Rochester Cathedral Trust
The Trustees of The Rochester Cathedral Trust are:-
Chairman - Michael Aiken MBE
Michael became Chairman of The Rochester Cathedral Trust in 2011. He is also Chairman of the Mary Rose Trust, Founder Trustee of The Leadership Trust, a board member of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and Chairman of Aiken Spence Ltd. He is Vice Patron of the Tall Ships Youth Trust, President of the Blyskawica Society, President of West Kent Relate and Chairman of Spellbound Theatre Productions Limited. Michael is married to Sigi and they have three sons. He has a number of business interests and his hobbies include sailing and country pursuits.
Michael was awarded an MBE in Her Majesty the Queen's birthday honours for 2013 for services to National Heritage.
Message from the Chairman of Rochester Cathedral Trust, Michael Aiken MBE
"As England's second oldest Cathedral, this beautiful building has been witness to many of the Country's historic events and dramas. Its architecture reflects the progressive passage of centuries with the Norman element being very striking. The whole atmosphere in and around the Cathedral is one of holiness and spirituality. I feel very privileged to be involved in its life."
The Viscount de L'Isle MBE
Lord De L’Isle was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Kent in September 2011 and became a Trustee in November 2011.
A full biographical of Lord De L’Isle is available at
John A Spence OBE DL
John trained as an Engineer but has held a number of diverse appointments both before and since early retirement, including Education, Health, Local Government as well as holding a number of Trusteeships. John is married to Pat and lives in Wigmore.
Precentor of Rochester – Revd Canon Neil Thompson
As Precentor he is the member of the Chapter with responsibility for overseeing the Cathedral’s ministry of worship in liturgy and music. He is married to Ruth and they have three children and seven grandchildren scattered between West Sussex and north Northumberland.
Diana lived in West Kent for 33 years and brought up her 3 children there – two daughters and a son. Over the years she has been involved with many local charities and served on the Kent Council of St John’s Ambulance. Her involvement with Rochester and the Cathedral has given her enormous pleasure and the opportunity to get to know another part of the County.
Philip Talboys read Jurisprudence and was an Academical Clerk at Magdalen College, Oxford. He was latterly a partner of the City law firm, Herbert Smith, which he left in 2009. He now splits his time between Rochester and the South of France. His major interests are art, furniture and sculpture, gardening, choral music, dance and horse racing.
Joss Croft is Head of Marketing for VisitBritain, having had experience as Regional Director for Europe, Head of Business Visits and Events and manager of Strategic Partnerships. He previously worked in sales and marketing for Futuroscope Poitiers, Disneyland Paris and the London Tourist Board. He lives in Rochester.
Peter and his wife Nella live in Penshurst and have three daughters. He has recently stepped down as a Kent County Councillor after 20 years and was Chairman in 2008/09. Peter is a trustee of Kent Community Foundation. He is keen on dangerous sports and has recently piloted a Tiger Moth and skydived to raise money for charity.
Clare has lived in Kent since 1971. She has been a Trustee of Rochester Cathedral for many years, having previously been a council member for St John’s, Kent. Clare also lends a hand to a variety of local fundraising events, and her late husband Robin, was High Sheriff of Kent In 1993.
Alastair has lived near Sevenoaks all his life, where he farms. He is a trustee of Belmont House and Belnor Farms near Faversham, and was High Sheriff of Kent in 2013/14. He has a variety of business and charity interests in London and Kent, and is married to Bella, who is a DL and Chair of the Kent Community Foundation.
Canon Paul Hudson
Paul is a Lay Member of the Chapter of Rochester Cathedral. He and his wife Jan have lived in Kent for over 40 years; have two children and a growing number of grandchildren. He is Chairman of The Heritage Lottery Fund Committee for the South East, and a Planning Examining Inspector.
Born in Monmouthshire, Rory read Classics at Christ’s College, Cambridge, before joining Ogilvy as a Graduate Trainee in 1988. He is now Vice Chairman of The Ogilvy Group UK. Rory is married with twin daughters and lives in the former home of Napoleon III in Brasted in Kent.
Georgie Warner DL
Georgie now runs her own antiques sourcing business. She was High Sheriff of Kent for 2011/12 and is a Kent Ambassador. Georgie and her husband, Charles, live in Brenchley and have three children. She is a keen supporter of all village activities and is an enthusiastic horse rider and gardener.
Dr David Starkey CBE
David Starkey, CBE and Honorary Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Now one of Britain’s leading historians, he writes books, curates historical exhibitions and presents TV documentaries which combine scholarship with wide popular appeal. An Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society, he is a Church friendly atheist who loves the beauty of the liturgy, music and buildings of the Church of England. He is also an outspoken and controversial panellist on Question Time. He lives with his long-term partner in London and Kent.
In Attendance at Trust meetings:
Chapter Clerk - Gilly Wilford
Gilly is a Chartered Accountant with 30 years experience in private practice and the NHS and joined the Cathedral as Chapter Clerk in April 2013. Gilly lives in Headcorn with her husband Peter.
Development Officer, Lynne Bax
Lynne joined the team at Rochester Cathedral in 2005 and is responsible for building on the work of the Capital Fundraising Campaign started in 2005, to raise funds to support the music and fabric costs of Rochester Cathedral. Lynne is a certified member of The Institute of Fundraising.