The Church of England Pensions Board today announced the nomination of Clive Mather as the Chair of the Church of England Pension Board for a four-year term.

The nomination is subject to approval by Synod at its forthcoming February 2019 meeting and will follow a motion by Archbishop Justin Welby who will invite the Synod to approve the nomination. The appointment is for a term of approximately four years.

In this role, he will be responsible for overseeing both the Pensions Board’s housing for retired clergy and the Board’s £2.5 billion pension investments and will contribute to the Board’s aim to become one of the world’s leading asset owners for its approach to responsible investment.

This includes maintaining its leadership position on climate change and the low carbon transition (through initiatives such as the Transition Pathway Initiative, addressing corporate climate change lobbying and developing a low carbon index). 

Clive would join the Pensions Board after a decade-long tenure as Chair of Christian relief and development agency Tearfund, as well as chair of the Shell Pensions Trust, both of which he stepped down from last year. He has also been a Commissioner of the Equal Opportunities Commission.

Commenting on his nomination, Archbishop Justin said: “Clive has a demonstrable record of senior leadership in substantial roles in both the financial and third sectors with proven chairing and board level experience. The Pensions Board supports the Church of England in its ministry of Christ centred witness and service to the nation, and Clive will bring to the role an ability to shape strategy and a proven ability to lead boards through complex and significant financial decision making. Our prayers are with him as he starts in his new role.”

After a 38-year career at Shell, which included senior leadership as President and CEO of Shell Canada Limited, Clive Mather’s recent non-executive roles have included appointments as Chair of the Shell Pensions Trust (2008 -18), Chair of Tearfund. (2008-18) and as a Commissioner of the Equal Opportunities Commission (1991- 94). He is currently Chair of the Board of Tearfund USA and President of Relational Peacebuilding Initiatives. The breadth of his experience will be extremely valuable as the Board delivers on its plans to offer affordable retirement housing to those who have served the church and be a leading practitioner of responsible investment.

If approved by Synod, Clive would succeed Dr Jonathan Spencer who has been Chair of the Board since 2009.  He was due to retire in 2018 but following the sudden death in 2017 of Bernadette Kenny, the Board’s Chief Executive, he agreed with Synod’s approval to remain in office pending a successor.  With a successor in place, Dr Spencer has decided to step down 30 April.

Commenting on Dr Spencer’s tenure as Chair of the Board, Archbishop Justin said: “Jonathan has been an exemplary Chair of the Pensions Board, charting its course in the aftermath of the global financial crisis ten years ago, as well as overseeing huge changes to the financing of clergy housing. In all this he has seen his responsibilities as Christian ministry and an outworking of his faith. He will be greatly missed by the Board, its staff and by members of the General Synod and leaves with our prayers and deep gratitude. We wish him and his wife Caroline the very best for the future.”

Notes to editors

The role of Chair requires a time commitment of approximately 50 days a year and is unpaid. Given that the role includes ex-officio membership of the Synod, the Chair must be a communicant member of the Church of England.

The selection panel was chaired by the Bishop of Manchester and included Maggie Swinson, Chair of the Church of England Appointments Committee, as well as three trustees of the Pensions Board (Niccy Fisher, Alan Fletcher (Vice Chair of the Board), Roger Mountford).

The Church of England Pensions provides retirement services to those who have worked for or served the Church. These services include the administration of pensions for over 40,000 people in more than 520  employers connected with the mission of the Church of England and the provision of retirement housing for around 2,500 retired clergy households through a variety of options.

The Church of England Pensions Board operates three major pension arrangements totalling £2.5 billion: The Church of England Pensions Scheme for the clergy and others in the stipendiary ministry; the Church Workers Pension Fund for lay employees of the church’s organisations, and; the Church Administrators Pension Fund for staff of the Church’s National Institutions and episcopal staff.

The Church of England Pensions Board is committed to managing its assets in a way that reflects the Church's teaching and values. It exercises as many of the voting rights associated with the shares it owns as possible and engages directly with companies about aspects of their business activities that are of concern.


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