Press & Communications

01 May 2008

The post of Receiver General is the most senior lay position at the Abbey where Sir Stephen will take charge of nearly 200 staff and an organisation with a turnover of more than £10 million a year.

The principal governing body of the Abbey is the Dean and Chapter which comprises the Dean, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, and the four Canons of Westminster. The Receiver General contributes to all meetings of the Dean and Chapter as Chapter Clerk.

The appointment was made by the Dean with the advice of the Chapter and of a Civil Service Commissioner.

The Dean said today: ‘It was a terrifically strong field of candidates but Sir Stephen was the unanimous choice. We look forward to welcoming him to the Abbey community.’

Sir Stephen said: ‘I am delighted to have been appointed to this important role and feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to contribute to the future of this unique and historic institution’

Sir Stephen, 56, until recently a Group Director of the Royal Bank of Scotland, was Private Secretary to The Prince of Wales between 1996 and 2002.

He joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office from Cambridge University in 1974 and served at the UK’s Mission to the United Nations, and at UK embassies in Tehran and Rome. At the Foreign Office in Whitehall he was Private Secretary successively to Douglas Hurd and Malcolm Rifkind as Ministers of State.

He was appointed Deputy Private Secretary to The Prince of Wales in March 1993, then Private Secretary and Treasurer from 1996 to 2002.

Sir Stephen was appointed CVO in 1999 and KCVO in 2002. He has been a Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey since 2006. He is married with three children.