The Committee

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 Rupert, our Charity Administrator.

The Friends of The Connection at St. Martin-in-the-Fields is a small membership charity that raises funds for The Connection at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. The Connection, based in Trafalgar Square, supports people to move away from street homelessness in the centre of London. In addition to raising much-needed funds for The Connection, the Friends raises awareness about homelessness and the support available to people who find themselves sleeping on the streets.

The Friends is currently recruiting a Trustee, a role that is ideally suited to someone with a background in Fundraising, or someone qualifying to work in that field, with a commitment to tackling homelessness and a desire to gain experience of charity management.

For further information please refer to the Role description and to express an interest please contact the Friends at The Chair will contact you for a discussion about the role. The role is unpaid but any reasonable out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed.

Charles Woodd OBE
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. She is also a member of the Speakers Panel. Her career involved working in the public, private and third sector – most recently as a change programme director. Margaret is currently Director of Labour Market Enforcement, a statutory role that seeks to assess and find means to reduce the exploitation of workers in the UK and prevent modern slavery.

Mary Keane
Mary is an experienced Company Secretary and governance specialist with a proven track record in senior roles in the social housing and not for profit sectors. She has experience of leading compliance and governance teams and has worked with senior executive teams and non- executive boards. Throughout her career, Mary has been involved in ensuring that organisational governance arrangements are fit for purpose and has undertaken board skills reviews, board recruitment and ensured compliance with regulatory requirements and Codes of Governance.

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 brings strong analytical, data and policy skills to the Committee. 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 a film producer and works in live event cinema domestically and internationally. Using her knowledge from this sector Emily helps during events and with social media. Emily’s main passion for the Friends is to grow its membership with a younger audience. Emily grew up abroad in South East Asia and currently lives in West Sussex.

Alex Gandini
Alex is a Chartered Accountant and has been working at Deloitte for almost 12 years. During her time there she has been involved in organising various fundraising activities on behalf of the firm for a number of charities, including a charity focused on child homelessness in the UK, where she assisted in the co-ordination and organisation of fundraising events. She will use her knowledge and experience to continue to develop the work of the Friends community in support of The Connection. Alex is of Italian heritage, born in the UK and currently resides in London.

Matthew Whalley
Appointed as a representative of the church, Matthew has been a member of the congregation of St. Martin-in-the Fields since 1996. He has been a member of the PCC and was Treasurer and a Trustee of the Development Trust for 8 years covering the major £37m renewal campaign in the 2000’s. He was also a non-executive director of the church’s business arm, St. Martin-in-the-Fields Limited, for nearly 20 years. In his career Matthew has been and remains a company director and business owner working in travel and IT. He is a regular participant in the Connection’s annual Pilgrimage to Canterbury and sings with a number of chamber choirs including the Choir of St. Martin-in-the Fields