‘Meet’ the Trustee Team, and find out what we are about in our ‘Life as a Marriage Care Trustee‘ video, or read about our members below

Mrs Sheila Don

Appointed 08.10.2015

After qualifying as an accountant with the CIPFA, Sheila spent her career with Cumbria County Council, much within adult social care. She is presently secretary of the North West Retired Accountants Group and works as a Lay judge for the Employment Tribunal Service. She currently volunteers as deputy chair of governors at her local primary school and is also a Chaperone, FOCCUS Facilitator and Head of Centre for the Marriage Care Carlisle Centre.


Mr Nigel Dorning

Appointed 01.04.2011

Mr Dorning worked for 35 years in the Lloyds insurance market holding senior positions with leading companies in the broking and underwriting fields. Having recently retired Nigel currently acts as advisor to several Lloyds related businesses. He is a member of the Finance Committee.


Reverend Roger Carr-Jones (Chairman)

Appointed 16.10.2019

Roger was appointed as the Marriage and Family Life Coordinator for the Diocese of Westminster in August 2018 and is the President’s nominee to the board of trustees. Roger brings to this role a wealth of pastoral and practical experience, having worked as an Internal Auditor in the Public Sector and then in Project work within the Church. Ordained as a Permanent Deacon in 2008, Roger is a trained Spiritual Director in the Ignatian Tradition. Roger has been involved in Marriage Preparation, enrichment and accompaniment for a number of years.


Dr Clare Watkins

Appointed 25.02.2014

Dr. Clare Watkins is Reader in Ecclesiology and Practical Theology at the University of Roehampton, where she is also Director of the Theology and Action Research Network. Her research is committed to practical engagement with faith life, in order to better understand and speak about church, sacraments, and – especially – the life of lay Christians. A Catholic theologian, Clare has been especially interested in marriage and the household as expressions of ‘domestic church’.


Mrs Annie Dunster

Appointed 06.12.2018

Annie has spent over 25 years working with the international legal profession, and for a number of years was the Deputy Executive Director of the International Bar Association, the world’s largest association of lawyers.  She is currently the Executive Director of the International Academy of Family Lawyers.   Since 2007 Annie and her husband have served as facilitators of the Marriage Preparation courses in their local parish.


Mrs Susan Hayman

Appointed 03.03.2020

Susan has worked in Learning & Development for retailers internationally, coming to England from America. She currently works as an account manager and qualified HR specialist. Her background in recruitment, training, communications and customer experience has helped her deliver on our Marriage Preparation courses for several years. As an experienced course facilitator, she delivers dynamic training to our clients in Manchester and Trafford.


Mrs Ruth Holmes

Appointed 27.10.2022

Ruth was employed in the voluntary sector for over 15 years in a range of managerial roles with national charities including Regional Fundraising Manager, Director of Fundraising and Publicity, and lastly Deputy Chief Executive. A former member of the Institute of Fundraising, her expertise is in fundraising strategy and securing grants from statutory and trust sources. She then worked as a self-employed charity consultant and trainer before taking early retirement in 2017. She is the founder, chair of trustees and administrator of a grant making trust which gives support to music-focused registered charities. She was previously a trustee of a national charity supporting adults with a hearing loss, and a member of the management committee of Lincolnshire North Marriage Care.


Mrs Denise Wilkinson

Appointed 03.03.2020

Denise has been a volunteer with Marriage Care for over 7 years as a FOCCUS facilitator, Marriage Preparation Course Coordinator and Head of Centre. She worked in IT for 40 years, mainly being involved with all aspects of technology, project management and change management and has used these skills to help develop our client/volunteer database, one of our most essential tools.


Mrs Catherine Macfarlane

Appointed 03.03.2020

Catherine is a retired HR professional, with experience in leadership and management development. She has previously also worked for Marriage Care as a Volunteer Recruitment Manager and now fills the volunteer role of Head of Centre Peer Mentor. She is also an active Marriage Preparation Course facilitator and also trains MPCFs.


Mr Charles King

Appointed 19.05.2022

Charles joined a newly formed marriage preparation team in Oxford in 1990, and for 25 years developed new approaches and understanding in the preparation of engaged couples for marriage. In 2008 Charles joined the Marriage Care management team in Oxford and in 2010 became Chair of Oxford Centre, leaving the role in 2013/4.

Charles’ professional career has comprised an international R&D background with Blue Chip companies and, following a 3-year secondment to the USA in ‘98, a move to the world of deep tech start-ups. He has co-founded two ventures: a project on flat screen technology and another in a virtual reality start-up. Charles read Physics at university, has a PhD in the Science of Materials, is a Fellow of IOM3 and a Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence.


Mr Adrian Toothe

Appointed 19.05.2022

Adrian spent over 35 years as a British diplomat undertaking a wide range of political and administrative roles in the UK and abroad. Adrian has his own coaching and consultancy company. He has been a Volunteer with Marriage Care since 1990.


Mr Merill Withanage

Appointed 26.01.2023

Since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (ACMA), Merill has worked in the finance field for over 40 years in various locations, cultures and business environments. Having recently decided to take a step back from full time employment, he now offers his expertise as an independent management consultant. Merill is also an active Marriage Preparation Course Facilitator and Volunteer Member of the Gwent Centre.