Chairman / Founding Patron
Jonathan Ruffer established Auckland Castle Trust in 2012, as the catalyst for dramatic social and
economic change in the area. The Trust plans to spend in excess of £90 million to rejuvenate Grade-I
listed Auckland Castle into a vibrant heritage attraction which will draw 200,000 visitors each year,
bringing tangible direct and indirect economic benefits to the region. Jonathan read English at Cambridge
University and trained as a barrister before moving in the world of investment, setting up Ruffer LLC in
His desire is to encourage the people who work so hard for the good of others and support those who
seek to work but who have not had the opportunity. Jonathan grew up in North Yorkshire, but now lives in
Bishop Auckland with his wife Jane.
“At its heart is the principle that what people think determines their welfare, not primarily what they
do. The enemy of transforming thought is the monochrome quality of lives lived in adversity; the key is to
find a circuit breaker which can lift a community out of self-doubt.
“Who do you think you are?” is a question which demands an answer as never before, and the religious
narrative of the region is a powerful reminder that the current travails of the region are against the run
of play. Those who feel disenfranchised must be reminded that their region is a pioneer: the cradle of
Christianity, the first supplier of energy to the industrial revolution in the form of coal, the home of the
first railway. These may seem memories, but Auckland stands ageless. It represents what is not seen:
the power of spirituality, and the power of history, both housed in the beauty of the Castle. This is the
very essence of heritage.”
Deputy Chairman / Trustee
Peter moved to Bishop Auckland in 2014 with his wife to put his 32 years’ community development
experience to use in the Eleven Arches project. A Chartered Accountant and LSE Graduate, Peter spent
the first 6 years of his professional life as an investment banker in M&A with SGWarburg (now UBS). He
co-founded and chaired a group establishing 2,000 units of co-operatively owned and run accommodation for
the young and mobile.
Peter was trained and ordained with the Church of England and spent 32 years in East London, setting up
a number of social enterprises and helping over 100 cross church groups become established providing very
diverse services into the local community.
Born in Yorkshire, Stefa studied in Newcastle, Durham and with the Open University. She has over 40
years’ experience in Education, combined with a wealth of knowledge about the local community.
Stefa taught in North Tyneside and Durham for 10 years, worked as a Head Teacher in Durham for 27 years
and also worked as an Educational Auditor and Curriculum advisor during these years.
Stefa moved to Bishop Auckland with her husband Dr Robert McManners in 1975 and Bishop Auckland has
been her home since. Throughout these years Stefa has been involved with numerous cultural and community
groups forming partnerships locally, nationally and internationally.
Dennis Tindall has been the local Catholic priest in Bishop Auckland and the surrounding area since
January 2011. Hartlepool born, and trained in Durham County with later studies in Chicago, he has served in
the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle since his ordination in 1970.
He has held various pastoral posts in north-east parishes and schools, served as Bishop’s Secretary,
Diocesan Press and Information Officer, Director of the Diocesan Child Care agency and Director of the
Ministry to Priests Programme (a support and inservice training initiative for clergy). From 1994 to 2009 he
was the Child Protection and Safeguarding Coordinator for his diocese.
A keen communicator, he has been Chairman of Northern Cross, the independent Catholic monthly newspaper
for Hexham and Newcastle Diocese. He has led numerous extended retreats and days of reflection in the UK and
abroad. His main personal interests lie in reading and in pursuit of the intermittent enjoyment he finds as
an amateur artist.
Louis is a London-based Managing Director and Senior Banker at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. Louis has spent
most of his career selling European shares for Goldman Sachs. Louis has been in the Private Bank since 2010.