Contact the church buildings team

The Church Buildings and Pastoral Department is based at the Diocesan Offices on Barton Road in Ely, but we can often be seen out and about throughout the Diocese, working with parishes and churches to care for, maintain and develop their buildings and to offer support and guidance where pastoral reorganisation is under consideration.

Each of the team members bring with them relevant qualifications, skills and experience to enable the Diocese to offer an enhanced level of professional service and support to the DAC and to parishes and churches throughout the Diocese. 

Please feel free to contact any of the team at any time.  However, all initial enquiries about works to your building or churchyard and queries about the faculty process or applying for consent should please be directed to the Church Buildings office on 01353 652729 or via


The Team

Geoffrey Hunter - DAC Secretary and Head of the Church Buildings and Pastoral Department

Telephone 01353 652737 or email

  • Geoffrey heads up the Church Buildings and Pastoral Department with overall responsibility for the operation and smooth running of the Department and the support and services offered to clergy, church volunteers and their professional advisers.
  • Geoffrey joined the team in April 2016, having worked for the Diocese of London since 2006 in a variety of roles. Geoffrey acts as a central advocate for churches wishing to re-imagine their buildings through projects of re-ordering and extension.  Geoffrey guides parishes through the Faculty process, including Diocesan Advisory Committee and other statutory consultations.
  • Geoffrey has oversight of the fourth lever of the diocesan strategy Ely 2025 and works on the project re-imagining our churches as community assets for the common good - in association with the Cambridge Judge Business School.
  • Geoffrey spent five years as a churchwarden himself, at Thorpe Market in the Diocese of Norwich.  Since 2012 he has been a member of the National Church Buildings Council and is also a committee member of the Association of Festival Churches.
  • Geoffrey is a history of art graduate of the Courtauld Institute of Art and also holds an MSc degree in Conservation of the Historic Environment and is a member of the Association for Studies in the Conservation of Historic Buildings and the Norfolk Churches Trust. Outside of work, Geoffrey is an amateur musician and enjoys playing with old cars.

Holly Isted - Historic Church Buildings Support Officer

Telephone 01353 652720 or email

  • Holly joined the Diocese of Ely as the Historic Church Buildings Support Officer thanks to a partnership with Historic England and Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust. 
  • Holly works with churches where the heritage is considered to be most at risk, and as a result, is listed on Historic England's 'Heritage at Risk Register'. 
  • Her work focuses on assisting parishes in understanding, managing, maintaining and making the best use of their buildings, with an emphasis on community consultation, heritage engagement activities and grant applications.  Holly also organises training events, open to all churches in the Diocese, on topics such as maintenance, bid writing, open and welcome churches and heritage interpretation.  She is also helping Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust to promote Ride and Stride.
  • Holly is a qualified secondary school teacher with a degree in Heritage Conservation, which she has combined over the last decade to become a specialist in Heritage Learning and Interpretation.  She has worked for museums, the National Trust and most recently The Churches Conservation Trust, creating and delivering a number of activity and engagement programmes, including three major projects supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (formerly the Heritage Lottery Fund).
  • Away from work Holly enjoys calligraphy, yoga and walking along the riverbank near her home in Guyhirn.

John Morgan - Church Buildings Advice Assistant

Telephone 01353 652705 or email

  • John joined the team in June 2022 as a placement student studying for a Masters in Building History at the University of Cambridge.
  • John will be acting as a case officer, guiding parishes through and issuing permissions for the List B process and advising on the faculty process including site visits and supporting the preparation of cases for DAC review.
  • John will also be working on proposals to assist the maintenance and preservation of churches as risk as a result of diminishing local capacity in some places to care for their church buildings.
  • John is a former energy industry executive responsible for conventional and renewable energy businesses and major capital projects in the UK, USA, Middle East and China, where he lived and worked for ten years.
  • He is a trustee and director of Anglian Learning, a Cambridge based multi-academy trust responsible for 10 primary and 6 secondary schools in the region and an Associate at Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge.

Sally Gilson - Pastoral Secretary

Telephone 01353 652727 or email

  • Sally joined the team on 22 August 2017 as Department Administrator and Assistant to the Pastoral Secretary. Sally came to us with a long history in local authority working at senior level in both education and social care, and has built on her organisational skills and the training she has received from the previous Pastoral Secretary.
  • Sally can offer procedural advice on matters that arise under the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 in her capacity as Secretary to the Archdeaconry Mission and Pastoral Committees
  • Sally holds a PRINCE2 qualification in project management and a Diploma in Business Administration.  Her interests include travelling and spending as much time as possible with her two grandchildren.
Page last updated: Thursday 26th January 2023 5:13 PM
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