Meet the trustees of The Charles Plater Trust

Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Archbishop of Westminster

Vincent Nichols was ordained to the Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Liverpool on the 21st of December 1969. He served for eight years as the General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and was ordained Bishop of North London in 1992. In 1998, he was appointed Chairman of the Bishops’ Conference Department for Catholic Education and Formation, and also Chairman of the Catholic Education Service. He was installed as Archbishop of Birmingham on the 29th of March 2000. 
He was installed as Archbishop of Westminster on the 21st of May 2009 and appointed President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales thereafter. On the 16th December 2013 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for Bishops and created a Cardinal on the 22nd of February 2014. He also serves as the first Chancellor of St Mary’s University Twickenham. 

Bishop Paul McAleenan

Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster

I lead the Office of Migration Policy on the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. OMP is a section of the International Department. It was in this capacity that I was invited to be a Trustee of the Charles Plater Trust. As an Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster with responsibility for Caritas, which is dedicated to social justice and the implementation of Catholic Social Teaching, there is an overlap with my work on the Bishops’ Conference. Both roles demand that one operates from the perspective of promoting and advancing the dignity of all. A defining aspect of the Plater Trust is the desire to develop social justice through education. It is this thread of Catholic Social Teaching and how it can be furthered in ways that make a difference to the lives of individuals which led to my position on the Board.

Dr Catherine Sexton

Catherine has had substantial experience of grant-making and assessment, both from within international development agencies (VSO and CAFOD) and as a freelance consultant within the sector to agencies such as Comic Relief and the former DFID. She also has a PhD in Practical Theology, exploring understandings of ministry among elderly Catholic, women religious in the UK. She recently led a three-year collaborative research project between Durham University’s Centre for Catholic Studies (CCS) and the Margaret Beaufort Institute on the future sustainability of religious life for women in Eastern Africa. She currently works as a post-doctoral research associate at the CCS.

Michael Walsh

Michael is an economist who was Head of the International Department of the Trades Union Congress when the TUC played a leading part in supporting trade union organisations in Southern Africa and Poland where these union organisations were crucial agents of a peaceful transition to democratic political systems. He was a member of the Governing Body of Plater College Oxford and has served as a member of the Grant Making Body of the Charles Plater Trust since 2007 and as a trustee since December 2017. He is a volunteer for the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development and a board member of other charities seeking to meet urgent community needs in Britain and overseas.

Cathy Corcoran OBE

Cathy was the CEO of the Cardinal Hume Centre in Westminster until 2018. The Centre works with homeless young people, families in need, refugees and migrants, helping them access the support that they need to overcome the barriers facing them. Prior to that, Cathy worked for CAFOD for 25 years, latterly as International Director, responsible for a multi-million pound budget for development programmes and emergency response across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Cathy is currently a Trustee of Pact (Prison Advice and Care Trust) and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Richard Hopper

Richard began his career as a Merchant Navy officer and operations management in the shipping industry. More recently, Richard brings cross sector experience leading. organisational change in the public, private and charitable sectors for the last 20 years. He works with several Catholic organisations, helping them focus and develop their practice and organisational culture. He was a Trustee of the Cardinal Hume Centre for 9 years and Charles Plater Trust for 4 years. He is deeply committed to translating Catholic Social Teaching into practice and is excited by the potential that funding from the Charles Plater Trust can support at local level to make lasting impact.