Thinking Anglicans

Loretta Minghella announced as next First Church Estates Commissioner

Downing Street has announced that Loretta Minghella, the Chief Executive of Christian Aid, is to be the next First Church Estates Commissioner. She succeeds Sir Andreas Whittam Smith. The press release is copied below.

The Church of England has issued its own press release.

It was also announced last week that Dame Caroline Spelman MP has been reappointed Second Church Estates Commissioner following the General Election

Church Commissioner Appointment: Loretta Minghella
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published: 28 June 2017

The Queen has appointed Loretta Minghella as a Church Commissioner.

The Queen has approved that Ms Loretta Caroline Rose Minghella, OBE be appointed First Church Estates Commissioner in succession to Sir Andreas Whittam Smith, CBE.


Loretta has been Chief Executive of Christian Aid since 2010, with overall responsibility for its strategy, plans and programmes across the world. She has since overseen responses to emergencies such as earthquakes and typhoons, the refugee crises in the Middle East and Europe, and hunger and famine in East Africa. She has also led Christian Aid’s long term development work and advocacy on major issues affecting the world’s poorest people, including climate change.

Loretta is a lawyer by training who, after practising as a criminal litigator, began a career in financial regulation in 1990. The first Head of Enforcement Law, Policy and International Cooperation for the Financial Services Authority, she also chaired the International Organisation of Securities Commissions’ Standing Committee on Enforcement and Information-Sharing.

In 2004, Loretta became Chief Executive of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, in which capacity she oversaw the payment of over £21 billion in compensation to victims of bank and other financial failures. In recognition of her contribution in that role, she was awarded the OBE in the New Year’s Honours 2010.

A trustee of the Disasters Emergency Committee and of St Georges House Trust (Windsor Castle), Loretta is a member of the Church of England’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group and a Sarum Canon at Salisbury Cathedral. Loretta has a BA (Hons) in Law from the University of Cambridge.

She lives with her husband and two children in London and attends St Barnabas Church, Dulwich, where she is, in her own words, an ‘enthusiastic if not talented’ member of the choir.


  • David Emmott says:

    Is she related to the Minghellas of film direction and ice-cream fame?

  • Anthony Archer says:

    Good appointment.

  • Froghole says:

    @David Emmott: Yes she is. Anthony was her brother. Depressing to think that he died 9 years ago.

    She is a joint editor of a guide to FSMA. It seems that she has no fund management experience, although she has 13/14 years’ experience at the coal face of financial services regulation. Actually, Sir Andreas Whittam Smith seems to have been the first First Commissioner to have had substantive professional experience in stock picking (if not necessarily fund management) as editor of the Investors’ Chronicle prior to his appointment.

    I agree that this is an excellent appointment.

  • Geraldine Campbell says:

    The best R4 Lent talk I’ve ever heard was given by Loretta Minghella – moving, articulate, thoughtful…..I’ve never forgotten it.

  • Bernard Silverman says:

    Successively referring to Ms Minghella as “Loretta” in the press release is either sexism (because a man would not have been so referenced) or an attempt to convey an inappropriate atmosphere of “chumminess” to what is a very serious and important role. Full marks to the appointing committee, but the press office could do better….

  • Andrew Godsall says:

    Bernard: It would be unlikely that the press office would have published without checking she was happy with it, and it’s probably just that ‘Loretta’ is how she asked to be known.

    Secondly, and I think more importantly, I believe it’s essential that christian organisations use christian names. Why wouldn’t they?

  • Bernard says:

    Andrew. I’ve looked out the Church of England’s press release about the appointment of William Nye. He’s referred to, throughout either as “William Nye” or “Mr Nye”!

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