Loretta Minghella, chief executive of Christian Aid, is leaving her role after seven years.
Downing Street announced Minghella as the next first church estates commissioner yesterday. The role involves chairing the Church Commissioners’ assets committee, with responsibility for managing the organisation’s £7.9bn investment portfolio.
Minghella is due to take up her non-executive position on 1 November, where she will work two days a week. She said she was “honoured” to have been chief executive of Christian Aid since April 2010 and would be able to build on this experience at her new role.
“The main attraction is to be able to contribute to the church’s role in helping people find meaning in the love and life of Jesus Christ, generating and maintaining funding for the church and guiding its leadership role in the ethical and responsible investment of its assets,” she said.
“Whilst Sir Andreas Whittam Smith will be a tough act to follow, I know there is a highly talented team at Church House. I am looking forward to working with them and my fellow commissioners in the service of the church.”
Dr Rowan Williams, chair of Christian Aid’s trustees, said Minghella would bring a “unique set of skills and passions” to her new role.
“We are very sad to lose such a wonderfully talented chief executive, but we know that she leaves an organisation in good heart, with a clear and transformative vision of the future. Our debt to her is huge, and we send her on her way with the greatest gratitude,” he said.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, welcomed Minghella’s appointment and described her as a “hugely skilled and distinguished leader with an exceptional record of service”.
“She has significant experience in the financial markets, law and charity sector and has an outstanding track record in business, investment and economic affairs,” he said.
See in Charity Finance
Dispute between organisations
Christian Aid has been critical of the Church Commissioners in recent years, particularly its failure to disinvest from fossil fuels.
Minghella’s appointment could suggest a change in investment approach for the Church Commissioners, although she is already a member of the organisation’s ethical investment advisory group.
The Commissioners said in a statement: “We are delighted she will be bringing this experience to the role, and have always welcomed dialogue with other Christian organisations on these important matters.”