New Director Appointed

Roger Evans, Chairman, is pleased to announce the appointment of Rachel Morley as the new Director of the Friends.  She will take up the post following Matthew Saunders’s retirement in early 2018.

Roger Evans said, “Rachel joins us from the Churches Conservation Trust, where she is currently National PR Officer, and previously Estate Officer overseeing the maintenance of CCT churches in southeast England.  During the interview process, we found her love of historic churches to be self-evident, and her enthusiasm for the Friends a delight.  A chemical engineer by training, she studied Building Conservation at Trinity College, Dublin and has since gained significant practical conservation experience.  She is a Trustee of the SPAB and co-founder of SPAB Ireland.  We are truly delighted that Rachel has accepted our offer.”

“Choosing a successor to follow Matthew Saunders was never going to be the easiest of tasks, given his twenty-five years in post as an inspirational Director of the Friends, and it is with tremendous gratitude that we will wish him a happy retirement.”

Matthew Saunders said, “I am mightily comforted to be handing on this remarkable and important task to someone as well qualified as Rachel.  After 40 years with the Ancient Monuments Society and The Friends it is with a huge sense of relief that I pass on the baton, as I have done already to the trusty hands of Lucie Carayon at the AMS.  I wish the Trustees and Rachel all the very best for the years ahead.”

Rachel Morley said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be taking on the responsibility of leading the Friends of Friendless Churches.  I have hugely enjoyed working at the Churches Conservation Trust, but the chance to become the Friends’ third Director and to build on Matthew Saunders’ wonderful legacy was simply too good to turn down.  Matthew’s shoes are big ones to fill, but I am fortunate that he has left the organisation in great shape, and I can’t wait to get started.”

For more information: Roger Evans, Chairman, Friends of Friendless Churches


Tel: 020 7236 3934

Notes to Editors

The Friends of Friendless Churches was established by Ivor Bulmer Thomas in 1957 and now has in its care 50 historic but redundant churches in England and Wales, an increase of 32 over the total when Matthew Saunders succeeded Ivor in 1993.   The Friends have been in a Working Partnership with the Ancient Monuments Society since 1993 and this has recently been reaffirmed.