Governors as at 3rd August 2017

Master Mrs Glynne Butt (Residents), Mr Tom Ayling (Park, Gardens and Roads),  Lt Col Andrew Douglas (Almshouse Property), Mr Michael Matthews (Grants & Archives), Mr Kevin Senior (Finance), Mr Simon McConnell (Commercial & Residential Property) and Mr Laurence King.

Cllr Mr Mike Badcock, Cllr Mrs Monica Lovatt, Cllr Mrs Helen Pighills

Rev Dr Charles Miller.

Tom Ayling

Tom is responsible for Park, Gardens and Roads for Christ’s Hospital and has been a Governor since 2007.   He lives in Abingdon with his wife, they have three grown daughters.  He was brought up on the Isle of Wight and travelled daily by ferry to Portsmouth Grammar School.  He studied Chemistry at Christ Church College, Oxford before becoming a trainee Patent Agent in London, but finding that it had little human interaction, he moved to teaching at Emanuel School in Battersea (a voluntary aided grammar school) and then to Abingdon School, initially as the Head of Chemistry and finally as Second Master.  He still retains his interest in Abingdon School as the Clerk to the Governors there.  He is also a Governor on the Board of Our Lady’s Abingdon.  His experience within his various roles and interest assist him in policy making and Park responsibilities. His other interests include all sport, music, architecture, theatre, film and travel.

Andrew Douglas

Andrew is responsible for Almshouse and Other Property.  He lives in Pusey with his wife.  Andrew read Engineering at Churchill College, Cambridge before being commissioned into the Corps of Royal Engineers.  His 30-year Army career was spent deterring conflict during the Cold War.  He is grateful that his contribution was towards peace.  It also provided him with the skills to take over as Bursar at St Helen’s School in Abingdon in 1995.  During the next 15 years, he increased his knowledge of finance, building projects, HR, health and safety and other areas necessary for the administration of a modern charity.  He was honoured to become a Governor of Christ’s Hospital in 2000.  After retirement in 2010, he had time to take on the challenges of being Master and found this a very fulfilling period.  Principle among his other interests are sailing his boat and running the membership of the RE Yacht Club.

Michael Matthews

Michael is responsible for Grants and Archives.  He lives in Abingdon.  Michael was born in the town and attended Abingdon School before doing his National Service in the RAF.  Upon leaving he went to the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester and on to H R & S Sainsbury in Trowbridge and then his family firm Harris & Matthews (Abingdon), which was then based at The Old Gaol.  Michael was elected to Abingdon Borough Council in 1964 and was Mayor in municipal year 1972/3.  He was elected to the shadow District Council of The Vale of White Horse in 1973, which prepared for the takeover of the existing local authorities in 1974.  In subsequent years he was chairman of the Recreation and Amenities Committee which oversaw the creation of The Old Gaol Recreation Centre and Wantage Recreation Centre.  He left the council in 1991.  Michael has been a Governor for Christ’s Hospital since 1988 and was Master in 1996-99.   He was appointed an Honarary Freeman of the town in 1998.  Michael was also the Chairman of The Friends of Abingdon Civic Society for six years, after having been on the executive committee for 20 years.  Michaels extensive knowledge of the grant giving systems assist the charity with their own decision making.  His other interests include art and travel.

Kevin Senior

Kevin was appointed in March 2016. Originally from Northern Ireland, where he was schooled, he went on to University in Exeter and his career in accountancy followed.  He now lives near Albert Park (which is owned and managed by Christ’s Hospital), with his wife, and is a member of the Albert Park Residents Association. Since 1996 and until his retirement last year he was a partner at Ernst & Young Accountants .  Kevin’s considerable experience in finance should help to consolidate the knowlege of the Governor in Charge and assist with his responsibilities.  Amongst Kevin’s current commitments, you will find Business Advisor to the Young Enterprise Scheme, Trustee and Vice Chair of Abingdon Civic Society, Friends of Abingdon and Honarary Treasurer of The Art Fund Oxfordshire. His interests include opera, art and horticulture.

Simon McConnell

Simon is the newest of the Christ’s Hospital Governors (appointed July 2016)  He was born in Shropshire, but moved to Abingdon at the age of 10 to attend Abingdon School, so feels his roots are really in the town. On leaving school, Simon joined a local firm of Estate Agents and Surveyors, working there for 10 years before leaving to set up Thomas Merrifield in Abingdon where he still works.  He is hoping that his skills in this areas will assist the Charity with its property interests.   He lives close to Albert Park with his wife and 2 children and can often be seen in the park with his dog. In his spare time, Simon is a keen cyclist and his other interests include motor racing, travel, food and wine,  architecture and buildings.

Laurence King

Laurence was born in Surrey and moved to Abingdon with his wife Barbara in 1981.
Laurence’s career was spent working for some of the country’s major retailers; Debenhams, The Burton Group, The Arcadia Group, BHS and The Kingfisher Group. Initially as a Company Secretary and then moving through audit, finance and risk management, then in 2002 he became a director of B&Q. Before retiring from corporate life he  spent  time in France working for B&Q’s sister company Castorama. Then followed eight successful years as a consultant working for the Oris Group of companies based at Harwell and was also a non-executive director of a Manchester based facilities management company.  Laurence’s experience within his various career roles and local interests will enable him to contribute his time as a Governor to the principal aims of Christ’s Hospital.
Laurence is a Trustee of The Abingdon Bridge a local charity which supports young people in challenging circumstances.
He is a member of St Michael’s and All Angels Church in Albert Park, previously a Churchwarden and currently a member of the choir.
A keen golfer. A theatre goer who also enjoys most forms of music, but particularly traditional English Folk and acoustic-roots music.

Monica Lovatt

Born and brought up in Essex Monica met her husband in Abingdon in 1970. They spent 15 years as an Army family with their three children leaving in 1988 to settle in Abingdon.  She worked as a Theatre Nurse in Oxford and has served on the Vale Council for nine years and the Town Council for 13 years.  She was Mayor of Abingdon in 2012/13. Monica’s main interests on the Vale are health, housing and planning and on the Town Council as Chairman of the Museum Management Committee, a member of the Finance and General Purposes and Community Services Committees.

Monica has been a Governor of Fitzharrys and Carswell Schools and was involved with the Abbeyfield Society for 16 years as a volunteer on the Executive Committee at Oxenford House in Cumnor rising to a place on the national board. She is a volunteer Divisional Secretary with SSAFA, The Armed Forces Charity and have recently joined The Volunteer Advisory Committee. She is also a trustee of the Albert Memorial (Abingdon) Trust and the St Edmund of Abingdon Memorial Trust.

Monica enjoys reading, travel and history with a strong interest in Abingdon’s history.

Michael Badcock

Mike was born and schooled in Abingdon on Thames and has always lived in the town. He has been a Governor of 4 local schools. He worked in the Car Industry in Cowley and in Book Distribution. Mike was first elected as a local councillor in 1983.  He has served on Oxfordshire County Council, Vale of White Horse District Council, where he has been the Chairman for the past 4 years, and Abingdon on Thames Town Council where he has twice served as Mayor and is currently the Leader of the Council. He is a great supporter of local sports teams and town traditions. His wife Marilyn is a former Governor of the Charity as well as a former Mayor, his daughter Alice is the current Mayor.

Helen Pighills

Helen was born and brought up in Burton on Trent. She studied for a degree in Engineering at the University of Bath and worked as a gas turbine engine performance engineer for Rolls Royce. After moving to Oxford she worked in IT support before taking a break to bring up two sons now in their twenties. Now living in Abingdon, she spent 13 years as IT Technician at Our Lady’s School. After leaving this post she retrained to teach English as a Foreign Language.

Helen served approximately 15 years as Independent Member on Oxfordshire Adoption Panel. She became a Town councillor in 2010 and District Councillor in 2011. She was Mayor of Abingdon in 2015/16.

Helen’s enjoys travel (with newly retired husband) and she is a member of the RHS and National Trust. She is interested in many creative activities – and is particularly proud of her City and Guilds Certificate in Creative Embroidery.

Rev Charles Miller

The Rev Dr Charles Miller was born in the United States and became a British subject in 2011.  He was ordained in the States and emigrated to the UK in 1984, and the lion’s share of his ministry has been spent in the Dioces of Oxford.  He was appointed Team Rector of teh Parish of Abingdon-on-Thames and Vicar of St Helen’s Church in 2006.  He has special interest in Theology, Eastern Orthodoxy and spirituality about which he has pubished four books.

Charles is interested in art history, music and exercise.