The Alister Hardy Trust is a registered charity managed by a Board of Trustees. Its object is to further the study of religious and spiritual experience started by Sir Alister Hardy FRS in 1969.

The Trust seeks to address itself to objective research, communicating its findings to the public, and offering a forum for discussion for those interested in spirituality.  In seeking to undertake its objectives, the Trust is grateful for all donations to assist it in its work.

The Trust is committed to:

  • Inter-disciplinary research into contemporary spirituality and religious experience;
  • Bringing together people who have an interest in this study;
  • Working with other organisations with overlapping interests;
  • Emphasising the importance of spirituality in education, healthcare, business and other areas.


The Patrons of the Alister Hardy Trust are:

  • Bronwen, Viscountess Astor
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  • His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-OConnor
  • Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr
  • The Revd. Dr John A. Newton
  • His Eminence Supreme Primate, Koken Otani
  • Sir Jonathon Porritt
  • Lord Rees-Mogg
  • Chief Rabbi Professor Jonathan Sacks
  • Swami Chidanand Saraswati
  • Dr Rowan Williams, Baron Williams of Oystermouth PC FBA FRSL FLSW
  • Right. Revd. Wyn Evans, Bishop of St. Davids


The Trustees of the Alister Hardy Trust include:

  • The Revd. Canon Professor Leslie Francis (chair)
  • Dr Andrew Village (Hon. Secretary)
  • The Revd. Professor June Boyce-Tillman
  • Andrew Burns (Chair of Alister Hardy Society)
  • John Franklin
  • David Greenwood (Treasurer and Vice-Chair)
  • Marianne Rankin
  • Prof David Voas
  • Jane Winship


The Director of the Religious Experience Research Centre is: