Board & Committee

Alan Yates

President, Board of Directors

Alan is an engineer by training and a management consultant by profession. He has a first-class honours degree in Electronics Engineering from University College, London and a Fellowship in…

Alan Yates

President, Board of Directors

Alan is an engineer by training and a management consultant by profession. He has a first-class honours degree in Electronics Engineering from University College, London and a Fellowship in Manufacturing Management from Cranfield.

He was born in South Shields but has lived in or around London ever since leaving college.Until recently he was an Associate Partner with IBM specialising in Supply Chain and Logistics, with more than 45 years’industrial and consulting experience across most sectors, including the finance and charity sectors.His basic discipline is Supply Chain, with specific expertise in strategy development, process transformation and operating model design.He is a skilled project director, having gained experience in the full project lifecycle from strategy to implementation. Alan is an Elder and lay preacher in the United Reformed Church and was Moderator of the General Assembly from 2016 to 2018.

At present, he is convenor of the URC’s Education and Learning Committee (responsible for denomination-wide training and development of both lay and ordained people).In addition, he convenes the risk management task group and the Legacies of Transatlantic Slavery task group.

In his spare time, he enjoys travelling to new places, cycling, badminton and dinghy sailing.

John Rowland

Secretary, Board of Directors

John is a consultant with over a decade of experience advising large financial services organisations in London and Washington D.C. on political risk and regulatory reform. John knows Churches…

John Rowland

Secretary, Board of Directors

John is a consultant with over a decade of experience advising large financial services organisations in London and Washington D.C. on political risk and regulatory reform.

John knows Churches Mutual well, having been a member of its advisory panel since 2016 before election to the board in January 2018. In that capacity he was a source of external advice and challenge to the board and management of the Credit Union.

He continues to support Churches Mutual in its important mission to provide sustainable finance to church members across the country. He has a particular interest in how Churches Mutual can use technology to increase efficiency and reach members more effectively.

He holds a BSc in Government from the London School of Economics and an MSc in Public Policy from University College London. He worships at St George's Hanover Square, London, where is a member of the PCC and Finance Committee.

John Ellis

Treasurer, Board of Directors

John was brought up in Exeter and was a teenage Church Treasurer. He was awarded a Senior Scholarship by King’s College, Cambridge, and received a First Class Honours degree in Economics. He worked…

John Ellis

Treasurer, Board of Directors

John was brought up in Exeter and was a teenage Church Treasurer. He was awarded a Senior Scholarship by King’s College, Cambridge, and received a First Class Honours degree in Economics. He worked for the Bank of England for twenty years in a wide variety of roles. When the Financial Services Authority was established, he was one of the first Heads of Department there.

From 2000-12 he was employed by the Methodist Church. Initially he worked on the Church’s relationship with business and economics. He was later appointed one of four Strategic Leaders and led the whole Methodist staff team.

John has been an Elder of the United Reformed Church since 1981. He was the Treasurer of the URC from 2007 to 2017 and was Moderator of the General Assembly from 2013 to 2016. From 2016-20 he was Treasurer of the Council for World Mission, a partnership of Churches in 40 countries with roots in the British missionary movement. He was elected to the Supervisory Committee by the 2017 AGM and to the Board of Directors in 2021.

Ian Buchanan

Member, Board of Directors

Ian Buchanan was ordained as an Elder in the Church of Scotland and subsequently served in several URC churches after moving south of the border. He graduated from the University of Glasgow with…

Ian Buchanan

Member, Board of Directors

Ian Buchanan was ordained as an Elder in the Church of Scotland and subsequently served in several URC churches after moving south of the border.

He graduated from the University of Glasgow with an honours degree in History, before completing a Diploma in Management Studies at the then Slough College of Technology.

A business executive, with 21 years’ experience in marketing consumer products and general management, he had a second career, over 16 years, as a partner/director in a search and selection consultancy. On retiring from his business career he spent 8 years as a part-time university lecturer at Newcastle Business School and Newcastle University Business School.

Ian is married with three children and six grandchildren.

Uell Kennedy

Member, Board of Directors and Money Laundering Reporting Officer

After a science degree at university, Uell worked for a short time with young people. He then joined the Building Society industry and after extensive retail experience, he specialised in the life,…

Uell Kennedy

Member, Board of Directors and Money Laundering Reporting Officer

After a science degree at university, Uell worked for a short time with young people. He then joined the Building Society industry and after extensive retail experience, he specialised in the life, unit trust and general insurance sector.

He then spent a few years as Marketing Manager specialising in pension and general insurance products and attended Bradford University Management Centre. After further regional retail experience in banking, Uell then managed a team of specialist wealth advisers and was a qualified Investment Manager. Uell became a Methodist Local Preacher in the early 1990's.

In 2007, Uell was ordained and is both an SSM and an Associate Presbyter in the Methodist Church.Until retirement in 2017 Uell was with the Diocese of Leeds, specialising in development work,fundraising and stewardship advice. He is an accredited trainer in the Institute of Fundraising.

Uell has been involved with Churches Mutual since long before launch.

Jeremy Palmer

Member, Board of Directors & Chair of Credit & Risk Committee

Jeremy Palmer has been part of the Churches Mutual project almost from its beginning in 2010. He belongs to a parish in the Anglican diocese of Southwark. His work experience covers regulatory…

Jeremy Palmer

Member, Board of Directors & Chair of Credit & Risk Committee

Jeremy Palmer has been part of the Churches Mutual project almost from its beginning in 2010. He belongs to a parish in the Anglican diocese of Southwark.

His work experience covers regulatory policy, including for Credit Unions, at the former Financial Services Authority. He is familiar with the challenges and opportunities faced by the wider Credit Union sector.

He currently works part--time as Head of Financial Policy for the Building Societies Association. At Churches Mutual he chairs the Credit and Risk Committee.

Jeremy was re-elected to Churches Mutual's Board for a three year period at the first AGM in January 2016.

Charles Sim

Member, Board of Directors

Charles Sim has been active in a number of Credit Unions as a member, volunteer, office-bearer and committee member over the past thirty years. He brings direct experience of the challenges of…

Charles Sim

Member, Board of Directors

Charles Sim has been active in a number of Credit Unions as a member, volunteer, office-bearer and committee member over the past thirty years. He brings direct experience of the challenges of operating and controlling Credit Unions across different types of common bond.

Charles has been involved with the Credit Union trade association ABCUL, as a member of the Legislation and Regulation Panel, and regularly participates in the ABCUL Regional Forums and the Cross Party Group at the Scottish Parliament.

A elder in the Church of Scotland and a passionate advocate of Credit Unions, Charles enjoys the opportunity this gives him to speak with faith groups around Scotland about all Credit Unions which operate in their locality. This important outreach work has resulted in greater understanding of the changes Churches Mutual faces in reaching the wider church.

Dave Thomson

Chair, Supervisory Committee

Dave Thomson Chairs Churches Mutual’s Supervisory Committee, the Credit Union equivalent of an audit committee. Following university (Salford) where he read Politics and History, Dave qualified as…

Dave Thomson

Chair, Supervisory Committee

Dave Thomson Chairs Churches Mutual's Supervisory Committee, the Credit Union equivalent of an audit committee.

Following university (Salford) where he read Politics and History, Dave qualified as an accountant with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

He is an experienced Internal Audit manager, initially within local government but mostly in financial services with the Co-operative Insurance Society and, later, the Co-operative Bank (following the merger of the two businesses). Dave has served as a member of the Audit Committee (2001 - 2016) for the Co-operative College, an educational charity.

Ordained in 2007, Dave is currently Vicar of Ainsworth (a parish on the edge of the West Pennine Moors within the Diocese of Manchester) and Borough Dean for Bury. (Photo - Phil Taylor)

Nigel Bourne

Member, Supervisory Committee

Nigel is the Vicar of Chalk in Kent, a post he has held since 1998. Brought up on a council estate and attending local state comprehensive schools, Nigel won a place at St John’s College, Oxford…

Nigel Bourne

Member, Supervisory Committee

Nigel is the Vicar of Chalk in Kent, a post he has held since 1998. Brought up on a council estate and attending local state comprehensive schools, Nigel won a place at St John’s College, Oxford where he gained a degree in Engineering Science. He was an Engineer Officer in the Royal Navy before ordination and also holds a Masters degree in Business Administration with a specialism in Finance.

For several years he was a member of his Diocesan Finance Committee and a Trustee of a Christian charity working with vulnerable children in Zambia. He was a member of the Church of England Pensions Board 2009-2021, also serving on several committees of the Board including Board Development, Pensions and Housing. He was Vice-President of Churches Mutual and its prior steering group 2012- 2019.

Nigel is married to Sue who is a qualified teacher but who often acts as an unpaid curate. They have one grown up child and they know, at first hand, how helpful Churches Mutual can be in saving for the future and offering loans at fair rates.

Antony MacRow-Wood

Member, Supervisory Committee

Antony MacRow-Wood studied Politics and Economic and Social History at York University before moving to Bristol to train as a Chartered Accountant. Once there he worked first for Deloittes and then…

Antony MacRow-Wood

Member, Supervisory Committee

Antony MacRow-Wood studied Politics and Economic and Social History at York University before moving to Bristol to train as a Chartered Accountant. Once there he worked first for Deloittes and then Rolls Royce (aero-engines). He trained for ministry at Cambridge, studying at Westcott House and the University.

After ordination in 1992 he served as a curate and team vicar in Urban Priority Area parishes in Swindon and Weymouth. Before moving to Poole in 2004 to become a Team Rector and then subsequently Archdeacon of Dorset in 2015.

He has a long-standing involvement with the Credit Union movement after helping set up a Credit Union in his first parish and been President of First Dorset Credit Union.

He served on the Board of the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd. (ABCUL) from 2002 to 2012 and was National President for the final three years. He stepped down from the ABCUL Board to help bring to fruition the plans for Churches Mutual Credit Union.

Having served as President of the Board of Directors since the launch, he stood down from the board in January 2022 however continues to use his expertise as a member of the supervisory committee.