Rochester Cathedral Trust
Background on Rochester Cathedral Trust
The Rochester Cathedral Trust is a charity that was set up on 11th April 1985.
What are the purposes of the Trust?
The Rochester Cathedral Trust has been a body through which major appeals have been dealt with in the past including the most recent one started in 2005. The work of the Trust was developed by The Very Revd Adrian Newman (the then Dean of Rochester) and the fundraising activities were increased.
The Rochester Cathedral Trust was chaired by The Rt Hon The Lord Astor of Hever for 11 years before he resigned in 2010 because of his Government appointment as Under Secretary of State for Defence. The Chair was then taken by Mr Michael Aiken.
Who are the Trustees?
Chairman – Michael Aiken MBE
Educated at the Grammar School in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, Michael spent a period under articles in Chartered Accountancy, following which he joined the Army. He served for more than five years, first in the Parachute Regiment and then with the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers as a Platoon Commander. He then entered the business world, progressively achieving senior appointments in the brewing, leisure and shipping industries. He was a board member of a number of companies within Grand Metropolitan plc, now Diageo, including being CEO of Truman Hanbury and Buxton, London’s oldest brewery company.
He became the first private sector director to join the Board of the newly privatised Sealink British Ferries, an early privatisation and then the Europe’s largest ferries and ports company. After running Sea Containers international ferries and ports business, he decided to operate independently and acquired Wightlink Shipping Ltd., the UK’s largest domestic ferries and ports enterprise becoming the principle shareholder and CEO. He was also a Board Member of the British Chamber of Shipping. He subsequently sold his interest in Wightlink, Michael retains an active interest in business and is also active in the charitable world.
Michael is 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 succeeded Lord Astor as Chairman of Rochester Cathedral Trust in November 2011. 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.
Dean of Rochester – The Very Revd Dr Mark Beach
Having only become Dean of Rochester in May 2012, he is still working out what it means but already loves being a part of the worshipping community in the Cathedral and seeking ways in which these ancient stones can speak of a thoroughly modern and relevant faith.
He loves music and singing, walking his somewhat over-exuberant lurcher called Murphy and trying to be a good father and husband.
Precentor of Rochester – Revd Neil Thompson
Neil was born and brought up in the south of England in a Scottish family setting, thereby perhaps enjoying the best of all worlds! He studied at Durham and Leicester universities and taught history in a grammar school and sixth form college before ordination. He is married to Ruth and they have three children and seven grandchildren scattered between West Sussex and north Northumberland. He has served in five parishes across the diocese of Southwark and enjoys the creative arts (particularly opera), tennis, walking, reading and many other things including hymn writing! (his website is www.houndofheaven.co.uk) As Precentor he is ‘the one who sings first’: the member of the Chapter with responsibility for overseeing the cathedral’s ministry of worship in liturgy and music. The daily rhythm of prayer and worship, and the remarkable resources of the cathedral in its musicians and spaces, provide an exciting ministry whereby human lives are caught up in the divine drama. In this context the diocese is served, community life refreshed and theology forged anew.
Jean is much travelled and from a military family, having lived and worked at General Headquarters in Singapore in 1949-51, and in Sydney in 1961. Returning to Medway where she has lived on and off since she was 11 years old, she was Company Secretary of her late husband’s manufacturing company.Jean has been a member of the Friends of Rochester Cathedral Council since 1986 and was the Excursions Chairman from 86 – 2000.
The Viscount De L’Isle MBE
Lord De L’Isle has succeeded Allan Willett as Lord Lieutenant of Kent and was invited to become a Trustee of Rochester in November 2011.
He retired from the Army as a Major in 1979 to manage the Penshurst Place Estate and chaired Kent Country Landowners Committee from 1983-85. Succeeding his father, the 1st Viscount De L'Isle VC KG, in 1991, he sat in the House of Lords from 1991-1999.
Viscount De L'Isle was Honorary Colonel of the 5th Battalion, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment from 1992-99. Since 1992 he has been a Trustee of Canterbury Cathedral Trust, becoming Chairman in 2007. In 2004-09 he was a Member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Panel on National Records and Archives, and a Kent Ambassador. In August 2006 he was additionally appointed Honorary Colonel of Kent Army Cadet Force. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent in 1996 and Vice Lord Lieutenant in 2002, taking up his appointment as Lord Lieutenant of Kent on 1 September 2011.
Viscount De L'Isle married Isobel, née Compton, in 1980, and they have two children: Sophia (born 1983) and Philip (born 1985). Their family home, Penshurst Place, was judged best visitor attraction by Tourism South East in 2003.
John A Spence, OBE DL
John Spence trained as an Engineer but has held a number of diverse appointments both before and since early retirement, including Education, and was formerly Chairman of Mid Kent College and a Council Member of Kent University (Chairman of Audit). A non exec Chairman / Director various small private companies, non exec Director Radio Invicta 1995-2000. He served in local Government (1961-93) first on Gillingham Council then on Kent County Council holding key chairmanships (including Finance) and political appointments. At National he chaired the Local Government Finance Committee of the Association of County Councils and served on Home Office and other departmental committees. He is a past Chairman of the Kent Police Authority.
In the Health Service from 1987—1997 he chaired first the Medway Health Authority and the Kent Ambulance Service and then the Medway NHS Hospital Trust. He is Chairman of Rochester Cathedral Council and is a Cathedral Trustee; a board member of Rochester Bridge Trust and Chatham Historic Dockyard and was Chairman of Master Ropemakers Limited. He has a number of charitable interests. Deputy Lieutenant of Kent 2001, OBE 2005 (services to Heritage), Hon. DCL Kent University, Hon.Fellow Southbank University.
Diana Paul was born in Ireland, brought up in Wales and now lives in England. After taking a degree in Latin she, curiously, ended up working at the Ministry of Defence in an extremely secret department for nearly 10 years. Marriage to a banker took her off to live in Hong Kong for a couple of years before returning to buy a house in Brasted where she has lived for the past 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 Ambulance for several years. Her involvement with Rochester and the Cathedral has given her enormous pleasure and the opportunity to get to know another part of the County.
The Hon Mrs Robin Denison-Pender
Clare Denison-Pender 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. She is also a President of the Queen Mother's Clothing Guild, which distributes 20,000 pieces of new clothing per year to needy families, people with disabilities, the homeless, and those of all ages in hospices within the British Isles.
Clare also lends a hand to a variety of local fundraising events, and her late husband Robin, was High Sheriff of Kent In 1993.
Paul Hudson is Examining Inspector in the Planning Inspectorate responsible for handling applications for major infrastructure projects. In 2010, he was appointed a lay member of the Chapter of Rochester Cathedral, a Trustee of the Creative Foundation in Folkestone and the Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) South East England committee. He served as Thames Gateway Director in the Department for Communities and Local Government, having been appointed the Government’s Chief Planner in 2006. He was Executive Director of Development and Infrastructure at the South East England Development Agency from 1999 to 2006. Prior to that was Chief Executive of Locate in Kent, City Technical Director of Rochester upon Medway City Council, Divisional Director at the Travers Morgan Consulting Group and for nearly 20 years held a variety of planning and economic development posts at Kent County Council. He and his wife Jan have lived in Kent for over 40 years, have two children and a growing number of grandchildren.
Born in Usk, Monmouthshire in 1965, Rory read Classics at Christ’s College, Cambridge, before joining Ogilvy as a Graduate Trainee in 1988. After 18 months spent as the world’s worst account handler (as a desperate remedial measure he was once booked onto a time management course, but got the date wrong) Rory became a copywriter in June 1990. He has worked on Amex, BT, Compaq, Microsoft, IBM, BUPA, Easy Jet, Unilever, winning a few awards along the way. He was appointed Creative Director of Ogilvy One in 1997 and ECD in 1998. In 2005 he was appointed Vice Chairman on the Ogilvy Group in the UK in recognition of his improved timekeeping.By an amazing stroke of luck (his brother is an academic) Rory first used the Internet in 1987. Hence he had the advantage in 1994 of knowing what it was and what it might do a few years ahead of many colleagues. Most people would have combined this knowledge of marketing and technology to make a fortune; not Rory. Instead he became the first Briton to have his credit card details stolen online, thereby losing £22.45. In his spare time, Rory collects self-aggrandising job titles. He was President of the Direct Jury at Cannes in 2007, and was elected President of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising in 2009 for two years. He is also the Technology Correspondent of the Spectator, the world’s oldest English language magazine. You can visit his blog at http://snipr.com/da9bq
Rory is married with twin daughters of 9 (Hetty and Millie) and lives in the former home of Napoleon III in Brasted in Kent.
Georgie Warner (nee Garfit) was brought up in Cambridgeshire and was educated at St Mary’s, Cambridge and The Cambridge College of Arts and Technology where she read Business Studies. She later studied antique furniture and now runs her own antiques sourcing business. She is the immediate past Chairman of the national charity, Gardening for Disabled Trust and works for the British Red Cross in the ‘Home from Hospital’ sector. 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 – Edward, Millie and Jamie. She is a keen supporter of all village activities and is an enthusiastic horse rider and gardener.
In Attendance at Trust meetings:
Rochester Cathedral Development Officer – Lynne Bax MInstF(Cert)
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. She also works on Trust and Foundation grant applications as well as community and event fund raising. Lynne works in collaboration with the sub-committees of the Rochester Cathedral Trust, with specific responsibility in the areas of ‘Music & Events’ and supporting the work of the Cathedral Business Guild. She also provides administrative support to the Trust as required. Lynne is a certified member of The Institute of Fundraising.
For further information on Rochester Cathedral Trust please contact:
Tel: 01634 810074