Charles Elly, RIP

The death has been announced of Charles Elly, the serving Chair of DTOL. Charles brought clear leadership and gave painstaking attention to ensuring that the work of DTOL, in fulfilling the wishes of parishes for which DTOL acts as custodian trustee and in carrying out its other trust responsibilities, was effective and efficient, and we are so grateful for that.

Charles had in the past been a member of the Diocesan Synod and Bishop’s Council, as well as undertaking three separate terms of office as churchwarden at Cookham Dean and lay chair of the Maidenhead and Windsor Deanery.

Charles had many spheres of influence, both local and wider, over his lifetime, in all of which he was distinguished. He was very active in the legal profession, culminating in his presidency of the Law Society in 1994/5. Shortly after his election to president, he switched from law practice as a solicitor to the judiciary becoming a circuit judge, first at Kingston and then at Reading, specialising in family proceedings.

He undertook almost every role in his local parish of Cookham Dean, serving as a churchwarden on three separate occasions and taking up the role of vice chair of the PCC. Retirement did not slow his pace, and he was Deputy Lieutenant, Chair of the Berkshire Gardens Trust and Chair of the Marlow Educational Trust, whilst also chairing the local village club and horticultural society. He had a keen interest in the arts, particularly opera and ballet and was heavily involved with NADFAS.

Charles, who was undergoing treatment for a rare blood disorder, passed away on 27 March after being admitted to hospital for treatment, and he died with his wife Marion at his bedside. The funeral will take place at Cookham Dean at 11am on 14 April 2021 and is by invitation only in the current circumstances. The service will be livestreamed and anyone wishing to join online should send their email details to by Monday 12 April.

“This is indeed a sad day but let us rejoice in the work and leadership he gave to the church at all levels over a lifetime of service. Describing his service in one sentence does not do justice to his long, distinguished and outstanding service.”

Mark Humphriss, Diocesan Secretary