Who we are

We are a volunteer run organisation that holds committee meetings 4 – 5 times a year with members of The Connection at St Martins team; including Pam Orchard CEO and Elizabeth Charles Director of Fundraising & Communications. We are supported by our employee Rupert Dean our Charity Administrator.

Charles Woodd
Chair of Trustees
Charles joined the Committee in 2015, but has been connected with St Martin-in-the-Fields for over 20 years. Charles has spent his professional life working for and with voluntary and community organisations in the field of community development. He retired after 11 years as a Government policy adviser in 2011. He has also served on the committees of numerous charities and voluntary organisations. He now lives in Salisbury, but enjoys coming up to London regularly.

Margaret Beels OBE
Deputy Chair of Trustees
Margaret joined the Friends Committee in 2007 and shortly afterwards became Secretary. Since then she has also held the posts of Acting Treasurer and Vice President. Her career involved working in the public, private and third sector – most recently as a change programme director. Now, semi-retired, she is a non-executive director of a water services company and chairs the Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority.

Graham Lawrence
Graham joined the Committee as Secretary in February 2019. Graham is a Chartered Company Secretary and held company secretary roles in major public and voluntary sector organisations, and was a senior adviser with an international law firm before establishing his own consultancy business in 2018. Before qualifying Graham worked as the Administrator of St.Martin-in-the-Fields Social Care Unit, which supported street homeless people. Graham also works as a mentor and he is a Governor of a sixth form college in West Sussex, where he lives.

Nigel Thorpe
Membership Secretary
Nigel has worked in both the public and private sectors, including a spell as director of a major corporate charitable foundation. After retiring he involved himself in the charitable sector and has worked with ex-offenders and the homeless as well as serving as a trustee on charities in the learning disability, legal and homelessness fields. He was a volunteer at the Connection before joining the Friends. He has been secretary for three years.

Chris Riley
Chris is a parishioner at St Martin-in-the-Fields and joined the Committee in July 2017. He is an economist who worked for many years at the Treasury and then as Chief Economist in various Government Departments, advising on financial matters, policy and strategy. Since retiring from Government service in 2005 he has worked as an economic consultant, at the same time acting as treasurer of another charity. He lives in Clapham.

Sheila Batchelor
Volunteer Co-ordinator
Sheila got involved through volunteering at mailings about 9-10 years ago, and joined the committee in 2012, after retiring from full time teaching. She knew of the work carried out to help the homeless and vulnerable via St Martin’s during her childhood nearby in Camden in the 50s and has always been drawn to it. Her function is as the Volunteer Co-ordinator with the delightful task of getting teams of volunteers together three times a year to complete a mailing to all our members and also inviting them to support at other events.

Emily Cecil-Dennett
Emily is one of the newest members of the committee being elected to join after enquiring about volunteering at The Connection. Emily has a background in film production and works currently in live event cinema domestically and internationally. Using her knowledge from this sector Emily is enhancing and building the Friends online community. Emily grew up abroad in South East Asia and currently lives in West Sussex.

Rev Richard Carter
Associate Priest, St Martin-in-the-Fields