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Church Army change lacks consultation

18 February 2009


From Captain George Bradbrook CA

Sir, — As a retired Church Army evangelist, I was deeply disturbed by your interview (Features, 13 February) with Mark Russell, the present CEO of Church Army. It seems his youth has shown itself by his effort to steamroller through his ideas for the future of Church Army.

I was amazed to read that we, the members of the society, had voted to become an order. I was under the impression that we had voted only to explore the possibility of becom­ing an order, and that further investigation would occur into

what would be involved, and that no final decision had been made, nor would be, without the agreement of the members. But, as usual, the officers are left in the shadow of the bright lights that shine in the boardroom.

A further shock came on being told that the name of the society will change. That subject had come up for discussion some time ago, and was decided against. Further, that he, as Chief Executive, wants to wind up Church Army! Does he really want to go down in history as the last grand chief? I wonder how many young men and women considering their vocation at present will want to join a society that could end in a few years’ time, no matter what great work it appears to be doing?

One thing I have learnt in all my 40-plus years’ service is that if one truly wishes to have a voice in what happens to Church Army, the last thing to do is join, do the training, and feel part of the family of evangelists, because it is the board, not those who do the actual work, that makes the decisions. Obviously, by the time we are “consulted”, the decisions have already been made.

22 Rifford Road, Exeter EX2 5JT

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