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Baptist Union to restructure

23 November 2012

by a staff reporter

THE Baptist Union of Great Britain is to undergo significant restructuring to address a £1.2 million deficit.

Its governing body, the Baptist Union Council, has announced widespread reforms of its central structures, cutting staff at its headquarters in Didcot from 46 to 32.

The posts of general secretary and general manager will also be merged, and a new leadership team will replace the current senior management team. Some of the work currently done in the national office will, in future, be carried out in regional associations.

The changes follow the findings of a year-long review, which was prompted by the deficit. In a statement, the Baptist Union said that the changes sought to make the Church "more fitting for mission in the 21st century".

The Revd Jonathan Edwards will leave his post as general secretary next year. "This is a very painful time," he said, "but it is clearly right for the Baptist Union to make serious financial cuts. My colleagues and I at Baptist House have all done our work out of a profound sense of God's call, and we appreciate the sensitivity and support of the denomination as we seek to discover his will for our future.

"My visits around the country constantly remind me of the energy, initiative, and deep commitment of churches, colleges, and associations to share in the mission of Christ."

The planned changes will ensure that the budget is balanced in 2013, the treasurer of the Baptist Union, Malcolm Broad, said.

Although some Baptist congregations have experienced a rise in attendance, there has been a steep drop in membership of Baptist churches overall.

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