Abbey people

Find out about the different people that make up Westminster Abbey. You can discover more about Dean and Chapter, who they are and the roles they undertake.

There is also a comprehensive list of other personnel who work at the Abbey.

The Dean and Chapter

The Abbey is a Royal Peculiar governed by a Dean and Chapter under the Royal Charter of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I on 21st May 1560 which created it as a Collegiate Church under the Sovereign’s personal jurisdiction.

Nearly five hundred years later, today’s Dean and the residentiary canons who make up Chapter were appointed by the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

They have ultimate legal responsibility for the Abbey and the proper governance and agree, with the help of advisors, the overall strategic direction of the organisation.

The Dean and Chapter is the Abbey’s highest decision-making body and currently comprises:

Minor Canons

The Minor Canons are responsible to the Dean of Westminster for the daily worshipping life of the Abbey, and for designing and planning the Ordinary services and the special services of thanksgiving or commemoration which characterise the unique life of the Abbey.

Senior Lay Officers

High Steward

High Steward

The Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry KT KBE CVO DL

High Bailiff

High Bailiff

Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE CStJ

Deputy High Steward

Deputy High Steward

Lord Mayor of Westminster

Deputy High Bailiff

Deputy High Bailiff

Sir Stephen Lamport GCVO DL


The Abbey’s formal title is the Collegiate Church of St Peter – which reflects the charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1560 confirming its status as a Royal Peculiar answerable only to The Sovereign. Today, the College of the Abbey still exists to advise the Dean and Chapter. The members of College, in addition to Dean and Chapter, are: 

High Steward

High Bailiff and Searcher of the Sanctuary

Deputy High Steward and Lord Mayor of Westminster

Deputy High Bailiff

Deputy Receiver General and Director of Finance

Minor Canon and Precentor

Minor Canon and Sacrist

Westminster Abbey departments

Auditor - William Binns

Clerk of the Works - Ian Bartlett

Consultant Archaeologist - Professor Warwick Rodwell

Director of Westminster Abbey Foundation - Valerie Humphrey

Director of Westminster Abbey Institute - Dr Claire Foster-Gilbert

Headmaster of Westminster Abbey Choir School - Peter Roberts

Head of Abbey Collection - Dr Tony Trowles

Head of Events & Marketing - Lorraine Rossdale

Head of Communications - Duncan Jeffery

Head of Human Resources - Temi Olusola

Head of Visitor Experience - Scott Craddock

Legal Secretary - Christopher Vyse

Organist and Master of the Choristers - James O’Donnell

Surveyor of the Fabric - Ptolemy Dean

Westminster School

Headmaster - Dr Gary Savage

Undermaster - James Kazi

Master of the Queen’s Scholars - Gareth Mann


Principal of Harris Westminster Sixth Form - James Handscombe

Administrator of Westminster Cathedral - Fr Sławomir Witoń

Superintendent Minister of Methodist Central Hall - The Reverend Tony Miles