The Governors

Chair of Governors – John Gibbs

John Gibbs was educated at Ampleforth College and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1966. He joined Anderson Thomas Frankel, a small accountancy tuition business, as a lecturer, in 1967 and became a partner in 1969. The business changed its name to the Financial Training Company and in 1973 after considerable expansion became a company listed on the London Stock Exchange under the name Park Place Investments PLC. Mr Gibbs was a main board director with various responsibilities over the years until the company was bought by Wolters Kluwer in 1986.

In 1981 he was involved in the planning and organisation of the Papal visit of Pope John Paul 11 and at the invitation of Cardinal Basil Hume was a founding trustee of the Westminster Cathedral Choir school Fund. In 1984 he became a Governor of the Choir School.From 1986 until 2007 Mr Gibbs was the Financial Secretary of the Westminster Roman Catholic Diocese and was responsible for converting a deficit of £11million into a surplus of over £10million during his time in office. He was during his time with the Diocese on the panel of 3i’s Non-Executive Directors and served as a director on the Boards of a number of companies. He also served as a Trustee of the National Catholic Fund and then a director of Catholic Trusts in England and Wales. He was appointed Chairman of Papal Visit Ltd to oversee the financial aspects of the Papal visit in 2010 by Pope Benedict.

Over the years he has been a governor of Ampleforth College, Worth School, St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College and St Thomas More Language College, Chelsea.

Having served as a governor of Westminster Cathedral Choir School from 1984 to 2007 he retired when leaving the Diocese but was invited back as Chairman by Cardinal Murphy O’Connor in 2008, a post he currently holds. He is a trustee of the Catholic Children’s Society (Westminster) and treasurer of the Association of Papal Orders in Great Britain.

Married with three children, all married, and with six grandchildren he lives in Kensington and keeps reasonably fit playing golf. He has been a parishioner of Our Lady of Victories for over 40 years.


Maria Church has been a governor of Westminster Cathedral Choir School since 2009, is a member of the Governors’ Pastoral Committee and has special responsibility for safeguarding, including boarding chorister welfare.

Maria is a mother of five children aged 21 to 30, three of whom were at WCCS as day boys. She is actively involved in the Catholic Church and a number of related charities such as the Missionaries of Charity.

Maria originally trained in hotel management in Switzerland and was a marketing executive for the Leading Hotels of the World, responsible for the German speaking countries of Europe and France.


Canon Christopher Tuckwell is the Administrator of Westminster Cathedral and a member of the Cathedral Chapter.

After school he entered the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and in 1966 was commissioned into the Queen’s Royal surrey Regiment and saw service in Germany, Oman and Kenya. He left the Army in 1970 and entered Chichester Theological College to train for the Anglican ministry. Ordained in 1974 he worked in parishes in East London, the island of St Vincent in the Windward Islands, Shepherds Bush and Tottenham. In 1994 he was received into the Catholic Church and ordained in 1995. He has served in parishes in Stonebridge Park, Hemel Hempstead and Clapton before coming to Westminster Cathedral in 2006. He worked as chaplain to the AIDS/HIV unit at North Middlesex Hospital for four years and as the Catholic chaplain at HMP Bovingdon from 1997 to 2001 and at HMP Pentonville from 2001 to 2006. He is currently the Catholic chaplain to Wellington Barracks.


Flora Lyon was at Oxford University and following that worked as a fund manager for Singer and Friedlander, Mercury Asset Management and Merrill Lynch.

She has had a son at the school and has been a governor since 1996, and so has seen the WCCS grow and modernise. She sits on the Governors’ Pastoral Committee, and has special responsibility for the school’s Health and Safety policies.

Flora remains a frequent visitor to the school.

She is also involved in the WCCS Chorister Outreach programme for primary schools in the Diocese of Westminster.

Flora’s other commitments include being a trustee of and taking an active role in the Kids for Change charity, which organises a football programme for challenged young men in the W11 area of London, and a mentoring scheme for socially disadvantaged schoolchildren to encourage them to go to university.


Michael Pittendreigh is the Assistant Director of Education for the Diocese of Westminster. His responsibilities include giving advice and support to heads and governing bodies throughout the Diocese, as well as dealing with safeguarding and child protection issues. He is a graduate of Manchester University and was engaged in Catholic secondary education as a teacher, Deputy Head and for nine years as Head of a Catholic boys’ comprehensive school. Michael is married to Bernadette, who is Head of Special Educational Needs at a Catholic comprehensive school, and they have a grown up son, and a daughter who also teaches in a Catholic school in the Diocese.


Eddie Codrington, aged 63, became a governor in 2008. He was educated, principally, at St Benedict's School, Ealing. From there he went to the University of Birmingham to read Law.

Eddie joined Slaughter and May, one of the leading firms of solicitors in the City of London, as an articled clerk and remained there until his retirement in 2011. He was a partner for 27 years, latterly as Head of the firm's Pensions, Employment and Share Incentive Department. He is married. Through his six (now adult) children, he has experience of a large variety of schools – state, private day, private boarding, single sex and mixed sex.


Julie Buclez became a governor of Westminster Cathedral Choir School in 2013 and is also a member of the finance committee. Julie has been the PA Chair of the WCCS Parents’ Association and Vice Chair of the WCCS Old Boys’ Association.

She and her husband, Francois, have four children. Their two sons attended WCCS.

Julie spent her career in finance working for HSBC in New York, Moscow and London. She was a director in debt capital markets and head of the Eurobond syndicate desk.

She is currently a board member of the newly formed Campion School and was a member of the capital campaign board for Godolphin & Latymer School. She has been an active volunteer and fundraiser for St Paul’s School, St Paul’s Girls’ School, Godolphin & Latymer School, Glendower Prep School and Eaton House pre-prep.

Julie and her family are parishioners at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Brook Green.


Dr Marco Liviero is a House Master, English Master and director of a number of house and school plays at Eton College. He is a graduate of Padua and Birmingham Universities and has taught at University College Cork, the University of Birmingham, Cheltenham College and at the King’s School, Canterbury, from which he came to Eton in 2001. During his time there he has been, among other things, Assistant and Deputy House Master, Master-in-Charge of Speeches, Master-in-Charge of School Assembly and Master-in-Charge of the Arts Review. He has also sat on numerous committees in the school. He has been in charge of Common Entrance for the English Department as well as being an examiner for the College's Scholarship Examination, which he helps to set. Furthermore, he has also been an interviewer for the Eton Admissions Office. He has lectured extensively in Europe, Australia and the USA on Renaissance literature and Anglo Irish poetry and drama. His main interests include acting and directing plays, writing, travelling and playing music. He is married to Claudia, a molecular biologist and a language and science teacher, and they have a one year old son, Lorenzo. He took over his House in 2013.


Stephen Withnell is a managing director in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs International, based in London. He is focused on natural resources clients in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Stephen joined Goldman Sachs in 2006 as an associate in the Investment Banking Division and was named managing director in 2013. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Stephen worked for Citigroup in London and in Hong Kong. He earned a BA (1st Class Hons) in Ancient, Medieval and Modern History from Durham University in 2002, where he was JCR President and Chair of the JCR Executive Committee of University College. Stephen is a Governor of Stonyhurst College and sits on the Investments Committee of the British Jesuit Province. He is married to Victoria and they have two sons.


Father Stuart Seaton is the Catholic Chaplain at Harrow School. Father Stuart obtained degrees in Theology from Durham and Leeds Universities prior to being ordained in the Church of England in 1999. He served in parishes and schools as an Anglican minister before being received into the Catholic Church in 2007. He subsequently trained for the Catholic priesthood at Allen Hall Seminary, London, and received dispensation from Pope Benedict XVI to be ordained priest as a married man. Following his ordination in 2010, he became the Catholic Chaplain at Harrow School. In addition to his chaplaincy duties, he teaches Religious Studies and History. He has particular interests in philosophical apologetics, church history and music. He is married to Hilary and they have three sons.


Kate Finch has three children, the youngest of whom, Charlie, is a Chorister in Year 5 at WCCS.

Raised in Lancashire, Kate spent her primary years at a state RC school before moving to Bolton School Girls’ Division where she remained for her secondary education. Following A Levels she read English at Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London. During her undergraduate years Kate worked part time at the National Portrait Gallery and on graduating accepted a permanent role in the NPG’s Exhibitions team. She remained there for a couple of years following which she secured a place on the Mountbatten Internship Programme and moved to New York City for a year where she gained hands on business experience managing a small physiotherapy practice and was awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in International Business. In 2000 Kate moved to Bristol to join her husband and there completed post graduate legal training and qualified as a solicitor (with a specialism in commercial property) in a leading Bristol law firm. She remained in private practice until 2012 at which point she elected to take a break and is now self-employed providing general counsel and company secretarial services to a number of global clients, in such diverse sectors as natural resources, property and wine farming.

Kate enjoys a variety of leisure activities including shooting, music and the Arts, although finds no greater relaxation than devouring a good book. Whilst home is in Bristol, Kate and her family are often in London visiting Charlie at WCCS.


David Heminway read Theology at King's College, London, and a PGCE at Christ's College, Cambridge. Having taught Religious Education in East Grinstead, he joined City of London School in 1985 as Head of Department, during which time he also became a Senior Housemaster, Speaker of the School Parliament, and Director of Personal and Social Education. In 1997 he became Head of Third Form and was in charge of 13+ Admissions, liaising closely with Heads of Prep Schools. In 2005 he joined the School's Senior Management Team as Director of Admissions, running the entry points at 10+, 11+ and 13+ and, in due course, admission to the Sixth Form. As Director, he also was responsible for recruiting to City the Choristers of the Chapel Royal and the Temple Church, which included his being closely associated with the Lord Chamberlain's Department at Buckingham Palace, and the Temple Music Foundation. He retired from the School in December 2014 but maintains his connection with the Admissions world by preparing pupils for senior school entrance interviews on behalf of a consultancy firm.

David is a communicant Anglican and worships at a traditionalist Anglo Catholic church, where he serves on the Parochial Church Council and helps extensively with the administrative life of the parish. He enjoys entertaining, visiting European cities, and travelling further afield.


Marta Luiz became a governor of Westminster Cathedral Choir School in 2016 and is also a member of the finance committee. Marta is the Finance Director of the Diocese of Westminster and her responsibilities include providing a professional and effective service to the Trustees of the Diocese through the operation of the central finance team, contributing to the definition of the financial strategy and being responsible for the full compliance with charity law, statutory and fiscal reporting and other applicable legislation. Prior to joining the Diocese of Westminster in 2015, Marta was a CFO of a renewable energy and of a metallic constructions group for more than 5 years. She started her career in investment banking (corporate finance/M&A) and has also worked in strategy and business development and strategic planning and control. She earned a BA (1st Class Hons) in 1999 from Universidade Catolica Portuguesa and a MSc. in Accounting and Finance in 2003 from Lancaster University. Marta is married to Jorge and they have one son and one daughter.


If you wish to contact any member of the Governing body, please write to:

Clerk to the Governors
c/o Westminster Cathedral Choir School
Ambrosden Avenue
London
SW1P 1QH

Downloads

Here you can download everything you need to know about Westminster Cathedral Choir School from registration forms, 7+/8+ sample papers, inspection reports, reading lists, syllabuses, handbooks and policies.


Need more information?

Please contact the Head Master’s PA & Registrar, Miss Lucy Auger

Tel 020 7931 6099 Email lauger@choirschool.com

WCCS this Week

Saturday 9th September  
2.30 pm – 8.00 pm Probationer and chorister activity
  N.B. No prob / chorister visiting today
Sunday 10th September  
10.30 am Solemn Mass, Cathedral
11.45 am Parents’ coffee, Refectory
3.30 pm Solemn Vespers and Benediction, Cathedral
4.30 pm – 8.00 pm Visiting
Monday 11th September Chamber music & orchestras begin
7.30 am – 8.20 am Basketball club, external coach, Westminster Sports Hall
7.30 am – 8.20 am Table tennis club, external coach, Westminster Sports Hall
8.30 am Staff briefing
8.50 am Head Master’s assembly, Clergy House Library
1.20 pm Orchestra (full), conference room
1.20 pm Training orchestra (strings), room 10
1.20 pm Training orchestra (brass & woodwind), boarders’ common room
3.50 pm – 4.50 pm Football & sports club, Coach Zach, Pre-Prep
4.00 Prep staff meeting: CAT tests
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Debating club, external coach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Karate Club, Renshi Alex
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Junior football club, Coach Zach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Junior drama club, external coach
6.00 pm Reception & Yr 3 parents’ info evening, Pre-Prep dining rm
Tuesday 12th September  
8.15 am Gallery Choir, Clergy House Library
8.50 am Form assemblies
9.30 am – 11.00 am Open morning for pre-prep prospective parents
10.25 am Junior strings, boarders’ common room
11.00 am Senior strings, Yrs 6/7 dorm
11.00 am Chorister trio, boarders’ common room
11.30 am Weekly Cathedral Music Dept / School meeting
1.20 pm Flute group, Yr 8 dorm
1.20 pm Clarinet group, room 10
3.50 pm – 4.50 pm Drama club, Miss Ali, Pre-Prep
4.00 pm Pre-Prep staff meeting
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Day boy detention
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Magic club, external coach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Senior football club, coach Zach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Fencing club, Jonathan Weekes
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Cross country club, Mr Williams
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Yoga club, external coach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Newspaper club, Mr Kellaway
4.15 pm – 6.00 pm Head Master’s appointments with parents
5.30 pm Boarding staff meeting
Wednesday 13th September  
7.45 am SMT meeting, Head’s office
8.15 am Gallery Choir, room 10
8.50 am – 9.50 am Chorister song school
11.00 am Baroque trio, Yr 8 dorm
11.00 am Brass group, boarders’ common room
12.00 pm Funeral Mass for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor
2.00 pm – 5.00 pm U13 football tournament, Trinity Fields
2.00 pm – 3.45 pm Year 5 v Garden House, Battersea Park
3.50 pm – 4.50 pm Creative club, Miss Zoe, Pre-Prep
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Fencing club, Jonathan Weekes
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Judo club, Coach Marius
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm British military fitness club, external coach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Video game design, external coach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Beginners German club, Miss Higgie
7.00 pm PA new parents’ drinks reception, refectory
Thursday 14th September The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Chorister non-singing day
8.15 am Gallery Choir, room 10
8.45 am PA meeting, refectory
8.50 am School assembly, Clergy House Library
11.00 am Day boy trio, boarders’ common room
3.50 pm – 4.50 pm Lego club, Miss Juliet, Pre-Prep
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Art club, Miss Auger
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Mad science club, Miss Marshall
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Airfix club, Mr MacGreevy
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Senior drama club, external coach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Intermediate football club, Coach Zach
4.15 pm – 6.00 pm Head Master’s appointments with parents
Friday 15th September  
8.15 am School Choir, Clergy House Library
8.50 am Form assemblies
2.00 pm – 4.15 pm Year 4 v Northcote Lodge, Wandsworth Common
Saturday 16th September  
11.00 am – 8.00 pm Probationer visiting
2.30 pm – 8.00 pm Chorister visiting / outing
Sunday 17th September 24th Sunday of the Year
10.30 am Solemn Mass, Cathedral
11.45 am Parents’ coffee, Refectory
3.30 pm Solemn Vespers and Benediction, Cathedral
4.30 pm – 8.00 pm Visiting

This week's menu

  Breakfast
(Choristers)
Lunch
(All boys)
Supper
(Choristers)
Saturday Pancakes, greek yogurt and Maple Syrup Southern fried chicken served with coleslaw and sweet corn salad

Lemon meringue roulade
Quiche lorraine served with crunchy green salad

Homemade biscuits
Sunday Ham and cheese toast Roasted lamb served with gravy, roasted potatoes, spinach gratin and carrots

Chocolate tart
Garlic and rosemary beef skewers on chilli ginger rice, stir-fry bak choy, chestnut mushrooms and carrots

Fruit bowl
Monday Eggs and Toast Amatriciana sauce served with penne, parmigiano-reggiano, crunchy gem lettuce, cucumber and black olives salad

Banana cake
Pork belly served with roast potatoes and fine beans

Baked custard tarts
Tuesday Sausages and Toast Lemon and fresh thyme chicken served with potato wedges, gravy and peas

Apple crumble
Rump steaks served with chunky chips and watercress salad

Cheeseboard
Wednesday Porridge and golden syrup Jamie’s chilli con carne served with tortilla chips, rice, cucumber, cos lettuce and cucumber salad

Mississippi mud pie
Panko goujon served with sautéed potatoes and peas

Chocolate muffins
Thursday Bacon Butties Chicken and broccoli stir-fry with egg noodles and mange tout

Eton mess
Slow roasted brisket served in bun with coleslaw and sweet corn

Fruit platter
Friday Bagel, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs Crispy jacket potato served with baked beans, cheese or tuna mayonnaise, crunchy shredded cos lettuce and cucumber salad

Banoffee pie
Homemade pizza, tomato, cucumber, olives and basil salad

Carmel slice
Saturday Pancakes, greek yogurt and Maple Syrup Macaroni cheese served with homemade bread rolls, green lettuce and cucumber salad

Chocolate cake
Croque monsieur served with tomato soup and homemade bread roll

Fruit yoghurts
Sunday Ham and cheese toast Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, gravy, roast potatoes, tender steam broccoli and carrots

Purple yam cake
Shepherd’s pie served with peas

Vanilla shortbread

Open Morning & Visits

By far the best way to see WCCS in action is to come on an open morning. You can observe classes, and meet the boys, academic staff and Head Master.

Open morning for prospective day boys in Reception

Parents looking for a Reception place in our new pre-prep, from 2018 onwards, may like to join us on the following dates.

  • Tuesday 3rd October, 9.30 am – 11.00 am
  • Tuesday 21st November, 9.30 am – 11.00 am

Please contact the Director of Admissions, Miss Lucy Auger, to register.
Tel 020 7798 9081 Email lauger@choirschool.com

Open morning for prospective day boys at 7+ / 8+

Parents looking for places from 2018 onwards may like to join us on the following dates.

  • Tuesday 19th September, 9.30 am – 11.00 am
  • Tuesday 10th October, 9.30 am – 11.00 am
  • Tuesday 14th November, 9.30 am – 11.00 am

Please contact the Director of Admissions, Miss Lucy Auger, to register.
Tel 020 7798 9081 Email lauger@choirschool.com

Your son is most welcome.

You can download a day boy registration form here.

Visits for chorister places at 8+

Parents considering a chorister place for their son, and who would like a tour of the School and boarding facilities, should contact the Director of Admissions, Miss Lucy Auger.
Tel 020 7798 9081 Email lauger@choirschool.com

You can download a chorister registration form here.