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WHO WE ARE
Safeguarding Structure

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The Commission has fifteen members. In implementing the recommendations of “Safeguarding with Confidence” there is a lay chair, appointed by CBCEW and CoR, and two vice chairs; a bishop appointed by the CBCEW and a Religious appointed by the CoR. The remaining members come from a variety of backgrounds both in and outside the Church. They bring together a wide range of knowledge, skill and expertise in safeguarding matters, and in state and canon law.

The NCSC, whilst an independent body works within the framework of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, as shown in the diagram above.

The Commission meets quarterly and has a number of sub groups which meet more frequently to develop strategy and policy.

  • Christopher Pearson
  • Rt Rev Marcus Stock
  • Sister Lyndsay Spendelow
  • Rachel O’Driscoll
  • Br James Boner
  • The Rt Rev Mark Davies
  • Peter Houghton
  • Rev Dr Brendan Killeen
  • Elizabeth Manero
  • Sr Philomena McCluskey
  • Stephen Spear
  • Lindsay Voss
  • Bernadette Speakman
Christopher Pearson
Chair of the NCSC

*Chris Pearson’s background is in Local Government. He has 35 years experience as a qualified Social Worker. He has extensive senior management experience working at a strategic level in developing services for adults and taking a lead role on developing local, regional and national safeguarding policies. He retired from Local Government in 2013 and now works part time in a Health setting working with adults at risk.

He has 20 years experience as a member of the Diocesan Safeguarding Commission until his appointment in 2014 as a lay member of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission. He was appointed Lay Vice Chair Member of the NCSC in 2015 and was Acting Chair of the NCSC from July 2015 until his appointment as Chair in November 2015.

Rt Rev Marcus Stock
Vice Chair of the NCSC

*Born in South London, Bishop Marcus Stock is a graduate of the University of Oxford where he studied theology at Keble College. He subsequently trained for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome, and was awarded a Licence in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. While in Rome he was ordained a Deacon by the late Cardinal Basil Hume O.S.B. Bishop Marcus was ordained to the priesthood in 1988 by the then Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Maurice Couve de Murville. From 1988 until 2009 he served in a number of parishes within the Birmingham archdiocese and has been Parish Priest of St Birinus, Dorchester-on-Thames, St Peter's, Bloxwich, and Sacred Heart and St Theresa’s, Coleshill, Birmingham. From 1988 to 1994 Bishop Marcus was Tutor in Theology for the Archdiocese of Birmingham's Permanent Diaconate Formation Programme and he was also a teacher of Religious Education at the European School at Culham, near Abigndon in Oxfordshire, from 1991 to 1994. From 1995 to 1999, he was Assistant Director of Schools for the Archdiocese of Birmingham and then became Director of Schools from 1999 to 2009. In 2009, he moved to London when he became the General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, a post he held at the time of his appointment to the Diocese of Leeds. From late 2011, until the spring of 2013, he was also the Acting Director of the Catholic Education Service. He was appointed a Prelate of Honour by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. Bishop Marcus' appointment to the See of Leeds by Pope Francis was announced by the Vatican on Monday, 15th September 2014. He was ordained and installed as the tenth Bishop of Leeds on Thursday, 13th November 2014.

Sister Lyndsay Spendelow
Vice Chair of the NCSC

*Sister Lyndsay is a Sister of Mercy with a background of teaching experience at secondary school level in the sciences, physical education and religious education and first degrees in Education and Theology. In 1987/88 she followed the Religious Formation Ministry course in Dublin. After completing an MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy in 1993, she worked as a psychotherapist in private practice as well as in Formation within the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy. In 2003 Sr Lyndsay was elected as Assistant Leader for the Institute and completed 10 years in this position, with responsibility for Safeguarding in the Congregation, before taking a sabbatical to study Spirituality in the Context of An Evolving Universe, An Endangered Planet and the Christian Tradition.

Rachel O'Driscoll
Lay Vice Chair of the NCSC

*Rachel has over 25 years experience in regulation and professional standards, working for central government and then legal professional and collegiate bodies. She has a special interest in vulnerability (heightened by having a daughter with a learning disability) and has worked on barristers better handling vulnerable witnesses and defendants in the criminal justice system, including drafting toolkits to be used by advocates preparing to question vulnerable people in court. She recently undertook a review of Bar Disciplinary Tribunals and panels and then supported a change programme to deliver a modern and effective tribunal service for barristers, which addressed failings identified by the review. Now working as a policy adviser to the Law Society, a major part of her current role is to deliver a programme to better embed ethics in the solicitors' profession.

Rachel has been deputy Chair of Governors at a catholic infant school in Lambeth for nine years. She is a parishioner of Our Lady Help of Christians in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire and is married, with two children.

Brother James Boner, OFM Cap

*Brother James represents the Conference of Religious of which he is the General Secretary.

The General Secretary leads the administrative office of the COR, which, under the direction of the Executive, provides support and advisory services to members, relevant to their contemporary needs.

James was appointed General Secretary in February 2014 and is accountable for COR’s Strategic planning and implementation as well as maintaining and enhancing member services. He brings with him a wealth of experience working in and with religious orders and communities from his vocation as a Capuchin Franciscan. Joining in 1982, he rose to become the Provincial Minister in 2005, leading them for the maximum six year term before taking a sabbatical. This was spent undertaking a Masters in Consulting & Coaching for Change with HEC, Paris and Said Business School, Oxford University, where he graduated with Honours.

During his many years service, he has accumulated a wealth of invaluable experience engaging with international religious and lay communities from his role as Head of the Capuchins in GB and his Vice Presidency of the Northern European Council of religious. He has designed and spearheaded the successful implementation of major change programmes for Not-for-Profit organisations.

Since 2012, James has been the Provincial Bursar for the Capuchins as well as remaining the Chair of Governors for St Fidelis Primary School in Kent.

James is an engineering graduate of Stow College, Glasgow as well as the University of Ottawa, where he gained a Masters in Canon Law. He is also qualified in Theology, Humanities, Psychology, Law and Philosophy. James enjoys skiing, international travel and is a keen follower of the arts.

The Right Rev Mark Davies

*Bishop Mark Davies was born in Manchester on 12th May 1959 and baptised at St Richard’s Church, Longsight.

Bishop Davies was educated at St Richard’s Infant School and St Robert’s Primary School in Manchester and at Broadstone Hall County Primary School and St Anne’s High School in Stockport before beginning his training for the priesthood at Ushaw College, Durham.

Ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Thomas Holland of Salford on 11th February 1984 he served as an assistant priest at Our Lady of Grace, Prestwich, and St Mary’s, Swinton, before he was appointed private secretary to Archbishop Patrick Kelly (then Bishop of Salford) in 1988. From December 1992 until September 2003 the then Father Davies was parish priest of St. John Bosco, Manchester, and was also appointed Dean of North Manchester in 1999.

In January 2003 Bishop Terence Brain of Salford appointed the then Monsignor Davies as Vicar General of the Salford Diocese. As Vicar General he served as the parish priest of St Teresa Little Lever between 2003 and 2006, St Joseph Longsight between 2006 and 2007 and Holy Family, Wigan, between 2007 and 2009.

In December 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Monsignor Davies as the Coadjutor Bishop of Shrewsbury. He was ordained Bishop on 22nd February 2010 at St Anthony’s, Wythenshawe, Manchester. On 1st October 2010 Bishop Davies became the 11th Bishop of Shrewsbury in succession to Bishop Brian Noble.

Peter Houghton

*Peter has over 35 years local authority experience. On leaving university he worked in a number of children’s homes before qualifying as a social worker in 1981. Subsequently, he went on to work in a variety of operational and managerial roles in relation to vulnerable children and adult services.

Peter has specialised in managing safeguarding and front-line social work services as well as specialist residential, youth justice, asylum and homelessness services. In addition to his operational responsibilities his particular areas of experience include service transformation, project/change management, commissioning and audit work. Prior to retirement in June 2012 he was the Assistant Director for Children’s Social Care in an inner-London borough and is now works part-time as an independent management consultant.

Rev Dr Brendan Killeen

* Father Brendan trained for the Priesthood at Oscott College in Birmingham. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Northampton in 1993. He is presently parish priest of two parishes, as well as the local dean. He studied canon law in Ottawa from 1996 to 1998. He is the Judicial Vicar for Northampton Diocese.

He also teaches canon law at Heythrop College which is a part of London University. It was there that he obtained a doctorate in 2005, specializing in the history of the canon law of marriage. He also teaches at St. Mary's University College in Twickenham and has published works on canon law.

Elizabeth Manero

* A solicitor by background, Elizabeth has been active in community involvement for over twenty years. She chaired her local patient organisation, Barnet Community Health Council, and was then elected chair of the pan-London group for Community Health Councils. These roles have given her experience in helping patients - particularly ‘marginalised’ groups - influence NHS decision-making.

As a qualified trainer, she has designed patient involvement training for lay people at every level of the health service from GP surgeries to hospitals and NHS Boards.

Since 2009, she has been involved in health education. She is currently a member of the Patients Forum at Health Education England and the lay member on the General Medical Council Education and Training Advisory Board.

She is a member of St Alban’s parish in North London and has three grown up children.

Sr Philomena McCluskey FMSJ MBE

*Sister Philomena is a member of the Franciscan Missionaries of St Josephs Congregation.

A Social Worker with over 40 years experience in social work with the Catholic Children's Rescue Society (Salford Diocese) specialising in Adoption and Fostering placements, now retired. In 1999 Sister was awarded the MBE for services to Child Care.

Appointed Safeguarding Coordinator for the fmsj Congregation she also served for 6 years as a member of the North West Safeguarding Commission in Religious Orders. Sister maintains an active role in Safeguarding as Safeguarding representative for her Congregation and as a member of the Diocese of Salford Safeguarding Commission.

Stephen Spear

*Steve has been involved with the public sector for the majority of his working life. After joining the Royal Navy in 197, he trained as a physiotherapist and was commissioned in 1982, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander before retiring in 1988.

Steve briefly entered politics as a county councillor before emigrating to Canada as a Director of Rehabilitation. On returning to the UK he joined Southern Derbyshire Health Authority as a Policy Development Manager establishing a reputation for partnership working in a variety of disciplines including health, drugs, alcohol, crime, education and housing.

In 2004 Steve was seconded to Nottingham to revitalise the Drug Action Team, subsequently establishing the Nottingham Crime and Drugs Partnership where he remained as the Director of Commissioning. He was then seconded to the Change Management Team at Nottinghamshire Police Authority, where he produced the Authority's Improvement Plan and worked with the Force to develop a new strategic direction. Both the Force and Authority were lifted out of the special measure in which they had been placed, at the end of 2010.

As CEO Steve developed and led a change programme at SV2 (formerly Derbyshire Rape Crisis) which rebalanced the organisation to provide an integrated and comprehensive service for victims and survivors of rape and sexual abuse in Derbyshire. Steve retired in August 2106 but remains a trustee with South Derbyshire Council for Voluntary Services and the Survivor’s Trust.

Lindsay Voss

*Lindsay is a nurse and retired from a senior safeguarding position in the NHS in 2015 where she was responsible for ensuring that local health organisations had effective arrangements in place to safeguard children and adults. Having worked within clinical child protection services, Lindsay developed an interest in the way in which statutory agencies respond to childhood victims of sexual abuse and undertook research that focused on this topic. She was awarded a clinical doctorate from the University of Southampton in 2015. As a member of a local safeguarding children board, Lindsay gained extensive experience as a panel member for serious case reviews and was actively involved in implementing many of the recommendations that arose from them.

Bernadette Speakman
Secretary to the NCSC

Bernadette SpeakmanBernadette practised as a nurse and midwife in the NHS from 1973 until her retirement in 2006. As a former community midwife, she progressed to the post of Head of Midwifery Services in St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, and later to a similar role in Blackpool. She then went on to hold other senior positions in the NHS over the last fifteen years prior to retirement. One of these roles required the setting up of a new national service, forging links with local community groups, as well as streamlining the complaints systems, and commissioning and evaluating work with survey organisations. During her career in the NHS she was the Regional representative for the National PALS Forum, served on the Midwifery Advisory Panel for the UKCC (now the NMC), and the Lancashire and Cumbria Research Ethics Committee.

Safeguarding was a strong feature in all of these roles, which led her to serve as a parish safeguarding representative in Salford Diocese for over ten years. As a practising Catholic, she serves as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, and Minister of the Word in her home parish in Lancaster.

Since her retirement from the NHS she has been teaching on Health courses in further and higher education, with special interests in Equality and Diversity, End of Life Care, Research and Hospital Nutrition. She considers that her past experiences have been involved in Safeguarding, and as such have prepared her for this role with the NCSC to which she is delighted to be appointed.