the Social Justice Team, Newington Green Alliance and Pets Against Loneliness (PAL). He is also a keen reader, and his first children's book was inspired by the teachings and community spirit of New Unity.