Who are we?

The Canynges Society is a registered charity dedicated to raising funds to support the maintenance of the building fabric of the church of St Mary Redcliffe, described by Queen Elizabeth I as “the fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in England”. The Society was originally formed in 1848 in memory of William Canynges, a 15th Century Bristol merchant whose generosity endowed a major restoration of the church following a lightning strike in 1446. His memorial stands in the South Transept of the church. The Society is run by a small committee of volunteers and church officers, led by a President who is nominated on an annual basis. 

What do we do?

The Society raises funds for the restoration and upkeep of the church building and for the improvement and adornment of the fabric of both the church and churchyard. We rely entirely on the generosity of the public and the business community for funds to do this. The society’s principal fundraising initiative is an annual Presidential appeal. 

How to contact us

Email: info@canynges.co.uk 

By post:  The Canynges Society, c/o the Parish Office, 12 Colston Parade, Bristol BS1 6RA.


View the Canynges Society Presidents Report:
(download the PDF file)

Visit the St Mary Redcliffe Church website:

Visit the UK Charities Commission website:

Visit the Church of England website:

Trustees & Officers

Simon Prescott – President 

Savita Willmott – Immediate Past President

Philip Pratt – President Elect 

Pamela Reid
Edward Clarke
Chris Stanley
Helen Walker

Vice Presidents
Nicky Rylance
Mathew Laws

Tanya Stratton

Administrator/Honorary Secretary
Pat Terry


1848 J.K. Haberfield
1849 The Duke of Beaufort
1850 J.S. Harford
1854 Richard Poole King
1856 Mr Shaw
1857 Dr Symonds
1858 W.H.G. Langton
1859 J.A. Cooke
1860 J. Battersby Harford
1862 The Mayor of Bristol
1864 S.W. Lucas
1867 Robert Phippen
1868 Francis Adams
1870 W.A.F. Powell
1871 Thomas Canning
1872 William Proctor Baker
1874 Sholto Vere Hare
1927 Sir Foster Robinson
1928 Sir Lionel Goodenough Taylor
1929 C. Cyril Clarke
1930 F.L. Riseley
1931 E.G. Mardon
1932 H.J.G. Rudman
1933 V.J. Robinson
1934 H. Norton Matthews
1935 Gilbert S. James
1936 Sir Francis Cowlin
1937 E.F. Eberle
1938 Esmond Robinson
1939 Cyril Meade-King
1940-46 A. Cecil Powel
1947 Fred Organ
1948 A.S. Ray
1949 E.J. Dunscombe
1950 F.H.C. Barnard
1951 H.G. Robinson
1952 F.O. Wills
1953 E.P. King
1954 The Revd R.F. Scott Tucker
1955 George Tryon
1956 The Revd Canon J.E. Staley
1957 R.M.E. Reeves
1958 W.H. Watkins
1959 J.S. Young
1960 A.J. Dennis McArthur
1961 J. Baldwin
1962 J.R. Ware
1963 J.H. Britton
1964 Sir Reginald Verdon-Smith
1965 A. Anthony Scull
1966 Sir Egbert Cadbury
1967 T.C.M. Stock
1968 Mrs Robert Bernays
1969 S. Guy B. James
1970 F.H. Towill
1971 L.K. Stevenson
1972 Sir Kenneth Brown
1973 P.G. Cardew
1974 M.G. Meade-King
1975 Paul Robinson
1976 J.E.C. Clarke
1977 Mrs John Gordon
1978 C.P. Franklin
1979 R.E.J. Bernays
1980 J.B. Morley-Cooper
1981 G.A.K. Robinson
1982 W.G. Beloe
1983 T. Lloyd Robinson
1984 Elizabeth Ralph
1985 G.M. Tricks
1986 J.A.S. Burn
1987 Charles N. Clarke
1988 Christopher Thomas
1989 Roderick Davidson
1990 Giles Clarke
1991 Charles Laws
1992 Alan D. Tasker
1993 Roger C.L. Feneley
1994 Denis Burn
1995 Francis Greenacre
1996 Simon D.J. Awdry
1997 Tony Elgood
1998 Nicholas Hutchen
1999 St. John Hartnell
2000 Robert Durie
2001 Christopher Marsden-Smedley
2002 David Marsh
2003 Ian Hoddell
2004 Richard Lee
2005 Michael Bothamley
2006 Rodney Grey
2007 Alan Stevenson
2008 Peter Floyd
2009 Greg Corrigan
2010 Bill Gibson
2011 Peter Marshall
2012 Sara Hartnell
2013 Alastair Currie
2014 Tom Hood
2015 Dayrell McArthur
2016 Robin Shellard
2017 Mathew Laws
2018 James Durie
2019 Nicky Rylance
2020 Richard Clarke
2021 Richard Clarke
2022 Savita Willmott