Members of Cathedral Schools Trust

Stephen Parsons profile picture

Stephen Parsons

The Cathedral School has been an integral part of Stephen Parsons’ life for over 50 years. He became a Chorister in September 1962 when Clifford Harker was Master of Choristers and attended the Cathedral School. Cecil Rich was Headmaster, and Douglas Harrison was Dean. Stephen went on to read Law at Leeds University. He stayed in touch with BCS via the ex-Choristers Association and Old Boys and was President of the Old Cathedralians in 1988. He worked in the Defence and Nuclear Sector. Stephen became a Governor of BCS in 2002 and Chairman of Governors in 2004.He led the school’s transition from a fee-charging school (Bristol Cathedral School) to an Academy (Bristol Cathedral Choir School) in 2008. He welcomed the opening of Cathedral Primary School in September 2013, which helps fulfil the vision for a first-class “all-through” educational institution within the shadow of Bristol Cathedral. In 2016 the Cathedral Schools Trust was formed and this MAT now includes 7 Schools [three secondary and four primary schools] and educates 4000 pupils. Stephen became a Deputy Lieutenant of the County & City of Bristol in 2010.He was Chair of Quartet Community Foundation[2009-2014], the LEP Social Enterprise Sector Group[2011-2016] and was Master of The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals [2009-2010]. He has been Chair of the Cathedral Trust since 2013. In 2019 Stephen was installed a Capitular Canon of Bristol Cathedral and is a member of Chapter.

Christopher Martin profile picture

Christopher Martin

Commissioned 10th Gurkha Rifles (1957 – 59). Served in the Malaya Emergency.

St Andrews, MA Foreign Languages, President of the Men’s Union (1959 – 63).

Taught Westminster School and Phillips Exeter Academy USA (1963 – 79).

Headmaster, Bristol Cathedral School (1979 – 90). Chairman, Choir Schools Association, HMC SW Division, and national working party on Teacher Recruitment in Maths and Physics. Privy Council Education Committee. Engineering Council’s Education Committee. Founded Textbooks for Africa Campaign, sending over a million textbooks to schools in 14 African countries.

Headmaster, Millfield (1990 – 1998), largest co-educational boarding school in UK. Chairman, Students Partnership Worldwide (1986 – 2007), and of Mental Health Foundation (2000 – 2004), Hanover Foundation (2000 – 2007) and Bottletop (2007 – 2012). Governor, The Springfields Special Academy, Calne, Wiltshire (2011 - 2015). President, National Association of Gifted Children ( 2005 - 2015). Trustee of Coram and of Coram Life Education. ( 1999 – 2012 and 2010 - 2014). Trustee of the Foundling Museum (2012 - 2014).

Current Involvement: -

Governor, City of London School (1998 - date)
Governor, Red Maids School, Bristol (2015 - date)

Publications

Millfield, A School for all Seasons and Head over Heels

William Browne profile picture

William Browne

Bill Browne is Professor of Statistics at the School of Education, University of Bristol. He grew up in South Wales before studying for all of his degrees in the mathematical sciences department at the University of Bath. After studying he held postdoctoral research positions at the Institute of Education in London before lecturing in the School of Mathematics at the University of Nottingham. He moved with his family in 2007 to Wrington as he took up his Chair in Biostatistics at the School of Veterinary Sciences in Langford before changing schools within the University in 2014. Within the chool of Education he runs the centre for multilevel modelling and has previously been deputy research director. The centre is made up of quantitative researchers who create methods and software to analyse educational datasets. His research is into the development of statistical methods, statistical software and applications of statistics to problems in many disciplines including education, ecology, animal behaviour and veterinary epidemiology. He was also the founding director of the Jean Golding lnstitute for Data Intensive Research, a cross-faculty research institute at the University which he set up in his term of office from 2015-2017. Outside of the day job he is also a governor of Wrington Church of England Primary School.

Mandy Ford profile picture

Mandy Ford

Mandy is the Dean of Bristol, a role which combines leadership of the cathedral with a place on the Bishop’s staff as the senior priest in the diocese. Mandy comes to Bristol having been Director of Discipleship and Ministry in the Diocese of Southwark with responsibility for the training and professional development of clergy. She also held the role of Canon Chancellor in Southwark Cathedral with particular oversight of education in the cathedral.

Mandy  was brought up in Hong Kong in an army family and educated in Wiltshire. She studied fine art in London before training as a teacher in Exeter where she subsequently spent ten years teaching in the junior department of the Maynard School.

After the call to ordination, Mandy studied theology in Oxford and began her ministry on a deprived estate in Leicester city centre. During this time and her subsequent ministry on a mixed estate on the edge of the city Mandy retained her involvement in education and with children and young people, acting as a school governor and trustee of a number of charities working with excluded and vulnerable young people. Mandy’s partner, Anne, is a former primary school teacher. Together they enjoy theatre, live music and gardening.

Richard Bacon profile picture

Richard Bacon

When Richard came to Bristol to study at the University in 1982, the first thing he did was audition for the Cathedral Choir as a Choral Scholar. He is still on the deputy list, although now spends more time as Chairman of the Cathedral Choral Foundation. In 2018 Richard retired as a partner at PwC where he was an expert on governance in public sector and not-for-profit organisations. He is now a Governor at UWE Bristol and Redmaids High School, and an independent committee member of UK Research and Innovation, the Royal Society and the Diocese of Bristol. He has been involved in governance work at a number of Cathedrals and is currently a co-opted member of the Dean and Chapter of Llandaff. He is married to Joanna, a former GP and expert on parenting, and their three children teach, plan for the future of autonomous vehicles and write poetry.

Antonia Lythgoe profile picture

Antonia Lythgoe

Antonia Lythgoe was bought up in London before coming to Bristol to train to be a secondary school teacher, having completed her Geography degree at the University of Manchester. Following several years in the classroom teaching Geography to secondary school pupils, she became a curriculum support teacher for the Local Education Authority in Bristol, supporting the introduction of Citizenship into the National Curriculum. She moved to the University of Bristol to run the Citizenship PGCE programme in 2007 before becoming the Programme Director for the Teach First Programme at the School of Education. Antonia has worked in education for 25 years and has a passion and commitment to addressing educational inequalities and helping to ensure that children are able to reach their full potential, whatever their socio-economic background. She has spent time in many classrooms in the most challenging schools in Bristol and understands some of the obstacles some schools face in terms of helping their pupils reach their full potential. Her current role is as Undergraduate Portfolio Director in the School of Education and Senior Lecturer on the Education Studies programme. Additionally, she has an expertise in student wellbeing and pastoral support as a result of all of her education roles, but most recently as Senior Tutor in the School of Education. Antonia is a mother to two boys and enjoys amongst other things cooking, going to the opera and singing with the Bristol choir, the Exultate Singers.

Atif Hafeez profile picture

Atif Hafeez

Atif is a seasoned CFO, corporate treasurer, board member and business administrator. His wide-ranging international experience spanning over two decades – within both private and public equity spheres – has enabled him to develop global expertise in business, finance and governance.

Atif’s most notable associations have been with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Hino Motors Ltd. (a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation; NYSE, LSE & PSE listed), The Resource Group (TRG; PSE listed) and Ibex Limited (formerly LSE & now NASDAQ listed) in various executive roles; and, with REAch2 Academy (largest MAT in England) and Migrant Leaders (TFF) in non-executive capacities.

Atif is a Certified Accountant, a Certified Director and a Certified Executive Coach. He is currently completing his MSc Strategy, Change and Leadership with the University of Bristol.

Atif lives with his wife in Bristol and is a semi-resident in London for work.

Right Reverend Vivienne Faull – Bishop of Bristol profile picture

Right Reverend Vivienne Faull – Bishop of Bristol

Vivienne Faull has been Bishop of Bristol, since 2018, the diocese covers North Wiltshire, Swindon, South Gloucestershire as well as the City of Bristol.

Viv was previously a cathedral Dean first in Leicester (from 2000 until King Richard was found) and then York (from 2012) having begun public ministry as a Deaconess in Liverpool. She has been a teacher, a governor of several schools and (as Dean of York) a member of a ‘mixed’ MAT. She is a member of the House of Lords where her concerns currently are the Environment Bill (she is a member of Peers for the Planet) and Overseas Aid.

Trustees of Cathedral Schools Trust

Stephen Parsons profile picture

Stephen Parsons

The Cathedral School has been an integral part of Stephen Parsons’ life for over 50 years. He became a Chorister in September 1962 when Clifford Harker was Master of Choristers and attended the Cathedral School. Cecil Rich was Headmaster, and Douglas Harrison was Dean. Stephen went on to read Law at Leeds University. He stayed in touch with BCS via the ex-Choristers Association and Old Boys and was President of the Old Cathedralians in 1988. He worked in the Defence and Nuclear Sector. Stephen became a Governor of BCS in 2002 and Chairman of Governors in 2004.He led the school’s transition from a fee-charging school (Bristol Cathedral School) to an Academy (Bristol Cathedral Choir School) in 2008. He welcomed the opening of Cathedral Primary School in September 2013, which helps fulfil the vision for a first-class “all-through” educational institution within the shadow of Bristol Cathedral. In 2016 the Cathedral Schools Trust was formed and this MAT now includes 7 Schools [three secondary and four primary schools] and educates 4000 pupils. Stephen became a Deputy Lieutenant of the County & City of Bristol in 2010.He was Chair of Quartet Community Foundation[2009-2014], the LEP Social Enterprise Sector Group[2011-2016] and was Master of The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals [2009-2010]. He has been Chair of the Cathedral Trust since 2013. In 2019 Stephen was installed a Capitular Canon of Bristol Cathedral and is a member of Chapter.

Merlyn Ipinson Fleming profile picture

Merlyn Ipinson Fleming

A senior Human Resources professional with over 20 years’ experience working in both Advisory and Strategic capacities and with extensive experience in Change Management, Management Development and Employee Relations.

Merlyn is a Trustee and Vice Chair on the Board of the Citizens Advice Bureau, a Trustee and Committee Chair for Quartet Community Foundation and continues to work as a board member on a community trust board as well as being a Trustee for Cathedral Schools Trust.

Clare Galliers profile picture

Clare Galliers

Clare Galliers is currently working as an independent education consultant in primary schools. Following her degree, BSc Physics and Electronics, Clare taught in a range of schools including inner-city state schools, the independent sector and an international school.

For the last 18 years, Clare has been a headteacher in two Primary Schools. In 2005, Clare was appointed as Headteacher of Elmlea Junior School. While Clare was headteacher of Elmlea, Ofsted increased its rating from good to outstanding in 2009 and judged the school to be outstanding again in the following inspection of 2015.

As a National Leader for Education, Clare supported schools that were in ‘special measures’ and she has been an Ofsted inspector.

She is currently a Bristol Education Partner (BEP) supporting the local authority in school improvement and coaching senior leaders in education.

Now that Clare has semi-retired, she is enjoying playing golf (albeit very badly) and travelling.

Neil Blundell profile picture

Neil Blundell

Neil Blundell MA is the Executive Principal of Cathedral Schools Trust. He is also one of the leaders in a current bid to create a new Secondary School, under the Government’s Free Schools programme. Before taking up his post at BCCS in 2008, Mr Blundell was Deputy Head at South Wilts Grammar School for Girls, a 960-pupil, Foundation grammar school in Salisbury. Prior to that he was Assistant Head at an inner-city school in Southampton. As well as an educationalist, he is an accomplished musician, playing the trumpet and with particular expertise in choral singing. For seven years he was a Lay Clerk (adult chorister) at the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace. He is a keen sports fan and Liverpool FC supporter; he has run the London Marathon and also enjoys golf and squash. Mr Blundell is married to Alison, who is also a musician. They have a young son, George, and daughter, Molly. Originally from Lancashire, he trained as a musician at London’s Trinity College of Music.

Stephen Atkinson profile picture

Stephen Atkinson

Stephen is a Governor and a Director at both the Bristol Cathedral Choir School and the Cathedral Primary School.

He is an Architect and a Director of Aukett Swanke, a leading international practice of architects and interior designers, specialising in the design and delivery of commercial projects, with office locations throughout the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and South America. He has led a number of high-profile projects in the City of London and more recently in Bristol, including: St Mary le Port, a £150m mixed-use redevelopment of a highly sensitive historic site at the heart of Bristol’s ancient city centre; Lloyds Banking Headquarters, a 2,000 sqm low-energy building within the Bristol Harbourside Masterplan; Beaufort House, a 177-unit apartment and penthouse development for Crosby Homes in a high-profile site adjacent to Bristol City Hall, the Cathedral and the Central Library; Temple Quay, a 90,000 sqm urban masterplan adjacent to Temple Meads station; and four major office buildings within the Temple Quay masterplan, including the base build and fit-out of the BT Headquarters. He is currently leading a 25,000sqm sustainable office development at Temple Circus. Educated at the Welsh School of Architecture, Stephen has been a member of the Design Council Sustainable Strategies Initiative Group and a speaker on sustainable construction at the Movement for Innovation.

Nicola Boyce profile picture

Nicola Boyce

Nicola trained and worked as an employment lawyer for international law firm Freshfields in London before moving to Bristol in 2003. Working for Bristol based law firm TLT in the employment team Nicola moved on to become Knowledge Management Director and to develop the firm’s knowledge management structure and manage a growing team. Working as part of the firm’s senior management team she was involved in many firmwide projects including onboarding new offices around the UK, outsourcing and offshoring services, IT projects including development of a new intranet and other online knowledge services. She has now lived in Bristol for over fifteen years and has raised two daughters here. These days she works from home as a potter and became a trustee of CST in June 2018.

Mike Lea profile picture

Mike Lea

Mike Lea is the managing partner of the new Bristol office of PKF Francis Clark, the accountancy, tax and financial services group. Mike's area of expertise is corporate and international tax and his client base covers a wide range of industries including financial services, aerospace, facilities management, builders’ merchants and the media and entertainment sectors. Mike is a member of a number of professional bodies and committees, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT). Mike qualified as a chartered accountant in 1987 and worked for nine years in the corporate tax department of KPMG before joining Smith & Williamson in 1996, where he was managing partner for 10 years and senior partner for a further two. He joined PKF Francis Clark in the summer of 2019. Mike is a trustee of a dozen or so charities in the area, covering areas as diverse as education, theatre, religion, care homes, youth clubs, drugs treatment and sports. He is chairman of a number of these boards, including Bristol Robins Community Foundation and Creative Youth Network. Outside of the office, Mike enjoys going to watch football, cricket and rugby and spending time at home with his wife and children.

Mandy Ford profile picture

Mandy Ford

Mandy is the Dean of Bristol, a role which combines leadership of the cathedral with a place on the Bishop’s staff as the senior priest in the diocese. Mandy comes to Bristol having been Director of Discipleship and Ministry in the Diocese of Southwark with responsibility for the training and professional development of clergy. She also held the role of Canon Chancellor in Southwark Cathedral with particular oversight of education in the cathedral.

Mandy  was brought up in Hong Kong in an army family and educated in Wiltshire. She studied fine art in London before training as a teacher in Exeter where she subsequently spent ten years teaching in the junior department of the Maynard School.

After the call to ordination, Mandy studied theology in Oxford and began her ministry on a deprived estate in Leicester city centre. During this time and her subsequent ministry on a mixed estate on the edge of the city Mandy retained her involvement in education and with children and young people, acting as a school governor and trustee of a number of charities working with excluded and vulnerable young people. Mandy’s partner, Anne, is a former primary school teacher. Together they enjoy theatre, live music and gardening.

Fiona Francombe profile picture

Fiona Francombe

Fiona Francombe is Site Director of The Bottle Yard Studios, an established base for film and TV production in South Bristol. She has managed the seven-acre film and television facility (owned by Bristol City Council) since it opened in 2010.

Fiona started her career working in theatre, including the Manchester Royal Exchange and the Royal Shakespeare Company, before moving into television in 1990 when she joined the BBC’s Drama department in London. Three years later she relocated to Bristol and worked for more than 14 years as a Location Manager and Line Producer for TV drama, before going on to manage Production Liaison for South West Screen and Creative England.

Fiona sits on the Royal Television Society West committee, is a member of the Bristol UNESCO City of Film steering group and was one of the Mayor of Bristol’s C4 group that was instrumental in Bristol winning the bid to become a Channel 4 creative hub. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of the West of England in July 2019 for her services to film and television. Fiona is a member of the Dolphin Society and is a member of The Society of Merchant Venturers
All three Purcell children attended the Cathedral School over two decades (1993 – 2014), and she is delighted to be in a position to give something back to the school and the wider Trust.