The National Church Governance Project Board was established in January 2022 to take forward the work of the Governance Review Group.
In February 2022, General Synod passed a motion that enabled the Board to start its work. The primary purpose of the National Church Governance Project Board is to develop and deliver agreement on the GRG proposals for change to the governance and structure of the National Church Institutions.
Once agreed, the governance reform workstream is responsible for the implementation of the selected proposals. The National Church Project Board is accountable to the existing NCI trustee bodies affected: the Archbishops’ Council and the Church Commissioners Board, via the Emerging Church Steering Group.
Please send any comments or questions to [email protected].
Read the latest update from the National Church Governance Project Board (October 2022)
The lead bishop responsible for the workstream is Bishop Andrew Watson. He is supported by the Governance Project Board.
Members of the National Church Governance Project Board are:
David served as Member of Parliament for Aylesbury from 1992 to December 2019. He was Minister for Europe throughout the Coalition and Cameron majority governments.
Under Theresa May he served as Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council, Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, and Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In that last role, David was responsible for chairing most Cabinet Committees and many COBR meetings.
He was responsible for constitutional affairs and worked closely, and across party lines, with political leaders in Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland. David was a member of the National Security Council and acted as deputy to Prime Minister Theresa May, including on several occasions at Prime Minister’s Question Time.
He has represented the United Kingdom at the European Union, NATO, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the United Nations Security Council. Since stepping down from the House of Commons, David has taken on a number of think tank and charity appointments, including chairing the Royal United Services Institution (RUSI) and the Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust. He is a member of the Advisory Panel to the Lord Chief Justice.
David is married to Helen, and they have four grown-up sons. He lives in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, and attends St Mary’s Parish Church. In his spare hours he enjoys history, mountain walking and choral singing.
Andrew Watson has been Bishop of Guildford since 2014, having previously ministered in Redditch, Notting Hill, Twickenham and Birmingham (where he was Bishop of Aston from 2008-14). He holds degrees in Law and Theology from Cambridge University, where he was also a music exhibitioner; and has chaired various national committees, including the Panel for World Mission and the Anglican Communion and the Ordained Vocations Working Group (charged with the daunting task of increasing the diversity of our ordinand cohort and increasing its number by 50% - a target that was very nearly reached).
Andrew was an elected member of the House of Clergy from 2000-2008 and has resumed his involvement at General Synod since becoming a diocesan bishop. He is charged with seeing the Governance Review through the Synodical process.
Alan Smith is the First Church Estates Commissioner for the Church of England. The First Church Estates Commissioner chairs the Church Commissioners' assets committee, a statutory committee responsible for the strategic management of the Church Commissioners' £10.1 billion investment portfolio, which is governed by strong ESG requirements.
Alan was formerly Senior Advisor - Climate and ESG Risk Management; and prior to that, Global Head of Risk Strategy and Chief of Staff to the Group Chief Risk Officer - HSBC. He was a member of HSBC’s climate business council whose remit was to develop the group’s sustainable finance strategy; provide oversight and governance of climate initiatives on behalf of HSBC’s group executive committee; and facilitate implementation of climate risk management across businesses, functions and regions.
He also co-chaired the HSBC climate risk oversight forum which shaped the group’s climate risk management framework and climate risk appetite statement. Alan worked with HSBC for 27 years in a variety of senior finance, risk, and capital management roles in London and in Saudi Arabia until his retirement at the end of 2021 to move fully into his Church Commissioner role.
Alan has an MBA in Finance from the Bayes Business School, City – University of London and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.
Alison has more than 30 years’ experience of working in and with the NHS. She started life as a geography graduate and then trained as a physio before becoming a manager and training in public health. She has a geography degree from Cambridge University, and a Masters in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; she is a member of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians.
She has worked for the past 15 years as a coach and facilitator with many different NHS organisations, and as an associate of The King’s Fund and NHS Leadership Academy. Her clients have included Boards, Senior Leadership Teams and clinical teams in a number of different NHS organisations including CCGs, acute and community Trusts, and Primary Care Networks. She currently works for Hampshire and Isle of Wight NHS ICS 2 days a week as Programme Director for OD.
In 2017, she co-founded Thrive Worldwide, which provides specialist healthcare, wellbeing and consulting services to humanitarian aid and mission organisations. Prior to starting Thrive, she was a Founder Director of Artesian, an organisational development consultancy, working for 11 years with a variety of large and medium sized organisations, including many NHS clients.
Alison also enjoys working as a charity trustee. She is a member of the Archbishops Council and of The General Synod of the Church of England, and Chair of Just Love, a student charity.
She is married with four young adult children and two baby grandchildren. She lives in Winchester and enjoys walking by the river with her dog, singing, skiing and ballet.
Mary Chapman is a Chartered Director who, since 2008, has served as a non-executive board member for public organisations including the Royal Mint Ltd, the National Lottery Commission, the Gambling Commission and Brunel University London. She chaired the Institute of Customer Service from 2009-15 and was a trustee of the Girls’ Day School Trust for 10 years. She served as a member and Audit Committee Chair of the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England from 2010-2020.
She is currently Chair of the General Chiropractic Council, a non-executive board member of the Insolvency Service and a trustee of the British Tourist Boards’ Pension Scheme.
Mary holds a BA (Hons) in French and German from Bristol University; an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University; an honorary Fellowship from Brunel University, the diploma of the Chartered Institute of Marketing; a diploma in Business Management from the Centre Europeen d’Etudes Permanentes; and the diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors.
Mary was Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute and Chair of CMI Enterprises from 1998-2008; Chief Executive of Investors in People UK between 1993-98 and Marketing Director/Personnel Director/General Manager of companies within the L’OREAL Group for twelve years up to 1993.
A Londoner by birth and inclination, Mary shares with her husband a passion for the rich artistic life of the city. They also enjoy rambling and sailing the coastal waters of Britain and France.
Simon is a member of the Church Commissioners Mission, Pastoral and Church Property Committee and the Church of England’s Governance Project Board.
From 2009-2011 Simon was priest-in-charge of six country parishes in Northamptonshire, bringing the churches together in a new grouping, and building a strong relationship with three church schools. He was also a member of the Diocesan Board of Education. In 2011 he moved to Liverpool to be vicar of the Anglo-Catholic inner city parish of St John’s Tuebrook.
Simon was a member of General Synod from 2018-21 and became Archdeacon of St Helens & Warrington in January 2020.
Jamie Harrison has been Chair of the House of Laity of the Church of England General Synod since 2015. He is an appointed member of the Clergy Discipline Commission, a director of Safe Spaces, and an ex-officio member of the Archbishops’ Council. He is a Lay Canon of Durham Cathedral and a Reader at St Nicholas Durham.
For over 30 years Jamie worked as a GP, combining clinical practice with postgraduate medical education. During this time he was a GP Adviser to the Department of Health, a part-time prison medical officer, and a GP Specialist Adviser to the English Care Quality Commission.
Jamie has published works on topics of vocation for doctors and clergy, governance, the nature of healthcare systems and trust between doctors and their patients. He received the Baxter Award from the European Health Management Association for the book Clinical Governance in Primary Care.
Abby Scott is currently a Corporate Governance Officer within the public sector. She works across a variety of areas from strategic planning, stakeholder management in a complex political landscape, to providing governance, oversight and assurance of the grant and capital bid funding process, as well as working across business continuity and risk management at a strategic level.
Abby has delivered complex change projects involving multiple partner agencies, most recently in the arena of Violence Against Women and Girls. Prior to this, Abby worked as an Operational Command Unit Coordinator, having started out in Child Protection and Modern Slavery prevention.
Abby has an MSc (Merit) in Security Sector Management from Cranfield University and the UK Ministry of Defence. Her thesis explored inter-agency and cross partnership collaboration to improve modern slavery prevention in the UK. She worked for the West Midlands Anti-Slavery Network as Co-ordinator and went on to establish the Oxfordshire Anti-Slavery Network in 2016.
Abby is a Director for the Bristol Diocesan Board of Finance, member of General Synod House of Laity, the Diocese of Bristol Bishop’s Council and currently serves as laity on the leadership team at The Well Church in Swindon.
Previously Abby was part of the Wider Leadership team at Pattern Church and prior to that attended St Alban’s (Watchfield) where she was a member of the Youth Work Governance Board. Additionally, Abby has a 2.1 degree in English Language and Linguistics from the University of York.
Canon Winfield was ordained deacon in 1989 and priest in 1994. She has worked in parish and cathedral ministry, university and military chaplaincy, ecumenical and Anglican Communion relations, and humanitarian diplomacy, representing the Anglican Communion at the United Nations.
Additionally, Canon Winfield has taught ecclesiology and church history and has published books and articles in the field of ecumenical theology. In 2010, she was awarded a DD by Virginia Theological Seminary for her 20 years of service to the Communion as a theologian.
Canon Winfield has been a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London since 2010, is a Director of the Anglican Alliance, is a member of Chapter at Bradford Cathedral, and a Trustee of the Community of St Andrew.
As Third Church Estates Commissioner, Canon Winfield is a member of the Church Commissioners for England’s Board of Governors and chairs the Mission, Pastoral and Church Property Committee and the Bishoprics and Cathedrals Committee. She assumed the role of Third Church Estates Commissioner on 1st February 2022.