Honorary Office-Holders

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal

Patron

HRH The Princess Royal became the patron of Scotland’s Churches Scheme, one of our two parent charities, in 2003, taking up the role previously occupied by Her Late Majesty the Queen Mother, who had been the Patron of the Scheme since 1995.

In addition to joining us at our biennial “Gathering” events, to meet representatives of our member churches and the “Friends” of our Trust, she has also very kindly provided the prefaces to several of our regional church guides and she meets with the chair of our trustees from time to time to discuss our work and the current goings-on within Scotland’s ecclesiastical built heritage.

We are grateful to Her Royal Highness for her continuing support and commitment to our Trust and our various activities safeguarding, championing and promoting Scotland’s magnificent ecclesiastical built heritage.

 

Rt Rev Dr John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh

Rt Rev Dr John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh

Vice-President

The Rt Rev Dr John Armes was consecrated as 26th Bishop of Edinburgh on 12 May 2012. Prior to this, he was rector of St John the Evangelist Church, Princes Street, Edinburgh and Dean of the Diocese of Edinburgh and before he moved to Edinburgh in 1998, he was Area Dean of Rossendale and Priest in Charge of Goodshaw and Crawshawbooth in the Diocese of Manchester.

He has played an active role in the activities of Scotland’s Churches Trust since 2018 when he became one of our Honorary Vice-Presidents. 

Robin Blair CVO

Robin Blair CVO

President

Robin is a former Lord Lyon King of Arms of Scotland (2001-2008) and is a retired solicitor, having been a senior partner with Dundas & Wilson and then Turcan Connell. From 1988 to 2001 he also held the role of the Purse Bearer to the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He remains a member of the Royal Company of Archers (the King’s Bodyguard in Scotland).

He became involved with Scotland’s Churches Scheme in its early days and became chair of its trustees in 1996. He was still chair at the time of the Scheme’s merger with the Scottish Architectural Heritage Trust in 2012, forming Scotland’s Churches Trust, becoming the chairperson of the new combined entity, in which role he remained until 2015.  

In 2017, following the death of Lady Marion Fraser, Robin became our Honorary President, in which role he chairs our Annual General Meetings.

Prof Andrew Calder MBE

Prof Andrew Calder MBE

Vice-President

Andrew is Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Edinburgh. He is also an Honorary Professor of the St Andrews University Medical School. 

A graduate of Glasgow University, he undertook a Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford before returning to Glasgow, where he became a Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in the Royal Infirmary. He moved to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in 1986 and would become the founding Director of the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory and the Tommy’s Centre for Pregnancy Research in the Queen’s Medical Research Institute in the city.

He retired from his clinical and academic appointments in 2009. He is a former chair of the Academy of Royal Colleges and Faculties in Scotland and of Tenovus Scotland, a charity that raises funds to support young and early-stage researchers working in medical science.

Andrew first got involved with Scotland’s Churches Trust as trustee in 2012, quickly becoming chair of our Communications Committee. He served as chair of our trustees from 2015 to 2019 and he became an Honorary Vice-President in May 2020.

Prof John R. Hume OBE

Prof John R. Hume OBE

Vice-President

John is an architectural and business historian, author, photographer and artist. He spent twenty years at the University of Strathclyde lecturing on economic and industrial history, before taking up the role of Principal Inspector of Ancient Monuments, and later Historic Buildings at Historic Scotland. He was Chief Inspector of Historic Buildings there until his retirement in 1999, when he became Chairperson of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, a post he held until 2015, when the Commission merged with Historic Scotland, becoming Historic Environment Scotland.

He holds honorary professorships from the University of Glasgow and the University of St Andrews, has authored multiple articles, books and other publications about Scotland’s industrial and ecclesiastical built heritage. He donated his collection of over 40,000 photographs of Scottish buildings to HES Archives and has created the many hundreds of wonderful line drawings of church buildings that he kindly allowed us to use in our guide books and on member church pages on this site.

He has been heavily involved with the activities of SCT and of both of our parent charities for decades and became an Honorary Vice-President of our Trust in 2022.

Trustees

Mrs Annette Brydone

Mrs Annette Brydone

Trustee

Annette previously taught modern languages in a comprehensive school and has been a Blue Badge Scottish tourist guide in Edinburgh and beyond for many years.

Visits to churches and cathedrals during her childhood then studying architecture in greater detail while preparing for her various tourist guiding exams has inspired in her a keen interest and love for ecclesiastical buildings.

Annette became a trustee in 2021 and is a member of our Finance Sub-Committee.

Rev David Clark

Rev David Clark

Trustee

David served the Church of Scotland as a parish minister for 40 years, successively in Bridge of Allan, Cupar and Helensburgh. He was Clerk to the Presbytery of Dumbarton from 2011-2017 and Convener of the General Assembly’s Parish Appraisal Committee from 2003-2008, as well as being Vice-Convener of the Ministries Council and subsequently a member of the General Trustees.

He has always had an interest in Scottish and local history and enjoyed a spell as chair of the Helensburgh Heritage Trust. A Carnoustie boy, golf has been a lifelong passion and he was, for a time, captain of Cardross Golf Club. He now volunteers with Startup Stirling foodbank and the community council and a development trust in Doune.

David became a trustee in 2022.

Prof Adam Cumming

Prof Adam Cumming

Chair of the Trustees & Chair of our PR Sub-Committee

cAdam has over 40 years’ experience across the energetics field. Following his degrees from the University of Edinburgh, he worked for the MOD for many years, where he oversaw the technical content of the UK energetics research programme, gaining international recognition as a Subject Matter Expert in Energetic Systems and their application. He has authored many works and edited several academic books in his field and in 2013 he was given an Honorary Professorship by the University of Edinburgh’s School of Chemistry.

He has had a life-long interest in church architecture and history and this led him to become a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland as well as taking on memberships of other related heritage organisations. He has lectured on Scottish church architecture to the National Trust for Scotland amongst others.  

Adam was initially a Friend of Scotland’s Churches Trust and a regular volunteer, before joining our board of trustees in 2019. He became its chairperson in October 2022.

MAJ Jamie Erskine MBE

MAJ Jamie Erskine MBE

Trustee & Chair of our Finance Sub-Committee

Jamie grew up in rural Aberdeenshire before embarking upon a career in the army, gaining a commission in the Black Watch in 1976. He retired from the Regular Army in 2006, but went on to become the Deputy Commandant and then Commandant of the Black Watch Battalion Army Cadet Force, before being appointed its Honorary Colonel in 2022.

He is currently employed as the Regimental Secretary of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in Edinburgh Castle and is a member of the King’s Body Guard for Scotland (The Royal Company of Archers).

Jamie has been involved with Scotland’s Churches Trust since 2014 in a variety of roles and served as the chair of our trustees from 2019-2022. He is currently chair of our Finance Sub-Committee and our Hon Treasurer.

Andrew Forbes

Andrew Forbes

Trustee & Chair of our Organ Sub-Committee

Andrew is Director of Music at Glasgow Cathedral and has a well-earned reputation as an innovative Scottish organist with his imaginative performances of favourite masterpieces and his frequent collaborations with contemporary composers.  

Appointed at Glasgow Cathedral aged 21, Andrew is a First Prize winner of the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition, a shortlisted finalist at St Albans International Organ Competition, an Associate of the Royal College of Organists, and winner of the RCS Prize for Early Music.

In addition to his duties at Glasgow Cathedral, Andrew enjoys a varied career across many keyboard instruments, mixing solo concerts with chamber and orchestral performances. He is also one of the principal drivers behind the Sowne of Organe project, surveying Scotland’s most significant (and endangered) historical organs. 

Andrew joined as a trustee in 2023 and is currently in the process of reforming our Organ Sub-Committee.

Carole MacBride

Carole MacBride

Trustee

Carole is a retired pharmacist who now devotes a great deal of her time volunteering as the property convener at one of our member churches, St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Dalmahoy.

She brings to our board of trustees a wealth of practical and lived experience in the day-to-day management of a busy, historic church in contemporary Scotland and the extensive fund-raising skillset local congregations and communities require to maintain their buildings and successfully sustain them, that they might be passed down to future generations.

Carole became a Trustee in 2022 and is also a member of our Finance Sub-Committee.

Dr Jeff Sanders

Dr Jeff Sanders

Trustee

Jeff works for the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland as the head of the outreach for “Dig It!” a national network of community archaeology projects. As a consequence he spends a lot of time explaining what an antiquarian is!

He has extensive experience of complex, multi-personnel projects with a focus on heritage research and promotion, focusing heavily on all aspects of getting people involved with Scotland’s heritage in innovative and, most importantly, fun ways.

Jeff joined our trustees in 2023 and is a member of our PR Sub-Committee

Caroline Sibbald

Caroline Sibbald

Trustee

Caroline joined the Edinburgh New Town Conservation Committee in 1979.   ENTCC later became Edinburgh World Heritage, formed after Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns were inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1995. The new body continued to offer grants for the conservation of historic buildings within the World Heritage Site, monitor conservation standards and developed a new role in raising awareness of the significance of the Site through education and interpretation.

As Company Secretary, Caroline worked directly with the trustees and the requirements of charity governance until 2016. Since retiring she became a trustee of the Edinburgh Decorative & Fine Arts Society (EDFAS).

Caroline joined our board of trustees in 2022 and is a member of our Church Grants Committee. 

Dr Lizzie Swarbrick

Dr Lizzie Swarbrick

Trustee

Lizzie’s academic research focusses on high and late medieval Scotland, and explores a variety of media related to the pre-Reformation church, including architecture, sculpture, furnishings, tombs, paintings, music, and liturgical performances. 

Lizzie is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Art History at the University of Edinburgh. She is working on a scholarly reappraisal of that most infamous of Scottish churches, Rosslyn Chapel. She studied for her PhD on Scotland’s 49 pre-Reformation collegiate churches in St Andrews. She has published on Scottish late medieval churches and their afterlives in popular culture, and speaks widely about their importance.

She joined our trustees in 2023 and is a member of our PR Sub-Committee.

 

Ros Taylor RIBA

Ros Taylor RIBA

Trustee & Chair of our Grants Sub-Committee

Ros has been a practicing architect for over 20 years and is a partner in Tod & Taylor Architects, which specialises in alterations and extensions to existing buildings throughout Scotland.

Being conservation accredited by the RIAS to the highest level, she has worked on many Grade A Listed buildings and finds repairs to historic buildings particularly rewarding. As climate change increases its impacts on the planet, Ros is passionate about the need to both adapt and preserve our building stock, to reduce our carbon footprints and make our church and other buildings much more resilient and sustainable for the future.

Ros first became involved with Scotland’s Churches Trust in 2017 as a member of our Church Grants Sub-Committee. She became a trustee in 2019 and took up the role of chair of the Grants Committee that same year.

Office team

Dr DJ Johnston-Smith

Dr DJ Johnston-Smith

Director

DJ is a heritage professional with academic research specialisms in the dislocation and domicide experienced by communities in post-war Edinburgh and the archaeological and historic landscape of the south-west Scottish Highlands.

His life-long passion for Scotland’s built heritage developed during his early years growing-up in the Scottish Highlands and on the island of Islay and was further strengthened during his university studies in Glasgow and Edinburgh. This abiding love of Scotland’s history and heritage has influenced many aspects of his career since, including his time spent as an historical consultant, in local and national politics, as a community activist, and in the service sector, where he spent many years managing some of Scotland’s best-known hostelries.

He joined Scotland’s Churches Trust as Director in 2022.

Graeme Green

Graeme Green

Office Administrator

Graeme has spent his career as an IT consultant and office administrator in the charity sector. He has worked for the Trust since 2018.

He has always had a love for Scotland’s rich heritage of castles, churches and graveyards. Many of his social media posts are taken from clippings collected in a scrapbook he started when he was 13.