President & Trustees

HCT’s President is Lord Beith. He was a co-founder of HCT and former Chair of Trustees.  MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed from 1973 until his retirement in 2015, he now sits as a Liberal Democrat in the Lords. He speaks Norwegian, Welsh and Swedish and is a Methodist lay preacher.


Governance rests with a board of Trustees.

Chris Smith OBE – Chair of Trustees  Former Director of Planning at Historic England, former Chair of the Association of Conservation Officers. More than 40 years’ experience in the historic environment of England.

Humphrey Welfare  Former Director of Architectural and Archaeological Survey within the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and English Heritage Planning and Development Director for the North. Churches Conservation Trust board member from 2012 to 2018 and chaired its Conservation Committee. Chair of the Fabric Advisory Committee of Durham Cathedral and a trustee of Churches Conservation.

Jean Stevenson –  Hon. Treasurer  Retired Partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Liveryman, Worshipful Company of International Bankers. Elder, St Columba’s Church of Scotland, London.

Dr. Christopher Wakeling  Currently revising Staffordshire in the Buildings of England series and author of the history of nonconformist buildings Chapels of England published by Historic England in 2017.

Revd Dr Martin Wellings. is Superintendent Minister of the Barnet & Queensbury Methodist Circuit. He holds degrees in history and theology from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Antiquaries. He is a Past President of the World Methodist Historical Society and has published extensively on nineteenth and twentieth century history. He is currently Hon. Secretary of the Chapels Society.

The Vend Dr William Jacob has served on the Diocesan Advisory Committees for the care of churches in the dioceses of Lincoln and London. He was archdeacon of Charing Cross for the  City of Westminster, and currently chairs the project board for the nearly completed £7.5 million project for the  restoration and regeneration of St Mary Magdalene’s Paddington. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and has published extensively on the social history of religion in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.’


Vivienne Cooling – Local Community Officer  MA in Cultural Heritage Management, specialising in Community Engagement and Buildings Archaeology. Former work includes, partnerships with the Diocese of York, Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture,University of York and National Churches Trust. Secretary of the Association of Festival Churches.

Vikki Thompson – Fundraising Consultant  Former Head of Fundraising at War Memorials Trust and former Head of Friends and Patrons at Imperial War Museums. 20 years’ experience of fundraising in the heritage and museums sector.

Churches Conservation Trust

Sarah Robinson OBE – Director of Conservation and Deputy Chief Executive Churches Conservation Trust. Manages the relationship between Historic Chapels Trust and Churches Conservation Trust.

The day to day running of Historic Churches Trust is managed by the Churches Conservation Trust. More information can be found here.