Non-elected faith representatives are increasingly involved in public policy decisionmaking. Yet, little is understood about who they represent and on what basis. Drawing on political theory and primary research data, this article examines what, in democratic terms, is going on when a faith leader sits on a local strategic partnership, a service advisory body, or a neighbourhood board. It shows that, despite very real limitations, faith representatives complement traditional electoral representation by bringing new and ‘authentic’ voices and expertise. ‘Representative claims’ are legitimized in part through faith leaders' involvement in dense (and often marginalized) community networks, but also through their very ‘untaintedness’ in relation to traditional electoral processes.