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University Council

University Council is responsible for managing the business and affairs of the University. This includes determining our mission and policies as well as ensuring the financial solvency of the institution. All plans for academic work, the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor and the Rectorate team, as well as the level of tuition fees, must be agreed by the Council. 

Council members

Revd Peter Winn

Revd Dr Sheryl Anderson

The Right Reverend Paul Bayes

Dr John Bennett

Sr Dr Mary Charles-Murray SND

Ms Kira Cox

Mr Mike Gilbertson

Dr Simon Hulme

Fr Chris McCoy

Mr Charles Mills

Dr Arthur Naylor

Mr John Norbury

Professor Gerald Pillay 

Professor Nicholas Rees

Professor Hilary Russell 

Mrs Diane Shaw

Cllr Nick Small

Mrs Maggie Swinson

Professor Sonja Tiernan

Professor Ian Vandewalle

Sr Margaret Walsh SND

Judge Graham Wood

 Revd Peter Winn

Revd Peter Winn

I’m a Parish Priest of the Church of England Diocese of Liverpool. My church is St Margaret’s in Anfield -  I’ve been there for twelve years. 

I am also the Chair of the University's Audit Committee.

 Sheryl Anderson University Council

Revd Dr Sheryl Anderson

I am the Chair of the Liverpool Methodist District, an appointment that I took up in September 2014. I have a background in teaching and social work, specialising in work with young offenders. Immediately prior to entering the Methodist ministry I was responsible for young offender services for South East Kent. I have been a Methodist presbyter for nearly twenty years, serving as a circuit minister in appointments on the South Coast of England and in London.  

For nine years I was Director of the South London Mission - a long established Methodist social outreach agency - and ministered to a largely West African congregation at Bermondsey Central Hall Methodist Church.  Before moving to Liverpool I served in the Methodist Connexional Team, where I was responsible for administering the church's processes in relation to training for ordained ministry in the British Methodist Church.

I am committed to life-long learning, and have an MA in the Philosophy of Religion and a Doctorate in Theology and Ministry, both from King's College London.

 Revd Paul Bayes

The Right Revd Paul Bayes

I am the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool. Originally from Bradford, I gained my first degree in Drama from Birmingham University and then stayed in Birmingham to engage in postgraduate theological study and to train for ministry at the ecumenical Queen’s College.

I was ordained in 1979, serving as a curate in Whitley Bay, Tyneside, before moving to London as a University chaplain. While in London I served as national co-chair of Christian CND and, together with my wife Kate, was heavily involved in what was then called the Ecology Party, now the Greens.

After five years in London I moved to High Wycombe, where I ministered as Team Vicar and then Team Rector. In 1995 I went to Totton, on the edge of Southampton, where I served as Team Rector. After almost ten years in Totton, and twenty-five years in pastoral ministry, I moved to work for the Archbishop’s Council in London as the Church of England’s National Mission and Evangelism advisor. 

In 2010 I was invited to move to the Diocese of St Albans as Bishop of Hertford.

I became Bishop of Liverpool in 2014.

0019 Dr John Bennett

Dr John Bennett

I graduated from Bretton Hall, University of Leeds in 1979 with an honours degree in Drama. I returned to Bretton to complete a PGCE in Drama and English (with distinction) in 1981-82. Appointed to Liverpool Hope in 1990, I embarked on an MA and graduated in Creative Writing from the University of Lancaster in 1993. I have a PhD from the University of Reading; my thesis was entitled,' A Good Night Out?: The Popular Theatre of John Godber'. I specialise in contemporary popular theatre and am Course Leader for Level H Contemporary British Popular and Mainstream Theatre and the Dissertation; I have taught Playwriting and Devising and teach research methods to Level I Drama students.

I am the award director for the MA Contemporary British Popular Theatres course. I am on the register of practitioners of the Higher Education Academy. My expertise in John Godber was a factor in the appointment of Godber as visiting professor of Contemporary Theatre at the university and I created the official John Godber website,

I have lectured on various aspects of John Godber’s work in London, Krakow, New York and Angers and published articles and book chapters on the work of the Hull Truck Theatre, Willy Russell, the Royal Court Liverpool and Alan Ayckbourn.


 Dr. M. Charles-Murray SND

Sr Mary Charles-Murray

I am a Sister of Notre Dame and have worked in two universities. I was the Reader in Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham and then a member of the Theology Faculty of the University of Oxford. My subject is ecclesiastical history, particularly that of the early Church. In my capacity as a patristic theologian I served on the Catholic/ Methodist International Ecumenical Dialogue as part of the Vatican representation. As a member of the Order, which is one of its founding institutions, I have a particular interest in the development of Liverpool Hope University.

 ‌Ms Kira Cox
Ms Kira Cox
I have been elected President of Liverpool Hope Students’ Union for the 2016/17 Academic Year. My role includes sitting on University Council as a student governor to represent the student view, giving all students at Liverpool Hope a voice on how decisions are made. This helps the Union and the University maintain the strong working relationship we have, which benefits every single student.

The Students’ Union exists purely for the benefit of students. It is here to make sure students have a voice, and offers support and guidance on a range of issues, extra-curricular activities and volunteering opportunities around the city. We are independent from University but work closely with them to achieve results that are best for all of our students.

I graduated in July 2015 with a degree in Education Studies and Early Childhood, and  I hope to go on and complete a PGCE when my term as a Sabbatical Officer is over.

 ‌‌‌Mike Gilbertson

Mr Mike Gilbertson

Mike is a Senior Manager at Grant Thornton LLP and is a qualified Chartered Accountant.  He sits on the University's Audit Committee.

 Simon Hulme

Dr Simon Hulme

I was educated at Marling Grammar school in Gloucestershire, followed by undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in music at the University of Liverpool. I have a teaching qualification from Trinity College, London and a PhD in Schenkerian musical analysis from Bangor University.

I have taught in both private and state sectors, gaining leadership experience in a comprehensive school in North Wales before taking up the Headship at St Michael’s Church of England High School in Crosby.

I am the trustee of the ‘Dreams for Children ‘charity, the Governor of Sefton Virtual School (LAC) and the North-West representative on ASCL’s National Council. I am also a church organist.

 Father Chris McCoy

Fr Chris McCoy

I am a priest of the Archdiocese of Liverpool. Since ordination in 1977 I have worked in a variety of different ministries: parish work, 6 years in Peru, Chaplain to the Deaf, University Chaplain and then National Co-ordinator of University Chaplains. I returned to parish work in 2001 after having completed four years in Paris as International Chaplain to the International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS) which operates in 80 countries around the world.  In 2014 I was asked by the Archbishop of Liverpool to be his representative on the University Council.

 ‌Charles Mills

Mr Charles Mills

I was educated at St. Mary’s College, Liverpool and the Universities of Keele, London and Manchester reading Economics, Education, Psychology and Philosophy.

I have spent the vast majority of his professional life in Special Education in the voluntary, state and private sectors notably at Stamford House Regional Remand and Assessment Centre, as the Principal of Nugent House School and the Chief Executive of ‘The Witherslack Group of Schools’.

Alongside this, I have worked as an OfSTED Inspector, been part of the NPQH programme at the University of Manchester and was a Visiting Professor at the Josef Barczi Institute, University of Budapest.

In January 2010 I opened a day school, Olsen House, in Crosby for young people with social, emotional and behavioural disorders.

 Dr Arthur Naylor

Dr Arthur Naylor

Since September 2014 I have been working as the Higher Education Adviser at the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales. Between January 2013 and August 2014 I was Interim Principal and then first Vice-Chancellor of St Mary's University, Twickenham having been asked by the Board of Governors to return to St Mary's where I had served as Principal until October 2010. My final act in 2010 together with the Chair of Governors was to welcome Pope Benedict to St Mary's.

I am a graduate of Glasgow University in Mediaeval and Modern History followed by postgraduate degrees in Education. My doctoral research was on pastoral care structures in Secondary Schools in Scotland. After teaching History in secondary schools in the West of Scotland I lectured in Education and was a departmental head and Assistant Principal of Colleges which became the Faculty of Education at the University of Glasgow. I am also a graduate of Henley Management College where I completed a Masters degree in Business Administration.

In my time as Principal of St Mary's I served on a range of national bodies including the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, the Training and Development Agency for Schools, and the Joint Advisory Committee on Church Universities established by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

I am particularly interested in theatre in education having served for some years as Chair of the Richmond Theatre Trust and currently as a trustee of the Ambassador Theatre Group West End Trust. I am also currently a governor/Vice Chair of the Quest Academy, Croydon.

 John Norbury University Council

Mr John Norbury

I graduated in Law from Hull University in 1978. In 1979 I joined the Liverpool based stockbroking firm of Tilney and Co and have worked there ever since. During my time at Tilney I have held various senior positions including Chief Executive Officer and Chairman. The company is now known as the wealth management business Tilney Bestinvest. I am the Deputy Chairman of the Group. I am also a trustee of the company pension scheme.

My extra curricular interests have primarily been in education and golf. I have served as a governor of two schools; one state one private. I am now serving my second term as a Council member at Liverpool Hope.
I have served on committees of the R & A in St Andrews which is the governing body for world golf.

 ‌Professor Pillay


Professor Gerald Pillay 

I was born in the former British colony of Natal in South Africa and hold a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Rhodes University and a Doctor of Theology degree from the University of Durban. After lecturing at the University of Durban-Westville, I became Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of South Africa in 1988. 

In 1997 I became Foundation Professor and Head of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Otago University, New Zealand’s oldest University, based in Dunedin. In 1998, I was asked to serve as the first Head of Liberal Arts within that University. I have served in senior leadership roles at The University of South Africa and the Human Sciences Research Council in Pretoria and has lectured in several institutions abroad.

I joined Liverpool Hope University College as Rector in 2003 and become Liverpool Hope University’s first Vice-Chancellor in 2005 when the institution was given full university status.

In 2009, I was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Merseyside, assisting the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside in carrying out her role as the Queen’s representative on Merseyside. 

0197 Prof Nicholas Rees

Professor Nicholas Rees

I am Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Professor of International Politics and Contemporary History. I was formerly Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies at the National College of Ireland (Dublin) and founding Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Limerick (Ireland). My areas of research expertise include international relations, international peacekeeping, regionalism and international security, EU politics and external relations.

I have led and managed a number of large-scale EU funded research and teaching projects and have acted as referee and reviewer for leading academic journals and publishers. I have also held a number of key leadership positions in national and European research organisations. I have a strong record of innovative teaching and international research and have authored and edited four books, as well as having produced a number of conference proceedings, numerous book chapters and refereed journal articles.

 Professor Hilary Russell

Professor Hilary Russell 

I am Emeritus Professor of Urban Policy in Liverpool John Moores University. I have had extensive experience in evaluating and writing about urban regeneration and have worked for local, regional and national clients on a wide range of initiatives. 

I am an Anglican who has been widely involved in both Church of England and ecumenical bodies, nationally and locally. Since retiring, I have completed a study on Resourcing Christian Community Action for the Church of England General Synod and I am currently involved in Together for the Common Good, an initiative looking at how faith groups can best work together for social justice. 

A Lay Canon of Liverpool Cathedral, I am also a member of the following: the Church of England Dioceses Commission; Churches Together in the Merseyside Region Management Council; the Council of Mission in the Economy; the Council of the William Temple Foundation.

 ‌Diane Shaw

Mrs Diane Shaw

I recently retired as the Head teacher of Childwall C.E. Primary school in Liverpool.

Before being appointed head I was a deputy in a school on the Wirral but prior to that I had worked in other schools in Liverpool. In total I have worked in five primary schools, three of which were Church schools.

I am married to another Head Teacher of a church school and have two children both of whom are now teaching here in Liverpool primary schools.

I worship at Christ Church Higher Bebington and up until three years ago I was one of the Church Wardens, a position I held for six years.

 Nick Small

Cllr Nick Small

I am the Cabinet Member for Employment, Enterprise and Skills at Liverpool City Council and have been a City Councillor since 2004, representing Central Ward. 

I sit on the advisory board of Liverpool Vision, the city’s economic development agency and am a director of Liverpool Science Park.

I chair the Economic Development Forum of EUROCITIES, a network of 130 European cities, am a governor of City of Liverpool College and a director of First 4 Skills, one of the largest apprenticeship providers in the country.

I was born and grew up in Liverpool. I graduated with an MA in Politics from the University of Edinburgh and have an MBA in Business Finance and Management from the University of Liverpool. I worked as a management consultant for 11 years for Grant Thornton and KPM.

 Maggie Swinson


Mrs Maggie Swinson

I was appointed a Warrington trustee in the early 1990s. I did my MA in Ecclesiastical Theology at Liverpool Hope – my first degree, in Music, is from Liverpool University.

I’m a chartered accountant and I’m self-employed on a part time basis. I’ve been on the General Synod since 1985 and I’m Moderator of Churches Together in Great Britain and Ireland. At Hope, I’ve been on University Council for one year now and I’m also on the staff committee.

 Sonja Tiernan

Associate Professor Sonja Tiernan

I am from Ireland and received a PhD from University College Dublin in 2007. Before moving to Liverpool Hope University in 2011, I held fellowships at the National Library of Ireland, Trinity College Dublin and the University of Notre Dame USA. More recently, I was invited to act as the Peter O'Brien Visiting Scholar at the School of Irish Studies, Concordia University, Canada (2015-16.) 

I enjoy the opportunity of engaging with colleagues internationally and in this pursuit I have been awarded funding from major bodies including, the Irish Research Council, the National Endowment of the Humanities USA, the Royal Irish Academy, Trinity College Hub and the Canadian Irish Studies Foundation. My research area is modern Irish and British social history and my work appears in journals, monograph form and in peer reviewed edited volumes. My most notable publications focus on recovering the work of the Irish author and trade union activist Eva Gore-Booth.

I began my career at Liverpool Hope University as a Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow and progressed through to my current position as Associate Professor of Modern History. I am Head of the Department of History and Politics and teach across undergraduate and postgraduate levels in my research area. 

316 Dr Ian Vandewalle

Dr Ian Vandewalle


I joined Liverpool Hope University in 1989 as a Senior Lecturer in Sciences before moving to the post of MD Liverpool Hope Enterprises. In 2000, I was appointed Head of the Business School and then spent a further 6 years as Dean of Business and Computer Sciences before taking up the post of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Operations), with oversight of strategic management of resources and operational activities.  In addition, I have acted as Head of Health Sciences since 2011, Chair of Academic Committee, and continue as Director of Studies for research students within the Liverpool Hope Business School. 

 Margaret Walsh

Sr Margaret Walsh SND

I am a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur and have spent much of my career teaching Religious Education in secondary schools in Liverpool. More recently, I have taught Theology and ecumenical training for ministry.

I was Director of the Manchester Ecumenical Institute and am on the board of governors of St Julie’s and Stoneyhurst schools.


 Graham Wood

Judge Graham Wood

I was a barrister for 31 years and I’ve been a judge for nearly three years. I’m a Circuit Judge and Head of Civil Justice on Merseyside, responsible for St Helens, Wigan, Liverpool and Birkenhead.

I’ve been involved in secondary education governorship for nearly 15 years and I’m fairly new to tertiary governorship. I’m Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese of Liverpool;

I’m also a reader at All Saints Church, Childwall and former Chair of Governors at Liverpool College.