The Board of the Chisholme Institute

The Directors are responsible for overseeing the running of the Chisholme Institute according to its aims. Read more here. They meet regularly at Chisholme House to discuss all aspects of the Institute including its financing, staffing, maintenance, building projects, household matters, garden, estate and publicity. You can email the directors at

Notes from recent meetings

Lesley Abadi


Lesley graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1966 after majoring in printed textile design. She worked as a freelance designer and taught in Winchester School of Art, Croydon College of Art and Bournemouth College of Art. Lesley later taught sixth form art A level students and in adult education centres. She has been a director of the Institute since its beginning and is married with one son.

Colin Bingham


Colin is a Social Sciences graduate and a qualified Further Education teacher. Most of his working life has been spent working with adults and young people who have learning difficulties. Colin is currently undertaking an Advanced Practitioners Course in Substance Misuse as he now works with recovering drug users, helping them to maintain abstinence. In his spare time he is a keen organic gardener.

Jonathan Davey

Safety & Environment

Jonathan studied Human Resource Management at Cardiff University and Safety and Environmental Management at Nottingham Trent University. He has worked as a teacher of English in the Sudan, as a social worker, teacher, owner/manager of a wholesale bakery, College business development manager and latterly as a consultant in safety management systems.

Julia Dry


Julia has been a student, volunteer and guest at Chisholme since 1976. On completing the second 6-month retreat course studied Fine Art with philosophy, sociology, history and archaeology. After researching Persian 'paradise gardens', a period of painting, teaching and working in archaeological illustration, she followed a love of gardening to study horticulture and worked as a professional gardener. She has a practical knowledge of accounts, and has worked in the charitable sector.

Paul Finegan


Paul has been associated with the Chisholme Institute for over thirty years. He moved to the Borders in 1996. He now lives in Hawick with his wife and is semi-retired. Paul is particularly involved with Administration, including the Institute's dealings with the British Accreditation Council, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and other areas. In his spare time he writes and performs narrative verse.

John Hill

Garden & Estate

John studied geology and social anthropology at Cambridge University and researched in ethnology at Oxford University. This led on naturally to courses at Chisholme. He is currently a garden designer and runs a landscaping business. John has been a director of the Chisholme Institute for more ten years and takes particular responsibility for the estate and organic kitchen garden.

Hiroko Nagato-Apthorp


Hiroko grew up in Japan and has lived, studied and worked in UK since the mid 80s. She has a masters degree in Visual Islamic and Traditional Art, specialising in Japanese screen painting. She first visited Chisolme in the late 90s and since completed two six-month retreat courses. She subsequently joined the staff at the Institute, supervising courses, and working as housekeeper. She and her husband have two children and they currently live in Hawick.

Tim Roberts

Chair of the Board

Tim has been a director since 2004, and is currently serving as Chairman. He is a professional musician, mostly as a teacher, privately and in schools, although he is also a founder member of the nearly-famous Vastearth Orchestra. Tim lives with his partner in Worcestershire, where he has a house and two allotments. He has long been interested in environmental issues, and this is the area he is most concerned with as a director.

Maryanna Ryan


Maryanna studied Music at the University of Edinburgh, and Nursing at Oxford Brookes. She has travelled widely, and worked in hospitals in the UK, the Falkland Islands and in Uganda. She has had close ties with the Chisholme Institute for many years, as a six-month course student, a volunteer and member of staff. She learned to cook at Chisholme, and this instilled in her a life-long love for good food. Recently, she has embarked on the new adventure of motherhood.


"Perhaps it’s time to (re)read Jung." writes Gwendolen Dupré for The European Strategist, an internet publication and research circle.


Mon 24th July 2017

World music from a world-class musician at Chisholme House


Sat 29th July 2017

Guided walks around the estate, afternoon tea, home-made and home-grown produce to purchase, and time for a cup of tea and cake


Sat 5th August 2017 19:00 to
Sat 12th August 2017 14:00

Selected passages from the 'Fusus al Hikam' with Avi Abadi


Fri 11th August 2017 19:00 to
Sun 13th August 2017 14:00

Why is recognising the unity of all existence important?


Sat 12th August 2017 00:00 to
Sat 19th August 2017 00:00

An exciting time in the garden because a lot of crops are coming to fruition, ready for picking. Others need weeding and tending and there are late crops to look after. A rewarding time of year to spend a week in the garden!