We hope it goes without saying that all trustees of charities, in this case the members of Christ Church Governing Body, are aware of their responsibilities and have been offered suitable training. The key guidance is available at


To comply with their legal obligations all trustees must act in the charity’s best interests, deal with conflicts of interest, manage the charity’s resources responsibly, implement appropriate financial controls, manage risks, act with reasonable care and skill, and take appropriate advice when necessary.

The Charity Commission lists some useful questions which trustees should ask themselves. They are not reproduced in full here, but some are strikingly relevant to deliberations at Christ Church as it manages the various processes involving the Dean:

  • have we recently reviewed our performance as a trustee body?
  • are we using our time together as a board efficiently and effectively? do we read the accounts, reports and other background material before the meeting?
  • are we aware of the importance of effective communication and negotiation with those with an interest in our charity – these could be donors, supporters, beneficiaries, staff and volunteers?
  • do we have sufficient oversight and knowledge of the activities of external people and organisations acting on our behalf?
  • do we know what, if any, conflicts of interests might affect our decision making?