Joe Biden’s election as the second Catholic US president has been a reminder of the important influence that Catholic leaders today are making around the world. Despite much skepticism over the sort of example Biden’s liberal Catholicism sets, what is certain is that Catholic social teaching is now high up on the agenda of public affairs, not just in the US but also – thanks to Pope Francis – around the world.
That is why Catholic leaders, especially from the worlds of business, education, politics, the charity sector and media – including the Herald, since 1888 – have such an important role to play in shaping the future. Especially for the younger generation who increasingly rely on digital apps and online religious experiences for spiritual and moral guidance.
This is why we have assembled this survey of Catholic influencers in Britain today. Our situation is different from America’s where there is an established Catholic infrastructure with flourishing Catholic universities. In Britain, Catholics have only been allowed to hold public office as MPs since the 1829 Roman Catholic Relief Act. We have never had a Catholic prime minister (Tony Blair converted after leaving office) although our current prime minister’s son Wilfred, whose mother Carrie is Catholic, was baptised in Westminster Cathedral last September.
This year, we are celebrating 75 Catholics leaders of the day. Many use their positions to do good by example, through philanthropy or by shaping society with their subtle influence. Even if they don’t openly identify as Catholics – and some would admit to being far from sainthood – their lives have often been shaped by their Catholic background and faith. They desire to be a force for good and give back.
This year we have focused on business and philanthropy. We will address the arts, sports, entertainment and other sectors in another survey. With the pandemic, there has never been a more important time for Catholic leaders to step forward, and our list is a testament to the importance of Catholic philanthropy today. It is fitting that the Catholic Investment Fund – an opportunity to support issues aligned with Catholic Social Teaching – is being launched in April by this report’s sponsor, CCLA.
Catholic politicians and media figures across the political spectrum range from Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait to former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore. We include Catholic cabinet minister Therese Coffey MP as well as the formidable peeress and psychiatry professor Sheila Hollins. Inspirational figures from the charity sector include Rosa Monckton, whose charity work includes Team Domenica which helps adults with learning disabilities get jobs, and Philip McCarthy, a former doctor who now runs Caritas.
Finally, we have a mix of other notable names ranging from Nigel Newton, the CEO of Bloomsbury, the publisher of JK Rowling, to the former Labour MP Ruth Kelly who was recently appointed by Pope Francis to the Vatican Council to oversee its finances. All demonstrate that, at a time when public life has become increasingly secularised, religion still has a major role to play.
Owners, Cofra Holding AG
The German-Dutch family-run business owns Cofra Holding AG, which controls the C&A fashion business, a private equity company, a real estate fund and two banks. In operation since 1841, the company today employs 80,000 people. Stephen and Mark Brenninkmeijer run Porticus, a philanthropic trust, which helps over 2,000 charities and causes.
Billionaire industrialist Lord Bamford runs the family construction business, which employs around 10,000 people. He also runs the Lord Bamford Foundation which aims to develop and promote the science of mechanical engineering by giving grants to individuals and organisations for education and training. Bamford was educated at Ampleforth.
Founder, Addidon Lee
John Griffin set up the cab firm Addison Lee in 1975 when he owned one car. In 2019 the company was estimated to run 10 per cent of London’s £3bn taxi industry. He stepped down from the business in 2014 after private equity firm The Carlyle Group bought a majority stake in the company. He is an Enterprise Fellow of The Prince’s Trust. In 2009 he appeared on the TV programme, The Secret Millionaire. That same year, he was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award by accounting giant Ernst & Young.
Peter Coates co-founded the hugely successful online betting company Bet365 which he runs with his children John and Denise, and is chairman of Stoke City Football Club. The son of a Catholic miner and a first world war veteran, Peter is a devoted philanthropist and has given significantly to the Labour party, as well as to CAFOD and St Joseph’s College Trent Vale among others.
Managing director and vice-chair of PIMCO, a global investment management company, John Studzinski is a prolific philanthropist who has given to numerous causes relating to human rights, the arts and homelessness. Born to a Polish Catholic family in Peabody, Massachussetts, he says he learnt from a young age to “work hard, pray hard and help people”. Named Catholic of the Year by this magazine in 2018, Studzinski is the founder and chair of the Genesis Foundation, a UK-based charitable foundation that nurtures the careers of young artists. He has served as an adviser to the Vatican and in 2016 became a non-executive director of the Home Office, where he advises on business plans, recruitment and succession planning.
Founder and CEO, Jojo Maman Bébé
Founder and owner of the ubiquitous children’s and maternity wear brand JoJo Maman Bébé, Laura Hanbury-Tenison opened her factory in 1993 in the unemployment-ridden dock town of Newport in South Wales where she grew up. Still headquartered in Newport, the brand has 90 shops in the UK. Hanbury-Tenison prides herself on her hands-on approach to running the business, claiming to know all of her staff by name. She also helps to run a children’s charity fighting infant mortality in Mozambique and takes on work experience students with Down syndrome.
Financier and philanthropist
Sir Michael is the founder, group executive chairman and senior investment officer of CQS, a global multi-strategy asset management firm. A prolific philanthropist, he also runs the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation, which has provided funding to over 200 charities covering the armed services, the health sector, culture, arts and education. He was born in Australia to a Catholic family which, he says, instilled in him the natural obligation to give back to the community. He was appointed to the board of the Vatican Bank by Pope Francis in 2017.
Sir Rocco is co-owner of the Catholic Herald and chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels. An active philanthropist in the education sector particularly, he funded a series of lectures at Westminster Cathedral. He was knighted in 1995 for services to the UK tourism industry. His sister, Olga Polizzi CBE, is deputy chairman of Forte Hotels and its design director, and also owns two of her own hotels. She is on the council of the King Edward VII Hospital and a trustee of the Italian Medical Charity, among other charitable endeavours.
Chairman, Jardine Matheson Holdings
Born in Shanghai into the Keswick business dynasty, Sir Henry Keswick is chairman of Jardine Matheson Holdings, one of the many conglomerates in the Far East owned or part-owned by the family. He used to own the Spectator magazine and is a former chairman of the National Gallery. He was knighted in 2009 for his services to British business interests overseas and charitable activities in the UK.
Founder, Cambridge Quantum Computing
A merchant banker by training, in 2015 Ilyas Khan founded Cambridge Quantum Computing, which was selected as one of Bloomberg Business’ Top 50 Innovators. A convert from Islam, Khan became interested in Catholicism after he discovered the work of 20th-century theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar and of John Henry Newman. A keen philanthropist, Khan is a patron of the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst College. In 2015, Pope Francis made him a Knight of the Order of St Gregory the Great.
Chairman, Cancer Research UK
A former vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, professor, immunologist and scientific administrator, Leszek Borysiewicz was knighted in 2001 for his work researching vaccines, including the cervical cancer vaccine. He served as chief executive of the Medical Research Council of the UK from 2007-2010. Born in Wales to Polish parents who came over with the Anders’ Army during the second world war, he studied medicine at Cardiff University and later received his PhD from Imperial College London in 1986.
Businessman and philanthropist
Terry Leahy was Britain’s Business Leader of the Year in 2003, and CEO of Tesco until 2011. He has since made numerous investments in the education sector, including backing an app to help schools communicate with children. He recently invested in LMA, the performing arts school in Liverpool. Leahy was born in Liverpool to Irish immigrants. He was granted the freedom of the city of Liverpool and knighted in 2002.
Businessman and philanthropist
An alumnus of Worth School and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, Spencer is one of the City’s best-known entrepreneurs. He founded the inter-broker dealer ICAP, now the NEX Group, which he sold last year. He founded ICAP Charity Day in 2003 which raises money for 2,200 different projects. Spencer is also the chairman of the right-leaning Centre for Policy Studies think tank. He was elevated to a peerage in 2020. Sir
Tom Farmer founded Kwik-Fit in 1971, overseeing its rise into the world’s largest independent tyre and automotive repair specialists with more than 2,000 centres operating in 18 countries. He was the first Scot to be awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for philanthropy. A devout Catholic, he owns Inchkeith island in the Firth of Forth, and is a donor to the Scottish Nationalist Party.
CEO, British Petroleum
Bernard Looney grew up on a small dairy farm in County Kerry and was the first in his family to go to university. He has risen up the ranks at BP to become CEO in 2020, since joining as a drilling engineer in 1991, and is increasingly being held up as a trailblazer in the industry for his openness about the need to reconcile stronger action on climate change with sustaining oil and gas revenues.
Chairman, The Peel Group
John Whittaker is chairman of the Peel Group, a property investment empire which operates mostly in the north west of England. After attending Catholic boarding school Prior Park, he has said he considered becoming a priest before deciding to join the family business Peel Mills. A publicity-shy yet extremely shrewd businessman, Whittaker, who has five children, once donated £1m to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Businessman and priest
Olsson is a London-based Swedish Catholic priest and billionaire businessman who owns 24.5 per cent of Stena Sphere, one of Sweden’s largest family-owned corporate groups. A benefactor of the Royal Opera House, he donates to cultural and religious organisations through the Pontoon Trust.
Financier and philanthropist
Schwartzenbach is a UK-based Swiss financier who set up Interchange, the largest foreign exchange dealership in Switzerland. As well as restoring Culham Court, a historic estate near Henley, to its former glory, he is also an active philanthropist and has most recently supported the internal and external refurbishment of the Venerable English College in Rome, as well as funding its engagement of a research fellow and project archivist.
Philanthropists Former Labour prime minister and Catholic convert
Tony Blair now runs the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, a non-profit organisation which claims to help countries and their leaders cope with the challenges brought about by globalisation, with a particular focus on solving political troubles in the Middle East. His wife Cherie is a QC who also runs the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, which helps women around the world to start their own businesses.
CEO, Tudor Capital
The former CEO of investment management firm Tudor Capital, where he remains a senior adviser, is a prolific philanthropist and founding director of the charity SHINE which has since 2000 donated over £25m to the education sector, helping 280,000 children from 5,000 schools. He serves as global envoy for The Global Fund for Forgotten People, an initiative of the Order of Malta, as a Global Guardian at UNICEF and is a member of the Director’s Circle of Funders at Chatham House.
Chief Executive, CCLA Investment Management Ltd
Peter Hugh Smith has been chief executive of CCLA since 2019, and has over 25 years of experience in the asset management industry. The UK’s largest investment manager for charities, religious organisations and the public sector, CCLA has looked after the investments of over 36,000 charitable organisations. He is also chair of governors at a Bishopswood School, a local authority maintained special education needs school in Oxfordshire.
Luke Johnson is a leading British entrepreneur and chairman of private equity house Risk Capital Partners. He studied medicine at Oxford and is chairman of the Institute of Cancer Research. He co-founded the Centre for Entrepreneurs, a non-profit think tank. Since 2016, Luke has been chairman of the Almeida Theatre. He writes a column on business for the Sunday Times. He is married with three children and lives in London.
Jon Moynihan is a leading British business figure who was educated at Ratcliffe College in Leicester and Balliol College, Oxford. He has been president of the Royal Albert Hall and worked for charities War on Want and Save the Children in India and Bangladesh. As CEO of the PA Consulting Group, he created a charter of ethics that employees had to sign up to. He is chairman of the think tank Initiative for Free Trade and supported Boris Johnson’s 2019 leadership election. He is a director of the education reform campaign organisation Parents and Teachers for Excellence and has raised over £35m for Balliol College and the Oxford Internet Institute.
News presenter ITV news presenter
Julie Etchingham was the first British journalist to interview Pope Francis in a scoop in 2014, when she sat next to him at a conference on modern slavery and human trafficking. “I was impressed by his gentleness and his ability to speak to people beyond the Church; all this left a great impression on me,” she said. She also chaired the leaders’ debates during the last two general elections and the EU referendum.
Editor-in-chief, Bloomberg News
Former editor of the Economist, John has been editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News since 2015. An alumnus of Ampleforth and Oxford, Micklethwait was awarded a CBE in 2016. His girlfriend is Catholic actress Dame Kristin Scott Thomas who did his last audio book.
Journalist and author
Charles Moore is a former editor of the Daily Telegraph, the Spectator and the Sunday Telegraph. The authorised biographer of Margaret Thatcher, he was elevated to the peerage in 2020 and sits as a Conservative peer. Moore converted to Catholicism following the Church of England’s decision to allow women to become priests. He is the founder-chairman of the Rectory Society and a patron of the Latin Mass Society.
Broadcaster and journalist
Formerly co-presenter of the popular ITV breakfast programme Good Morning Britain, Piers Morgan is a former editor of the News of the World. He was born in Ireland and is a ‘cultural’ Catholic. In 2018, he spoke out over the “Catholic” dress code adopted by the New York Met Gala fundraiser, which saw guests attend dressed as nuns and popes, calling it “openly, brazenly disrespectful”.
Editor, the Spectator
Editor of the Spectator since 2009, Fraser Nelson was raised as a Catholic in Scotland. He is a leading political commentator and supports the Conservative party. The Spectator’s deputy editor Freddy Gray and commissioning editor Mary Wakefield are also Catholics.
LBC talk-show host
James O’Brien went to Ampleforth and is now a provocative left-leaning bestselling author, radio presenter, podcaster, former tabloid journalist and television presenter. Since 2004 he has been a presenter on talk station LBC. He has also presented Newsnight. He was adopted as a baby by Jim O’Brien, a journalist for the Daily Telegraph, and his wife. He read Philosophy and Economics at the London School of Economics.
Publisher and Editor
Andreas is publishing director of Constable, the imprint of Little, Brown that used to publish such Catholic authors as Hilaire Belloc. He is also executive editor of Standpoint magazine. He studied Modern History at Cambridge and is the son of a Uruguayan diplomat. He is the author of Golazo!, an acclaimed history of how football shaped Latin America.
Editor, The Tablet
Brendan Walsh has been editor of The Tablet since 2017 after five years as literary editor. He previously worked at Cafod and was publishing director of Darton, Longman & Todd. His home parish is St Austin’s, Wakefield, and he was educated at Austin Friars School, Carlisle. His first job in publishing was with the Catholic Truth Society. He has a BA in Religious Studies and a MA in Theology.
Martin Ivens has been editor of the Times Literary Supplement since June 2020 and is a former editor of the Sunday Times. His wife Anne McElvoy is senior editor at the Economist, a BBC radio broadcaster, author and a former deputy editor of the Spectator.
Author and broadcaster
Mark Lawson is a Guardian columnist and BBC radio broadcaster specialising in culture and the arts. He is a former presenter of Front Row on BBC Radio 4 and has written several books as well as a number of radio plays for the BBC including St Graham and St Evelyn on the relationship between Catholic novelists Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh.
Journalist and author
Historian and journalist Tim Stanley is leader writer for the Daily Telegraph and a contributing editor to the Catholic Herald, Moral Maze and Thought for the Day. He contributes to History Today and Literary Review and has written for the Guardian and the Spectator among others.
Director of Communications, The Aspinall Foundation
The prime minister’s fiancée has become an influential figure at Downing Street since Boris Johnson’s election in July 2019. The climate and animal rights activist and former Tory communications director, is now head of communications at The Aspinall Foundation. A practising Catholic, her son Wilfred was baptised at Westminster Cathedral in September 2021. The prime minister himself is the first to have been baptized as a Catholic (though Confirmed as an Anglican whilst at Eton).
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
The Conservative MP for the Suffolk Coastal constituency, Thérèse Coffey was appointed secretary of state at the Department for Work and Pensions in 2019. She voted against the legalisation of same sex-marriage, saying: “None of us was elected on a platform to redefine marriage.”
First elected to Parliament in 1979 as MP for Liverpool Edge Hill, David Alton has sat as a crossbench peer in the House of Lords since 1997. For 40 years he has campaigned for the sanctity of human life, human rights and human dignity, and his name has become almost synonymous with the fight for the right to life of unborn babies, which he calls “the supreme human rights cause”. He says: “We are all made in God’s image and He doesn’t make mistakes. No life is so futile or worthless that it does not command the right to be defended with determination and vigour.” Lord Alton has worked with numerous charities including Aid to the Church in Need and Jubilee Action, which he co-founded.
Conservative MP for Gainsborough
Sir Edward Leigh is an outspoken Catholic who frequently addresses Parliament on ethical matters, including arguing for tightening the abortion law and a ban on human embryonic research. A qualified barrister and member of the Inner Temple, he is the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Holy See and is president of the Catholic Union of Great Britain.
Camoys is a British peer and banker who served as Lord Chamberlain of the United Kingdom from 1998 to 2000. He was the first Roman Catholic Lord Chamberlain since the Reformation.
Leader of the House of Commons
Appointed Leader of the House of Commons by Boris Johnson in 2019, Jacob Rees-Mogg is a prominent social conservative and Eurosceptic. The Conservative MP for Somerset North-East married Helena de Chair, an Anglican, at Canterbury Cathedral in 2007. They have six children.
Conservative MP for Stone
Sir Bill Cash is the original Eurosceptic who led the Maastricht rebellion in the 1990s. As chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, he was chief architect of the parliamentary campaign to leave the EU. He was educated at Stonyhurst. He has chaired international development committees on sanitation, water, reduction of third world debt, as well as a bill to protect women and children, including FGM.
Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe
In his role as chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee in the House of Commons, Damian Collins has led the committee’s inquiries into fake news, tackling the likes of Google and Facebook. A former altar boy, he was educated at Belmont Abbey – where he won a scholarship – and read history at St Benet’s Hall in Oxford.
Professor of psychiatry; adviser to Pope Francis on safeguarding
Crossbench peer and professor of the psychiatry of learning disability at St George’s, University of London, Sheila Hollins is one of the UK’s foremost authorities on learning disability and mental health. She has four children, including Abigail Witchalls, who was stabbed and left paralysed in 2005, and her son Nigel, who was born with learning difficulties. In 2014 Pope Francis appointed her a member of the newly created Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. She founded Beyond Words, which produces picture books to help people with communication issues.
Labour peer and barrister Labour life peer
Lord Brennan has been a QC since 1985. He specialises in commercial law, public and private international law and international arbitration. He is a former president of the Catholic Union of Great Britain, which promotes the Christian view in public affairs.
Lord Murphy is former Labour MP who served as secretary of state for Wales and Northern Ireland secretary. A committed Catholic, he was appointed vice-delegate for Great Britain of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George. He was appointed by Pope John Paul II as a Knight of the Pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great.
Crossbench peer and historian
Peter Hennessy is a former FT, Telegraph and Economist journalist turned historian and academic specialising in the history of government. He has been Attlee Professor of contemporary British history at Queen Mary University of London since 2001. Elevated to the peerage in 2010, he sits on the cross bench in the House of Lords where he is a member of the constitution committee.
Julian Fellowes is an actor, novelist, screenwriter and Conservative peer. He has written the scripts for, among others, Gosford Park, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2002, and the multi-award-winning Downton Abbey, which he also helped to produce.
Conservative MP for Chingford and Woodford Green
Sir Iain was the first Catholic leader of the Tory party. The former Works and Pensions Secretary founded the Centre for Social Justice. The Brexiteer MP was brought up by a Catholic mother.
Founder, Team Domenica
Rosa Monckton was inspired to set up the charity by her daughter Domenica who has Down’s syndrome. Team Domenica offers training to adults with learning disabilities and a path to employment. She is married to the former Sunday Telegraph editor and Sunday Times columnist Dominic Lawson.
Founder, Mary’s Meals
Inspired by his Catholic faith, Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow founded Mary’s Meals in 2002 to help feed hungry children in Malawi. The charity has since grown into a worldwide campaign, providing free school meals to over a million children daily.
A former professor of History at the University of Warwick, Jack Scarisbrick specialises in Tudor history and is known for writing the definitive biography of Henry VIII. He founded the pro-life charity Life with his wife Nuala, and the children’s charity Zoe’s Place, which provides palliative, respite and end-of-life care.
Director, Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The former Liberal Democrat MP for Brent East in London now runs the Jesuit Refuge Service UK, which fights for the rights of refugees across the UK. “It is a mission of being with people, walking with them, no matter what,” Teather explains. “I was looking for the mix of the relational, contemplative, social action and depth of reflection and analysis that is valued in a Jesuit apostolic work.”
Chief executive, Mind
Paul Farmer has been chief executive of the mental health charity Mind since 2006. An honorary fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and St Peter’s College, Oxford, he was awarded a CBE in 2016.
CEO, Aid to the Church in Need
A former Anglican vicar, Neville Kyrke-Smith converted to Catholicism nearly 30 years ago, becoming director of ACN almost simultaneously. His work visiting persecuted Christians takes him across the world and most recently to Mosul where ACN has been rebuilding communities destroyed by ISIS. Last year, the UK branch of ACN gave £6.7m to helping Christians in the Middle East, every penny of which came from individual donors. “Every donation is a miracle of love and it’s not always from the people you expect,” says Kyrke-Smith.
Chief Executive, CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network)
Born in south-east London, Phil McCarthy was a GP for 27 years before taking on various roles within the NHS, including setting up the Bristol Homelessness Health Service. He now runs CSAN, which connects Catholic charities, supports them and helps them to work collaboratively. Small charities, especially Christian ones, are finding it more and more difficult to survive in an increasingly secular environment, which is where CSAN comes in. “We don’t want to be in a position where the charities are competing with each other because we should be working together as parts of the body of Christ,” McCarthy explains. CSAN is also the largest provider of care homes in Britain. In 2008, McCarthy walked alone from Canterbury to Rome.
Headmaster, Oratory School
In position since January 2018, Daniel Wright has taken on the role of headmaster of the prestigious and high-achieving academy with passion and enthusiasm. A convert and a lay Dominican, he is a strong proponent of good old-fashioned discipline and Christian morality, which is “just what boys need”, he says. Before joining the school, Wright was the first teaching fellow at the Jubilee Centre at the University of Birmingham, where he organised and ran a secular virtues programme.
Headmaster, Ampleforth College
To his great credit, Dyer is not daunted by the considerable challenges he faces as the new headmaster of Ampleforth. After 17 years of school leadership and 33 years of teaching, he had planned to retire to Cornwall but was recalled by the chance to turn around the fortunes of the famous, if beleaguered, Yorkshire school and monastery. Dyer says: “It is an opportunity I approach with enormous excitement. On its best day, Ampleforth leads the way in education in this country and I want those best days to be the norm.”
Headmaster, The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, West London
Under Stubbings, the school has risen to the top end of the Times’s national league table for all Catholic comprehensive schools at A-Level. “At the heart of the school lies our Catholic ethos, which underpins everything we do,” says Stubbings who has been head since 2011. “The school aims, through its commitment to Catholic teaching, to prepare our pupils to undertake their responsibilities as Catholics in society.”
Headmaster, Stonyhurst College
Stonyhurst is John Browne’s third headship in independent day and boarding schools, having been headmaster of both Westminster Cathedral Choir School and St. Aloysius’ College, Glasgow. The Jesuit boarding school in Lancashire where Gerard Manley Hopkins taught, and JRR Tolkien sent his children, is thriving under his leadership. “We believe we can give our pupils that extra edge which will allow them to go further in life,” says Browne. His BA was in Music from the University of Bristol. He is married to Marie, and they have a son, William.
Headmistress, St Mary’s Ascot
Danuta Staunton is making her mark after being appointed in 2019. She attended St Augustine’s Priory, Ealing, prior to gaining a first class degree in English Literature at the University of York. She teaches English at the school with a background in Renaissance literature, having also worked in publishing with the Ark Group in London.
Emeritus Professor of the History of Christianity, Cambridge University
The distinguished Irish academic is a fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge and chairman of the editorial board of the Calendar of Papal Letters relating to Great Britain and Ireland. A former member of the Pontifical Historical Commission, he is a fellow of the British Academy, a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, an honorary fellow of the Ecclesiastical History Society, and an honorary professor in the Department of Theology at Durham. He is a frequent broadcaster on radio and television.
Historian and lecturer
Specialising in the Byzantine era, Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History at Oxford University. His latest book The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World (2018), is a history of the world today centred on the East. A keen cricketer, he has played for the Croatian national team. He and his wife own a chain of boutique hotels.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise, St Mary’s University
The former Labour MP Ruth Kelly was last year appointed by Pope Francis to the Vatican council to oversee the Vatican’s finances. She held a number of ministerial roles under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and was the youngest woman to sit in a British Cabinet, aged 36. A member of Opus Dei, she held fast to her Catholic beliefs throughout her time in office, for example by refusing posts in the department of health because of her opposition to abortion.
Economist and Director of Catholic Mission, St Marys
Professor Booth has advised the Bank of England and is Senior Academic Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs. He is Director of Catholic Mission at St. Mary’s, Twickenham. He writes about the relationship between Catholic social teaching and economics.
President, the British Association of the Order of Malta
“There’s no point in being a member if you’re not going to roll up your sleeves at some stage,” says Richard Fitzalan Howard, who has been president of the British Association of the Order of Malta since 2013. The Order prides itself on its good works, which include running care homes, organising pilgrimages to Lourdes, Lebanon and more, as well as soup kitchens all year round across Britain. Chairman of investments at the multi-family office Stonehage Fleming and first cousin to the Duke of Norfolk, Fitzalan Howard is heavily involved in the running of all aspects of the operation, including the Global Fund for Forgotten People, a fundraising and grant-giving trust organised by the Order.
Crossbench peer; campaigner
Edward William Fitzalan-Howard, a descendant of King Edward I, is the most senior lay member of the Catholic Church in Britain and the premier duke and earl of England. A crossbench peer in the House of Lords, he is married to Georgina Fitzalan-Howard, who is involved in numerous charitable efforts, including as patron of Depaul International, a Catholic charity supporting the homeless and vulnerable. The Duke and Duchess have five children and live in Arundel Castle, Sussex.
Transplant surgeon and sculptor
The pioneering British-Lebanese surgeon has performed more than 2,000 transplant operations, including the first hand transplant which he conducted in France. He is also a prize-winning sculptor, a clarinettist and a father of four.
Director, National Gallery
One of eight children born to an Italian father and half-Polish, half-English mother, Gabriele Finaldi grew up in Catford, south-east London, where he returned to live with his wife and six children. Formerly the deputy director of the Prado in Madrid, he has been at the National Gallery since 2015 and famously visits every single gallery in the building every day.
Chief executive, Bloomsbury
The man who discovered JK Rowling and the Harry Potter series, Nigel Newton was born in San Francisco in 1955. He read English at Cambridge University and is a member of the lay community at Worth Abbey and a trustee of the Catholic Trust for England and Wales. Newton was appointed CBE in the 2021 New Year Honours for services to publishing.
Historian; campaigner and author
Lady Antonia Fraser is the author of multiple histories, biographies and works of fiction, including a series of detective novels. Her sister Rachel Billington runs the Longford Trust, which campaigns for legal reform, and is a novelist and children’s author. Antonia and Rachel are daughters of Lord Longford.
Art dealer and TV presenter
Regarded as the world’s leading expert on British portraiture, art sleuth Philip Mould recently celebrated 30 years in the industry, during which time he has made his name uncovering seminal pieces of lost work, including some of Gainsborough’s earliest known works and lost Van Dycks.
Member, Government Council of the Order of Malta
Lady Celestria Hales is a former journalist and publisher who was social editor at Harpers & Queen for many years and the author of Debrett’s Guide to the Season. The daughter of the late Earl and Countess of Gainsborough, she went to Lourdes for the first time aged 18, becoming a Dame of the Order of Malta just ten years later. Today, she is vice president of the British Association of the Order of Malta and has just been made a member of the government council in Rome, the first and only woman to be elected in the Order’s 900-year history.
10th Baroness Howard de Walden
Lady Howard de Walden, who oversees the Howard de Walden Estate, which owns the freehold to much of Marylebone in London, made headlines in 2007 when she banned abortion clinics from opening on Harley Street. She is the mother of film producer Peter Czernin.
Regarded as one of the very best barristers of his generation, Edward Fitzgerald has defended Myra Hindley and John Venables, acted for Abu Hamza and was hired in 2017 by Silvio Berlusconi to resurrect his political career. He has spoken openly about his faith in the possibility of reform, especially among child criminals.
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