Stephen Withnell

Foundation Director

Stonyhurst Foundation

Director’s Message

Stonyhurst aspires to be the UK’s leading co-educational Catholic boarding and day school for 3 – 18 year olds. The creation of the Stonyhurst Foundation is key to this ambition.  The Stonyhurst Foundation is a revolutionary new charity, focused exclusively on widening access to a Stonyhurst education.

The goal of the Foundation is to remove financial barriers, making a Stonyhurst education available to as many young people as possible.  The Stonyhurst Foundation aims to be the largest ring-fenced independent bursary and fee assistance charity of its kind in Catholic independent education in the UK.

It has received the Apostolic Blessing of His Holiness Pope Francis.  During our formation phase we benefited from overwhelming financial support from members of the Stonyhurst family, friends and supporters who share the vision of providing much needed bursary and fee support for young people.  Given the extent of early successes, the Foundation is looking to the future, confident that its ambitious mission will be welcomed by the wider community, ensuring that Stonyhurst continues to be a beacon of educational excellence on both the national and international stage.

The College is proud that around 30% of pupils are in receipt of some level of fee support or bursary assistance.  This support is, however, currently funded from College income.  The object of the Stonyhurst Foundation is the advancement of education for the public benefit.  The Stonyhurst Foundation aims to achieve its objective by making a Stonyhurst education available to pupils who otherwise would not have the benefit of it.  We believe that a Stonyhurst education is a springboard to a life of purpose.  The school seeks to inspire its pupils to go out into the world to make a difference, as ‘men and women for others’.  Making Stonyhurst the best it can be means making the Stonyhurst Foundation the most ambitious provider of bursaries and fee assistance in Catholic education in the UK. The Stonyhurst Foundation will transform lives.


Stonyhurst Foundation
Stonyhurst Foundation

Our Mission:

The Stonyhurst Foundation exists because:

We want any child from any part of society to have the opportunity to live, work and grow at Stonyhurst, the oldest continuously active Jesuit school in the world.



Stonyhurst Foundation

Our Mission:


Because it is a moral and a religious imperative.   Because it is integral to the spirit of Catholic and Jesuit education.   Because its aims can be living proof of our commitment to the Jesuits’ Universal Apostolic Preferences.  Because the UK needs a truly excellent, socially diverse, independent Catholic school.

Stonyhurst Foundation

Our Mission:


Through the establishment of The Stonyhurst Foundation, a permanently endowed, ring-fenced dedicated Bursary Fund, for Stonyhurst.


Stonyhurst Foundation

Our Mission:


Now.  During 2019 we undertook a wide and comprehensive stakeholder consultation process, surveying and interviewing over 100 people so as to ensure that the Stonyhurst Foundation reflects the priorities of our supporters.  We received over 300 individual donations in our first year.

Our Ambition

The Stonyhurst Foundation aims to be the largest ring-fenced independent bursary and fee assistance charity
of its kind in Catholic independent education in the UK.

The Stonyhurst Foundation is unique: no other Catholic independent school has a comparable Foundation
dedicated to widening access for the public benefit.

We grant fee assistance on both a ‘means blind’ and a ‘means tested’ basis.

The Stonyhurst Foundation received overwhelming financial support prior to its launch.   Given the extent of early
successes, the Foundation is looking to the future, confident that its ambitious mission will be
welcomed by the wider community, ensuring that Stonyhurst continues to be a beacon of
educational excellence on both the national and international stage.

Our Patron

Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson (OS 75) was appointed as the inaugural Patron of The Stonyhurst Foundation in 2020.
Mark is an alumnus of Stonyhurst College and of Merton College, Oxford.  He is a former President and CEO of the New York Times Company and a former Director General of the BBC.

Mark stepped down as President & CEO at The New York Times Company in the summer of 2020 after an eight-year tenure in which the 170-year-old news brand was transformed into a digital powerhouse.  Digital subscribers jumped to nearly 6 million, up from half a million when he joined, while digital revenues topped US$450 million at the end of 2019.

Mark’s appointment at The New York Times Company followed an eight-year term as Director General of the BBC.  He is widely credited with expanding the BBC’s digital reach and overseeing development of the BBC iPlayer.  He joined the BBC from Channel 4 where he was Chief Executive from 2002 to 2004.  Before Channel 4, he held a series of senior posts at the BBC including Director of Television.  His BBC career began as production trainee.  He went on to edit several news programmes including The Nine O’clock News and Panorama before becoming Controller of BBC Two. 

His book, “Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics?” was published in the UK and US in September 2016.

Mark Comments:

“I know from my own experience how Stonyhurst can change lives.  World-class teachers like Peter Hardwick and Freddie Turner SJ opened my mind and the school gave me a confidence and independence that has served me well ever since.  The Stonyhurst Foundation will make this unique education available to so many more young people, and that’s why I am so pleased to endorse it.”

Our Trustees

Michael Joseph
Chairman of Trustees

Michael Joseph

Michael is an alumnus of Stonyhurst. Michael left the college in 1959 having been a member of the 1st XV, an altar server and a Committee Member.   He then joined the family business in Birmingham.

He is married to Frances and they have 6 children, now very much adults.   The oldest and youngest are both girls with 2 sets of boy twins, Antony and Richard and Peter and Philip, who went to the College.

Michael has previously served as a Stonyhurst Governor and is both a past Chairman and past President of the Stonyhurst Association.   For 20 years he has believed that a permanent endowment is needed to finance bursaries and fee assistance so is delighted to join the Stonyhurst Foundation as a Trustee.

Stephen Withnell
Foundation Director & Trustee

Stephen Withnell

Stephen is an alumnus of Stonyhurst and a parent of two current pupils. He is an experienced executive and non-executive director with a background in economics, finance, and governance.

Stephen is an Honorary Professor in the Department of Economics and Finance at Durham University and a Director and Trustee of The London Library. He serves on the International Advisory Board of Durham University Business School and also on the Investment Committee of the British Province of the Jesuits. He is a former Governor of Stonyhurst and of Westminster Cathedral Choir School. Stephen is a Freeman of the City of London.

Stephen is a former Managing Director of Goldman Sachs International. He joined Goldman Sachs in 2006 and retired in 2018, having been Head of Metals & Mining Investment Banking for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Stephen has advised on over US$150 Billion of strategic reviews, fundraising campaigns, board assignments, mergers and acquisitions, corporate takeovers and equity and debt capital markets transactions.

Stephen is also an alumnus of St Ignatius’s College Riverview, an independent Jesuit secondary school in Australia. Stephen obtained his BA (1st Class Hons) in History from Durham University, where he was JCR President of University College. He is currently working on a DPhil in Architectural History at the University of Oxford.

John Browne

John Browne

John is Headmaster of Stonyhurst, appointed in 2016.  Stonyhurst is John’s 3rd Headship in independent day and boarding schools.

Prior to joining Stonyhurst John was Headmaster of St Aloysius’ College Glasgow and Deputy Headmaster of Ampleforth.  He is a former Headmaster of Westminster Cathedral Choir School. John is an alumnus of St Ignatius’s College Enfield, a Jesuit voluntary aided secondary school in London.

John obtained his BA (Hons) in Music from the University of Bristol.   He has a post grad LLB from City University, London and an MBA from the Open University.  He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and a Freeman of the Musicians’ Company.  John is a Governor of St John’s Beaumont, a Jesuit independent day and boarding school in Old Windsor. John is married to Marie and they have a son, William.

Ian Murphy

Ian Murphy

Ian is Headmaster of Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall, appointed in 2014.

Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall is Ian’s second Headship in independent boarding and day schools.  Prior to joining Stonyhurst, Ian was Headmaster of All Hallows Preparatory School in Somerset for 10 years.

Ian is an alumnus of Wimbledon College, a Jesuit secondary school in London.

Ian obtained his BA (Hons) in Psychology and his PGCE from Durham University, where he was a member of Hatfield College.  Earlier in his career Ian held teaching and leadership positions in both the maintained and independent sectors. 

Ian’s wife, Rachel, teaches at Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall and both of their children have attended Stonyhurst.

Fr Keith P. McMillan, SJ

Fr Keith P. McMillan, SJ

Fr. Keith is a Jesuit Priest.  He is the Treasurer of the British Jesuit Province.   He has a PhD in Accounting.

He first arrived in Britain, from America, in 1989 to read for a Bachelor of Divinity at Heythrop College, University of London.   After a fourth year of Theology in the United States, and following Ordination as a Catholic Priest in 1993,  he returned to Britain to undertake a PhD in Accounting at the London School of Economics.  After completing that degree in 1997 he taught in the Missouri Province for three years.   In 2000, he returned to Britain as a Lecturer in Accounting at the London School of Economics.

In 2005 when Fr. Keith took his final vows as a Jesuit he became a member of the British Jesuit Province.  In 2007, he left academia for Sacred Heart Church in Wimbledon and in 2009 became Parish Priest.  In 2014 he became the Assistant Catholic Chaplain at Oxford University.   Fr. Keith became the Treasurer of the British Jesuit Province on Palm Sunday 2019.   He was a Stonyhurst Governor from 2004 to 2012 during which time he was a strong supporter of creating a dedicated bursary endowment.

Christine Keunen

Christine Keunen

Christine is a Governor of Stonyhurst and a parent of two alumni.
Christine joined the Governing Body in 2017.   She chairs the Libraries, Archives and Collections Committee and sits on the External Affairs Committee.

After studying Modern History at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, Christine qualified as a solicitor in 1985.   In 1992, she co-founded Moorhead James, a commercial law firm in the City of London, where she became Joint Managing Partner in 2008.  In 2015, she joined Hewitsons LLP as a Partner and Head of their London office, where she worked with colleagues in the sport, education and charity sectors.

She retired from Hewitsons in 2019 to focus on her mediation practice. She remains a solicitor, now non-practising, and is an accredited commercial mediator.  Christine’s husband Victor and their 2 children all attended Stonyhurst College.

Winton de St John-Pryce

Winton de St John-Pryce

Winton is an alumnus of Stonyhurst.
Winton is a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division at Morgan Stanley. He has been based in Hong Kong for the last 12 years.

He arrived at Stonyhurst from St John’s Beaumont in 1994, spending five years at the College, where he was active in rugby, CCF, orchestra, and the choir.

Following this, Winton obtained a B.A. (Hons) in Economics & Management from Oxford University (Lady Margaret Hall).

Eugene Nealon

Eugene Nealon

Eugene was educated at McQuaid Jesuit High School and St Bonaventure University in New York.    He is a parent of two alumni.

He has spent his career in international insurance underwriting, primarily with AIG first in New York and from 2002 in the UK.   He began his own business in 2010 and now works in London managing an insurance underwriting agency specialising in global insurance for consumer and commercial activities with Lloyds of London.

Eugene is married to Jenny a teacher at Donhead Prep School and is the proud father of a son and daughter, both OS. Eugene holds a passionate belief that the Ignatian way of encouraging children to be “men and women for others” is paramount, it is why he ensured that his children followed the established family tradition of receiving a Jesuit education and why he is so keen to assist the Stonyhurst Foundation in its mission.

Richard Saunders

Richard Saunders

Richard is an alumnus of Stonyhurst.
Richard works for Inalytics, a performance analytics firm that examines and evaluates portfolio manager decision making for institutional investors and asset managers.

Prior to joining Inalytics in 2019, Richard was Head of Equities for the Church Commissioners for England, the endowment fund for the Church of England and one of the largest charitable investors in the UK.   At the Church Commissioners for England, he was responsible for fund manager selection and portfolio construction in the £3 billion equity portfolio with a specific focus on global and emerging markets mandates.   Prior to working at the Church Commissioners for England in 2006, Richard worked in equity research at Unicredit based in Milan.  Richard graduated in Economics from the London School of Economics in 2002 and is a CFA and CIPM charterholder.

Richard is a member of the Investment Committee of the British Province of the Jesuits and also of the John Slater Foundation.   Richard was a pupil at Stonyhurst College and St.Mary’s Hall from 1990 until 1998.

Cathy Carnegie

Cathy Carnegie

Cathy is a parent of three current boarding pupils at Stonyhurst.
Cathy is a Managing Director in the legal department of BlackRock, a global asset management firm.  Cathy is global head of legal coverage for Client Portfolio Solutions and is also head of EMEA Institutional Legal team.

Prior to joining BlackRock, Cathy was a lawyer in the legal department at Goldman Sachs where she held a variety of roles including heading the structured products legal team.  Cathy started her career at Allen & Overy where she worked as an associate in the Derivatives Practice Group.

Cathy is admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales and is admitted to the New York Bar.  Cathy holds a B.A. in Law from Cambridge University.

Terence Holt

Terence Holt

Terry is an alumnus of Stonyhurst and a parent of four alumni.  Terry left the College in 1972 having been Captain of Cricket and a member of the 1st XV.  He was President of the Stonyhurst Association in 2015 and remains a Committee Member and a Trustee.

Terry is a Chartered Surveyor and trained at Gerald Eve before setting up his own practice near Waterloo in London in 1983. 

He has previously been a Governor of Barrow Hills School, Witley, and a Trustee of the Garden Museum. 

Désirée Jebsen

Désirée Jebsen

Désirée is a past parent of Stonyhurst. She is experienced in education, having raised five children and having been involved with various schools at different levels.
Désirée is German by nationality and has been living in Hong Kong for over thirty years. She is married to Hans Michael Jebsen, who is the fourth generation of the family to be active in China and Hong Kong – a family commitment of more than 125 years.

Désirée attended school in Switzerland (Ecole du Mont-Olivet, Lausanne and Ecole de La Chassotte, Fribourg).  She graduated with a French Baccalaureate before heading to Zurich University where she studied Business and IT.  After her marriage she dedicated herself entirely to the education of her five children, who are all grown up now.  In 2012 Désirée became a Dame of the Order of Malta in Hong Kong and became a founding member of the Hong Kong Association.  Désirée is currently serving as their Hospitaller.

Désirée was for many years on the Board of the German Swiss International School in Hong Kong, where she chaired the Basic Policy Committee and Fundraising Committee.   She was Chairman of the Board from 2017 to 2019.  Désirée was a member of the international parents committee of Herufsholm Kostskole, Naestved, Denmark.  She was involved in the “Boarding revival program” of Upper Canada College and she is currently on the Board of Trustees of Louisenlund, a school in Schleswig-Holstein, known for its progressive new teaching methods.


Our Team

Cathie Butcher

Foundation Manager

Cathie Joined the Stonyhurst Foundation in August 2019 crossing the border from Yorkshire after a 19 year career with Ashville College in Harrogate.

Whilst at Ashville Cathie undertook a number of roles, most recently heading up the Admissions Department as Director of Admissions.

Cathie studied at The Royal Ballet School, Tring Park and the Ballet Rambert School and danced in London and the South East including performing at Sadler’s Wells Theatre before a change of career saw her join IBM in a sales and marketing role looking after clients such as British Airways, Virgin and Heathrow Airports Limited.  Cathie is married to James OS 84 and has two grown up children.

Cathie is a Governor at Moorfield School in Ilkley.

Suzanne Wheeler

Major Gifts Officer

Suzanne joined Stonyhurst in 2019 as Development Manager for the school, exchanging the urban St Bede’s College, Manchester for the tranquility of the Ribble Valley.

An experienced fundraiser focusing on working to improve opportunities for children, Suzanne has worked at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School, Bolton Lads and Girls Club and most recently at St Bede’s, where she established the St Bede’s Bursary Fund.  Suzanne started her career on the NHS Graduate training scheme and progressed via the Audit Commission to Salford University where she was a Research Fellow, before taking a career break to spend time with her children.

Suzanne graduated in English Language and Linguistics from Durham University in 1992 and has an M. Res from Salford University.

Suzanne is married with three children.


Making a Gift

Making a Single Gift

You can simply click here to make a gift securely online.  Alternatively, we would be delighted to speak with you regarding how you could support the Stonyhurst Foundation.
Please contact

Mrs Cathie Butcher
+44 (0) 1254 827276

Making a Regular Gift

To make a regular gift to The Stonyhurst Foundation, please click here to set up a monthly Direct Debit via Just Giving.
If you require any assistance with regular giving please contact:

Mrs Cathie Butcher
+44 (0) 1254 827276

Legacy Giving

Leaving a gift in your will is quick and easy to arrange.  You simply need to let us know that you intend to leave a gift to the Stonyhurst Foundation and speak to your solicitor.

Legacy Brochure

Codicil Form


For further information on legacy giving, please contact

Mrs Cathie Butcher
+44 (0) 1254 827276

Overseas Giving - Europe

Supporters based in Germany and Spain can give tax efficiently through Transnational Giving Europe (TGE).
Transnational Giving Europe (TGE) is a partnership of leading European foundations and associations that facilitates tax-efficient cross-border giving within Europe. The TGE network allows donors, both corporations and individuals, resident in one of the participating countries, to financially support non-profit organisations in other member countries, while benefiting directly from the tax advantages provided for in the legislation of their country of residence.
With TGE, cross-border donations receive all applicable tax benefits in the country where you pay tax. Partner foundation; combined expertise in domestic tax laws secures the most effective tax treatment for your gift in both your own country and the recipients.
TGE carries out all administration relating to the tax deductibility of gifts. Depending on the country’s tax laws, TGE partners will fill in all relevant tax forms and deliver, whenever applicable, fiscal receipts testifying to the contribution made. A 5 per cent fee is taken on the donated amount for gifts up to €50,000. For higher gifts, 1 per cent of the amount in excess of the €50,000 is charged. The maximum fee is €6,500. These fees will help the TGE network find new partners to increase tax effective giving in all member states of the EU. To make a transnational gift to The Stonyhurst Foundation, please contact your nation foundation (details below). The donated amount is paid into the national foundation’s account only after approval of the gift by both partner foundations involved.
Maecenata Stiftung, Rungestraße 17, 10179 Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49 30 2838 7909 Email: Website:
Fundación Empresa y Sociedad, Padre Damián 2, 28036 Madrid, Spain
Tel: +34 676 270 816 Email:                              Website:
If you require any assistance with regard to donating through TGE or wish to use this service from another European country please contact:
Mrs Cathie Butcher
+44 (0) 1254 827276

Overseas Giving - Hong Kong

The Stonyhurst Foundation is a member of the Chapel & York HK Foundation. Donors in Hong Kong can support The Stonyhurst Foundation through the Chapel & York fund and will be eligible for all legal and tax benefits of giving in Hong Kong. Chapel & York can accept donations from individuals, company sponsorship and grants from trusts and foundations.
You can make a  donation easily online at stating that your donation is for The Stonyhurst Foundation.
If you have any queries or need assistance with your donation please contact the Executive Director of Chapel & York Hong Kong, Mr Ralph Leonard, on or by telephone +852 9162 6063.
If you have any queries regarding giving from overseas please contact
Mrs Cathie Butcher
+44 (0) 1254 827276

Overseas Giving - USA

Tax-deductible contributions may be made via the British Schools and Universities Foundation (BSUF) click here to visit the BSUF website where you can express your preference for the support of The Stonyhurst Foundation.
Donors’ expressions of their preference are respected by the BSUF, but all grants are made at its sole discretion, as required by the IRS.    Contributions made directly to an offshore charity do not qualify for a tax deduction under the IRS code.

USA Friends Fund

If you have any queries regarding giving from overseas please contact
Mrs Cathie Butcher
+44 (0) 1254 827276

Rhetoric 2022 'St Aloysius Bursary'

“We are thrilled to be working with The Stonyhurst Foundation on this life changing project.
Rhetoric Playroom, would like to leave a gift to Stonyhurst and to a future pupil, that would be valued long after our departure. Following discussions with our year group, we have agreed that we would like our Rhetoric gift to be a Means Tested Bursary called ‘The St Aloysius Bursary’, named after Stonyhurst’s patron saint.
We aim to raise, during the course of this academic year, the funds to cover the boarding costs for a pupil’s time at the College. We know that this is an ambitious undertaking and target, but as a year group we know first-hand the true value of a Stonyhurst education and just how life changing a bursary of this kind will be.”


St Aloysius Bursary Brochure


St Aloysius Bursary Video


You can donate, easily, online at: 

Fundraising Event: ‘Odyssey Out Loud’ , supported by Mary Beard! Watch her message here. To sponsor this event please visit:

The Adrian Aylward Award

You can simply click here for more information about The Adrian Aylward Award.  Alternatively, we would be delighted to speak to you regarding arrangements for making a donation to this award.
Please contact:

Mrs Cathie Butcher
+44 (0) 1254 827276

A History of Giving to Stonyhurst

Stonyhurst’s history has been defined by philanthropy, indeed without the initial gift from King Philip II of Spain, subsequent support from the Weld and Eyre families and numerous important acts of generosity since, our school wouldn’t be the place we all know and love today.

In 1593 Fr Robert Persons (our founder) appealed for and secured a grant from King Philip II of Spain, worth 1,920 crowns a year, to fund a school for 16 boys in St Omers.  Thus, the history of giving to Stonyhurst began.

Our Stories & Testimonials

I joined Stonyhurst College for my Poetry year in 2014, after being awarded an academic scholarship and a bursary.

I was thoroughly encouraged to throw myself into life at Stonyhurst and was rewarded for my participation: I enjoyed everything from cross country to choir, orchestra and debating; and cultivated lifelong friendships whilst full-boarding.

Without the unique and inspiring teaching I received at Stonyhurst, facilitated by the financial support of the bursary, I may not have had the confidence to apply to, and make the most of my time at, the University of Oxford.

Genevieve Thornton
(OS 16), Prize winning Oxford University Historian and Stonyhurst bursary and scholarship recipient

My incredible 7-year journey at Stonyhurst began at St Mary’s Hall in 2007, and it began with a bursary.  I was granted a place in a school that would shape not only my education but my entire person.  Stonyhurst is a meritocracy, where success in any field, be it academia, sport, drama, music or charity work is celebrated in a way that encourages its students to always want to do as much as we can.

A bursary is more than financial support.  It is an investment of faith in a child.  It taught me to greatly value my education, even from a young age, and it gave me everything.  This attitude, discovered at age 11, developed directly into the mentality of hard work and self-belief that was necessary for me to continue my studies at Cambridge, and to truly make the most of it.

Mary Flanagan
(OS 14)

I spent 11 of the happiest years of my life at Stonyhurst, starting at St Mary’s Hall in Prep, aged 7.  After attending Lancaster University for my undergraduate degree, I returned to the College to work in the Collections as Assistant Curator, whilst studying for a PhD.

I know I have been so privileged to grow up at Stonyhurst; a privilege which would have been impossible without a bursary.  I sincerely hope I will always be able fully to live up to those uniquely Ignatian and ’Stonyhurst’ characteristics the school has long aimed to instil in its pupils; to discern what I think, and be able to stand by it; to discern my talents, and to use them as much as I can for others; to discern who I am, and how best I might serve the world around me.  I am honoured to support a cause which will enable others like me to benefit from this special place and all that Stonyhurst has to offer.

Joe Reed
(OS 11)
Stonyhurst Foundation

Messages of Support

Keep Updated

Reports, Updates, News & Events

Stonyhurst Foundation

Our Professional Advisors

Farrer & Co
Website Link
Saffery Champness
Website Link