Governors as at 2nd June 2019

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

Cllr Mrs Lorraine Oates, Cllr Mrs Margaret Crick, Cllr Mrs Helen Pighills

Rev Dr Charles Miller.

Glynne Butt

After graduating from Oxford, where she studied Botany, Glynne Butt took up a teaching career.  Working part-time for many years enabled her to combine science with musical studies in both Oxford and London and music has remained an important part of her life.

For nine years, she was Head of Our Lady’s School, Abingdon – a period when the school grew substantially in both numbers and academic reputation.  In retirement, she continued her interest in education as a governor of two schools and as an Inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate.  Her administration in education has afforded her some very transferable skills which have assisted in the updating and overseeing the administration of the charity.   In the musical world, she performs regularly as both soloist and accompanist, and in various chamber groups.  She was a joint founder of Abingdon’s Abbey Strings and also plays the viola with The Oxford Sinfonia. Glynne’s other interests in the town include St. Michael’s Church and The Friends of Abingdon.

She has been a Governor of Christ’s Hospital since 2003 and is married to Vernon, a past Mayor of Abingdon and Chair of the District Council, and a Freeman of the town.  During her time as Master, Glynne also becomes a Freeman and this may be the first time in Abingdon’s long history that two Freemen have been married to each other!

Glynne served as Master from January 2015 to December 2017.

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.

Andrew served as Master from January 2012 until December 2014

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.

Micheal served as Master from January 1995 to December 1997.

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 recent retirement he was a partner at Ernst & Young Accountants .  Kevin’s considerable experience assists him as Governor in Charge of finance.  Amongst Kevin’s current commitments, you will find, Trustee and Vice Chair of Abingdon Civic Society, Friends of Abingdon, Quest for Learning and Charity Mentors Oxfordshire.    His interests include ballet, 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, he is now with Carter Jonas.  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.

Julia Kent

Born in Abingdon to parents with longstanding local connections.  Julia’s mother is a Viney, whose family had a furniture shop in 15 Ock Street, the address from which Julia now practises at Franklins Solicitors.  Her uncles also founded the business of Abingdon Carpets, her paternal grandfather was the manager of Barclays Bank, after the war and her father’s family then lived over the bank at 2 The Square, Abingdon.

Julia attended St Helen’s School and did a law degree at Exeter university.   After passing her solicitors finals she did tow years articled to James Franklin before qualifying as a solicitor.  In 1983 Julia joined James Franklin and John Cunliffe in the Franklins partnership and has practised there ever since.  She commutes to work most days by bicycle from Kennington.

Julia has two grown daughters and likes to spend her time playing Bridge with her 93 year old mother and real tennis on the court built at Radley College.

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 Diocese of Oxford.  He was appointed Team Rector of the 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 published four books.

Charles is interested in art history, music and exercise.