Church of England learns of the death of Bernadette Kenny, Chief Executive of the Pensions Board

19/10/2017

It is with great sadness that the Church of England has learned of the death of Bernadette Kenny, Chief Executive of the Church of England Pensions Board.

Bernadette joined the Pensions Board as Chief Executive in February 2011 after an extensive career in the Civil Service.
 
During her six-and-a-half years in the role she saw through significant changes to the Pensions Board and the National Church Institutions (NCIs), ensuring they are well-placed to serve the Church for years to come.
 
Bernadette collapsed unexpectedly at home earlier this week. She leaves behind her husband and their three children. She was 60.
 
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said: "Bernadette was a joyful Christian professional, winsome and always graciously magnanimous.
 
"I give thanks to God for working with her. She will be sorely missed."
 
Jonathan Spencer, Chair of the Church of England Pensions Board, said: "We are deeply saddened by the loss of Bernadette. We have lost more than a brilliant colleague, we have lost a force for good.
 
"Bernadette was always committed to improving the service we offered to the Board's customers - retired clergy and lay church members. She was never one to duck a challenge.
 
"The issuance of £100m housing bond, changes to the retirement housing scheme, and innovative funding arrangements to de-risk the pension schemes are just a few examples of the legacy she leaves behind.
 
"Bernadette believed that things could always be improved for the people she worked for and with. She played a lead role in the culture change programme at the NCIs and was a champion of greater diversity and inclusion in the workplace, most recently helping to launch a network for BAME colleagues. She also led a much more open and consultative relationship with the dioceses.
  
"On behalf of the Pensions Board and the National Church Institutions, we send our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends."

 

Notes

Anyone wishing to send condolences can address them to c/o Lee Marshall, Chief of Staff, Church of England Pensions Board, Church House, Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3PS, or by email to [email protected]. We will ensure that these reach Bernadette's family.
 
Bernadette Kenny was educated at Chichester High School for Girls and studied law at the University of Manchester. She qualified as a barrister before joining the Civil Service as a Government Legal Adviser and worked in a range of legal, policy and operational management roles before becoming Change Director at the then Department for Constitutional Affairs. She spent four months as interim Chief Executive of the Royal Parks before moving to HM Revenue and Customs as Director General, Personal Tax, in 2005.
 
The Church of England Pensions Board currently manages funds totalling £2.3 billion. It administers pension schemes with more than 38,000 members for more than 450 employers; assists around 25% of retiring clergy with retirement housing, and supports and maintains seven Christian retirement communities.
 
Interim arrangements for the leadership of the Pensions Board are being put in place under the oversight of Jonathan Spencer.