Five new managers have joined our staff this year, after some of our longest-serving members of staff retired or stepped down to take up new challenges.

Our Principal, Ed Newell, said, ‘We are immensely grateful to each of our outgoing staff for their invaluable work and dedication over so many years. We are also excited to have welcomed several, experienced new faces to our small and busy team, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of their contributions to our charitable work, over many years to come.’


Following the retirement of Martin Newlan, after 16 years of service as Bursar and Deputy Principal, Dr Daren Bowyer joined us in February 2018, in the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Principal.

Daren was previously Chief Executive of the Newbury and District Agricultural Society and responsible for directing the Berkshire Show. Prior to that he was Home Bursar of Pembroke College, Oxford, after a long military career. He is also Vice-Chair of the bioscience education charity, OIBC.

Daren is responsible for developing the conference trade that supports our charitable work, and overseeing our human resources, health and safety, and our historic buildings and facilities.

Meanwhile, Jane Whaley retired as Domestic Bursar after 36 years of service, in the summer. She was made a member of the Royal Victorian Order in recognition of her long and distinguished service at Cumberland Lodge, in The Queen’s 2018 Birthday Honours. Jane has been succeeded by Merrill Ryan, in the new role of General Manager.

Merrill has more than 30 years’ experience in the hospitality sector, most recently in local government in the west of London, and she now heads up the organisation’s dining service, housekeeping and front-of-house teams, as well as co-ordinating our weddings.

In September, Natalie Brooks, our former Senior Housekeeper, was appointed to the role of Dining Room Supervisor, after Sharon Alloway stepped down after 35 years of service. Natalie has already worked with us for seven years, and Rachel Swaney has been promoted from within our Housekeeping team to replace her as Housekeeper.

Events and educational programmes

In the Spring, we also welcomed Dr Jan-Jonathan Bock as our new Programme Director, after Dr Owen Gower left to become Director of the UK Council of Graduate Education, after ten years of service at the Lodge.

Jan was previously a Research Fellow at the Woolf Institute in Cambridge, leading interdisciplinary research projects on ethno-religious and cultural diversity and emergent political forms. Jan’s publications include Austerity, Community Action and the Future of Citizenship in Europe (written with Shana Cohen and Christina Führ) and policy reports on trust in community life and interfaith relations.

Jan is responsible for initiating fresh debate on the causes and effects of social divisions by directing our independent research and educational programmes, including our Fellowships, scholarships and our work with schools and international students, as well as our conferences, lectures and seminars.

Meet our team

You can find out more about our team on our 'People' pages webpages.