Mrs Claire Smith

Mrs Claire Smith, Chair of the St Laurence Education Trust, worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1979-2006 in a variety of roles, including secondments to the private sector.  She has been an adviser to the St Laurence Education Trust since 2010, and became a trustee in September 2012. She was also Chair of a school governing body in the London Borough of Newham from 2008-2013; a Visiting Lecturer and Professor at several universities in the UK, and has worked on a number of international professional development programmes.  She has been a non-executive director of an international engineering consultancy and sits on a Cabinet Office appeals panel. She is a member of the St Laurence Education Trust Planning and Finance Committee, the Ampleforth Abbey Trust Finance and General Purposes Committee, and is the Chair of its Nominations Committee.

  • Rt Rev Cuthbert Madden OSB

    Rt Rev Cuthbert Madden OSB, joined the monastic community at Ampleforth Abbey in 1984 and was ordained priest in 1990. In the school he taught both Religious Studies and Biology, and was a tutor in St Edward’s House and St Dunstan’s. In 1997 he became Housemaster of St John’s, a post he held until his election as the eighth Abbot of Ampleforth in February 2005. He was re-elected by the Community in 2013.

  • Fr Wulstan Peterburs OSB

    Fr Wulstan Peterburs OSB holds both a BA and PhD in Theology at Durham University and worked as a trainee Chartered Accountant before joining the staff at Ampleforth College in 1994, teaching Christian Theology and History. He was also a tutor and Assistant Housemaster, and in 1997 became Assistant Head of the Department of Christian Theology with particular responsibility for the induction of new staff and teacher training. He joined the monastic Community in September 1998 and continued to teach in the school, becoming Head of Christian Theology in 2003 and Housemaster of St John’s House in 2005. In 2010, the Abbot appointed Fr Wulstan to the post of Procurator of Ampleforth Abbey and College.

  • Fr Terence Richardson OSB

    Fr Terence Richardson OSB was a student at Ampleforth College from 1967-1972, before going to Durham University to study for a BSc in Engineering Science. He joined the monastic community in 1975 and first started teaching in the school in 1977. From 1980-1982 he studied for an MDiv in Toronto and then spent a year at Brunel University learning about Design Technology. Fr Terence re-joined the teaching staff at Ampleforth in 1983 and from 1988-1992 was Housemaster of St Aidan’s House. Fr Terence was ordained priest in 1993 and spent nearly twenty years working on the parish missions, mostly in Lancashire. In 2011, the Abbot appointed him Claustral Prior at Ampleforth Abbey, where he is also the Dean of Hospitality.

  • Mr James O'Neill


    Mr James O'Neill, the Vice-Chairman of the St Laurence Education Trust and member of its Education Committee, has been involved in education for more than forty years. He has taught in state schools in Sheffield, Chelsea, and Bexleyheath, and from 1987-1993 was Deputy Headteacher at All Saints' RC Comprehensive School in Mansfield. From there he became Principal of Carmel College, Darlington, a post he held until 2009. He was a National Leader of Education: in this role he supported other schools facing difficulties with performance outcomes. Current educational roles also include Director of Leadership Links Ltd., Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Education Village Multi-Academy Trust, Former Chair of the Sponsors' Monitoring Group for the St Aidan's CofE Academy, Darlington, and Regional Director and Leadership Development Adviser for the North-East for The Future Leaders Trust. He is a trustee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough.

  • Mrs Margaret Simpson

    Mrs Margaret Simpson is a partner at Silk Family Law and is the Trust’s liaison with the Ampleforth Abbey Trust Safeguarding Commission. She set up Silk Family Law in 2010, after being head of the family team at Dickinson Dees (now Bond Dickinson). She has worked in aspects of family law for more than twenty years. Margaret is chair of the Tees Valley Resolution (a national family law organisation). She is also a trained collaborative family lawyer. 

  • Mr Matthew Craston

    Mr Matthew Craston was a student at Ampleforth College and a graduate from Oxford University and has worked in London's financial sector for more than 30 years. He began in banking at Chase Manhattan where he spent the 1980s. Through the 1990s he worked in the corporate finance department of SBC and SBC Warburg, and then as a managing director in the leveraged finance group when the bank became UBS Investment Bank. In 2004 he switched to the fund management business, managing credit funds at at European Credit Management Limited for ten years. He has recently set up his own company, Finance Map, to provide students and others with an understanding of the financial world through one-to-one tutorials. Matthew is Chair of the St Laurence Education Trust Planning and Finance Committee and a member of the Ampleforth Abbey Trust Investment Committee.

  • Mrs Elizabeth Berner

    Mrs Elizabeth Berner's professional life has been spent in teaching, particularly working for the Girls' Day School Trust over the course of thirty years.  In some of the Trust's SW London schools roles have included Head of a History Dept, Sixth Form Careers Adviser as well as undertaking subject and general Oxbridge preparation. She has also been a tutor in higher education in HM Prison Wandsworth.  Additionally she has held non-executive directorships in the NHS in the 1990s and currently sits on the boards of various voluntary sector organisations.  Her connection with Ampleforth arises from both her husband and son having been educated at the College, the latter also at the prep school at Gilling Castle, as well as from participation in some of the Lourdes pilgrimages and various retreats at the Abbey.

  • Mr Christopher Adams

    Mr Christopher Adams studied Mathematics at Cambridge University and trained as an accountant, eventually becoming a Partner at Armitage & Norton Chartered Accountants. From there he moved to KPMG, where he became Head of Charities in the North of England, before joining Saffery Champness in 2003. He remained a Partner there until 2012. He is now a self-employed Chartered Accountant, acting in a personal capacity as a trustee and board member for a small number of commercial companies, family trusts and charities. He is a member of the St Laurence Education Trust Planning and Finance Committee and Chair of the Ampleforth Abbey Trust Audit and Risk Management Committee.

  • Fr Gabriel Everitt OSB

    Fr Gabriel Everitt OSB was received into full communion with the Catholic Church in 1989 and joined the monastic community at Ampleforth in January 1990. He was ordained priest on 24 June 1994, and from 1997-2003 was Head of the Department of Christian Theology at Ampleforth College. From 1997-1998 he was also Housemaster of St Aidan’s, and then from 1998-2003 Housemaster of St Oswald’s. In January 2004 Fr Gabriel was appointed Headmaster of Ampleforth College, a post he held until August 2014. From 2001-2011 he was also a governor at St Martin’s Ampleforth. From March-June 2015 he attended the Monastic Formators’ Course in Rome and Assisi, and is currently Master of Studies for Ampleforth Abbey and Librarian at St Benet’s Hall in Oxford.

  • Dr Maria Paz Cockerill

    With effect from 2 December 2017, Dr Maria Paz Cockerill has been appointed a trustee of the St Laurence Education Trust.