Church of England: new senior appointments…

… Independent Reviewer, and Director for Cathedral and Church Buildings

On 20 December 2022, the Church of England announced that Maggie Swinson has been appointed as the next Independent Reviewer. Also Emily Gee has been appointed Director for Cathedral and Church Buildings for the Church of England.

Extracts from the two Press Releases are reproduced below.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York with the agreement of the Chairs of the Houses of Clergy and Laity have announced that Maggie Swinson has been appointed as the next Independent Reviewer.

The long-serving former General Synod member, who is now Vice Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, takes up the post left vacant following the death earlier this year of Sir William Fittall. She will work with a Deputy Independent Reviewer to be appointed early next year.

The ombudsman-style role rules on concerns and disputes over the operation of the House of Bishops declaration on the ministry of bishops and priests.

The declaration, drawn up in 2014 ahead of legislation paving the way for the consecration of women as bishops, sets out the arrangements for parishes that seek the priestly or episcopal ministry of men on grounds of theological conviction.

Mrs Swinson brings more than 30 years of experience as a General Synod member to the post of Independent Reviewer. She was closely involved in the arrangements and drafting of legislation for the ordination of women as priests and bishops in the Church of England.

Most recently she was part of the group led by Sir William that worked following 2012 on the facilitated conversations, declaration and legislation that was approved in 2014 for the ordination of women as bishops.


More information

  • Maggie Swinson is an accountant by training and currently works in corporate governance and regulation for  a social enterprise in the health care sector. She is a lay leader at St Matthews and St James Church in Mossley Hill, Liverpool.
  • The post of Independent Reviewer is a part time and unpaid role. The regulations of the House of Bishops Declaration provide for the possibility of appointing one or more Deputy Reviewers.


Emily Gee has been appointed Director for Cathedral and Church Buildings for the Church of England.

Emily is currently the Regional Director for London and South East for Historic England, a post she has held since January 2019. Her responsibilities include Historic England’s statutory listing and planning advice, stakeholder engagement, and grants and regeneration projects in this region, and work on contested heritage.

Emily has been with Historic England (and formerly English Heritage) since 2001, in roles such as Head of Listing and London Planning Director. She also lectures for New York University in London, teaching undergraduate students about London’s historic environment.

As Director for Cathedral and Church Buildings, Emily will be responsible for providing strategic national leadership for the Church of England’s Cathedral and Church Buildings. She will lead the national church team supporting parishes, cathedrals, and dioceses with their buildings, enabling them to be used to best missional effect whilst ensuring their protection, enhancement, conservation, and appropriate adaptation.

The Cathedral & Church Buildings team will also support the introduction of new national church funding streams, including the ‘Buildings for Mission’ programme in 2023-25, aimed at helping parishes and dioceses manage their church buildings, as well as funding in support of the Net Zero Carbon programme.


Emily starts her new role in Spring 2023.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Church of England: new senior appointments…" in Law & Religion UK, 20 December 2022,

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