Trustees

Jonathan Ruffer
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 1994.

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.”
Peter Watherston
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.
Stefa McManners
Trustee‎

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
Trustee‎

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 Greig
Trustee‎

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.

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