John Weafer is an independent social researcher, specializing in qualitative social and religious research. He began his career with the Irish Bishops’ Council for Research & Development in 1982, following post-graduate studies in the Department of Sociology, Maynooth. He was appointed the Council’s first lay director in 1989. He subsequently worked in two of Ireland’s largest market research agencies as a board director, before setting up his own company, Weafer Research Associates in 1999.During the past 12 years, he has completed projects on behalf of some of Ireland’s leading organisations and companies, such as the National Disability Authority, Dublin City Council, The Homeless Agency, the Citizens Information Board, Diageo, and the ESB. He has also worked with a number of Irish dioceses and religious orders in Ireland, Africa, South America and North America. He lectures part-time in the Department of Applied Social Studies in NUI Maynooth and he has published a number of articles, books and reports on religion in Ireland. He completed his DSocSc thesis, entitled ‘The Lived Experience of Irish Diocesan Priests, 1962-2012’ in 2013.