Oak Hill College Council

Oak Hill College Council provides the college with a great depth of charitable trust and corporate governance experience. The council members between them have a broad range of expertise across financial, legal, management, corporate, government, property and ecclesiastical spheres. To be well-informed, the council also draws on the specialist knowledge of several trusted advisors with long-standing connections to the college.

The council meets three times a year, and the current members are:

Jeremy Anderson CBE, Chair of Oak Hill College Council

Jeremy is a churchwarden at St Helen’s Bishopsgate. He served on the Archbishop’s task group on responsible savings and credit. Jeremy spent 30 years working with the banking and insurance industry in an advisory capacity, involved with strategy, risk management, governance, IT, operational transformation, mergers and bank restructuring. From 2010 to 2017 he was Chair of KPMG’s Global Financial Services practice. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of UBS Group AG. He is a trustee of the Productivity Leadership Group, a former Commissioner of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and a former Chair of the UK National Employment Panel. He was awarded a CBE in 2005 for his services to employment. His background enables him to bring wide experience to discussions on the strategic, financial, regulatory, operational and governance issues facing Oak Hill College and the Kingham Hill Trust.

Nicholas Bewes, Member of Oak Hill College Council

Nicholas is the Chief Executive of the Howard Group, a family owned property and investment business based in Cambridge. He is responsible to the board and the shareholders for the overall management of the business. The company’s property activities are predominantly based in East Anglia and London and include student accommodation, residential investment, commercial property development and management. Prior to joining the Howard Group in 1999, Nicholas worked with the BOC Group, where he held various management positions. In the past, Nicholas was on the board of Cambridge Ahead, a business and academic member group focused on the long-term growth of Cambridge and the region. He is a trustee of the Shelford Gospel Trust, a charity supporting gospel ministries. He is on the PCC at All Saints, Little Shelford, and a trustee of Kingham Hill Trust. Nicholas brings strategic property experience to the Council, helping to shape the college’s property estate strategy.

Tom Custance

Tom qualified as a solicitor in 1989 and subsequently as a solicitor advocate (civil). He has been a partner with Fox Williams LLP in their litigation and dispute resolution department since 2001, and was previously a partner with Herbert Smith LLP. Tom has extensive experience in all aspects of the litigation, arbitration, and mediation processes across a broad range of commercial disputes, including insurance and employment-related disputes. Tom attends All Souls, Langham Place, where he is involved in leading Bible study groups, and occasionally preaches at the 8am communion service. He is also involved with leading a Bible study group for City workers at St Helen’s Bishopsgate. As an Oak Hill College Council member, Tom assists the college’s staff in reviewing and developing the college’s governance, regulatory and operational policies. He is the Council Safeguarding Representative.

Sue Davies-Scourfield

Sue has been a member of The Round Church and St Andrew the Great, Cambridge, since 2000, and also in the early 1990s. During that time she has served on the PCC, as a member of the UK mission group, as a trustee of the Ministry Support Trust, and as a Bible study group leader. In the mid- to late-1990s she was a member of Laguna Presbyterian Church, Laguna Beach, California, where she served as Elder for Evangelism. Sue was converted on an Alpha course in 1986, and was a member of Holy Trinity Brompton, Knightsbridge, until moving to Cambridge. Since 2000, Sue has been a trustee of the Fenton Arts Trust, a UK registered arts charity which focuses its efforts on the support of artists of every kind (art, music, literature, drama etc.) at the beginning of their professional careers. She is director and owner of European Event Management, an international PR, marketing and event management company. Clients have included Calhoun Vision (USA), the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, CIT Aerospace and Rolls-Royce. Sue brings a unique mix of trust, business and church experience to the College Council.

Revd Fiona Gibson

Fiona graduated from Oak Hill College in 2011 with a MTh in Theological and Pastoral Studies. She initially took up the post of Curate at Christ Church, Bedford, in the Diocese of St Albans, and then became Vicar of the Benefice of Cople, Moggerhanger and Willington in September 2014. In addition to her parish responsibilities, Fiona serves as a member of the standing committee of Biggleswade Deanery, and fulfils a number of roles in St Albans Diocese, including serving on Diocesan Synod and the Committee of the Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship. In the wider Church of England, Fiona is Vice Chair of Awesome, the national group for ordained Anglican evangelical women. Fiona is also a part-time postgraduate research student at Trinity College Bristol, working towards a PhD. The topic of her thesis is acedia (sloth). Prior to ministerial training, Fiona was a primary school teacher with special responsibility for literacy and Special Educational Needs. For nearly five years, from October 2002 until immediately prior to training for ordination, she served as Lay Children’s Minister at her home church, Christ Church, Cockfosters. Fiona’s experience in parish ministry – especially in a rural context – as well as her training in the education sector, brings valuable expertise to the College Council.

Paul Houghton

Paul is a chartered accountant and an audit partner with Grant Thornton UK LLP, where he heads up the Sheffield office. He works with public and privately-owned businesses, many of them in manufacturing or creative digital industries, and most of them trading internationally. Within Sheffield, Paul is actively engaged in urban and regional economic development – having completed a four year term as a private sector board member of the City Region’s Local Enterprise Partnership, he is now Vice-Chair of the City Growth Board and a member of the City Partnership Board. Paul is a trustee of the Anglican Mission in England, Chair of Governors of Birkdale School in Sheffield, and Treasurer of Christ Church Fulwood, his local church where he is an active member. He also serves as a volunteer leader on Gloddaeth summer activity holidays for young people. Paul brings financial, commercial and strategy skills to the Council.

Helen Lamb

Helen is a member of St Ebbe’s church in Headington, Oxford where she serves on the PCC as well as co-leading a homegroup. She previously served on the PCC at St Andrew the Great, Cambridge, the Deanery and Diocesan Synods for a number of years, and the General Synod for 2015-17. Her career has been in Human Resources, initially in financial services and for the last 10 years working on a freelance basis to support SMEs. She holds Chartered membership of the CIPD and has a particular interest in helping organisations consider their people challenges strategically.

Revd Justin Mote

Justin was a student at Oak Hill (1980-83) after which heserved curacies in Basingstoke and London. While in London, he taught part-timeon the Cornhill Training Course. He was then a Vicar in Chester Diocese and iscurrently a member of All Saints Preston. For 15 years he was the Director of the North West Ministry Training Course, an initiative of the North West Partnership. He is presently working with Fulwood Bible training, an initiative that seeks to equip people to teach the Bible. He also works as a consultant for the mission agency Platform 67. Justin has been a member of the Oak Hill Council and a Kingham Hill trustee for over 20 years. He is also a trustee of a number of other trusts. He is a regular conference speaker around the world and has written and contributed to a number of books.

Simon Pilcher, Deputy Chair of Oak Hill College Council

Simon is Deputy Chair of the College Council and Chair of the Finance and General Purposes Committee. He is also a Governor of Kingham Hill School and chairs the Kingham Hill Trust (the charitable body that owns the college and the school). He is Chief Executive Officer of Investment Management at USS(Universities Superannuation Scheme). He is responsible for overseeing the investment strategy governing the scheme’s £73bn in assets, the majority of which are invested in-house, across both public and private markets around the world. Simon has an Honours Degree in Management Studies from Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He is a churchwarden of St Mary’s, Henham, where he helps to run the youth ministry and preaches regularly. He is a trustee of a number of other charitable trusts that support training for evangelical ministry.

Neil Powell

Neil serves as Pastor of City Church, Birmingham. He also works with church-planters, and churches, planting in the UK and Europe. Neilis director of the London Project, a new initiative for London and co-chairs the 2020 birmingham church-planting partnership in Birmingham. He is author of the recently published Together for the City: How collaborative church planting leads to Citywide movements. He serves on the leadership team of City to City Global, Europe & UK. He is married to Jane and has two sons.

Ian Roberts

Ian studied economics at Bristol University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse. He spent 10 years in a variety of management positions in a US multinational. He took a career break to study evangelism at Trinity College Bristol, where he also served as the student representative on the College Council. He is currently Chief Executive of Christianity Explored, which provides biblically-rooted evangelistic materials, with courses attended by over 500,000 people annually in more than 100 countries. Ian was previously a trustee at All Souls Clubhouse, and attended Langham Arts Trust meetings and All Souls Church Council meetings in conjunction with his previous role at All Souls. He has been a member at Anglican, Independent Evangelical, and Baptist Churches, and is now member of the Leadership Team at Purley Baptist Church. His accounting background, leadership experience in a variety of churches, and knowledge of evangelistically-minded churches and movements through Christianity Explored, bring a breadth of experience and expertise to the Oak Hill College Council.

Greg Strain

Greg qualified and practised as a doctor before training for ministry at Oak Hill in the mid 1990s. Upon graduation, he went to an Assistant Minister’s post in a church in Wolverhampton. In 1999, Greg joined the staff at Spicer Street Church, St Albans, as Associate Pastor, and has been Senior Pastor since 2003. He also serves as a member of the Trust Board of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches.