TWO senior posts in the national church institutions (NCIs) are to be cut, and several other posts are to change, as part of a restructuring programme, the Church Times understands.
The posts to be cut are Head of Life Events in the Evangelism and Discipleship team, and the National Going for Growth (Children’s and Youth) Adviser, in the Education Office. Both posts are based in Church House.
It is understood that, as a result of the restructuring, the Head of Life Events, Canon Sandra Millar, has chosen to take redundancy, after nine years in the post. Her final day in the job is today. The National Growing for Growth (Children’s and Youth) Adviser, the Revd Mary Hawes, will leave her post on 30 June.
Meanwhile, four other posts in the Evangelism and Discipleship Team are being restructured. The Head of Development for Fresh Expressions, the Revd Heather Cracknell (Interview, 29 March 2019), will move to the Diocesan Support Team (a branch of the Vision and Strategy Team), as a “Senior Vision and Strategy Consultant”, where she will “champion” Fresh Expressions and lead the drive for 10,000 new Christian communities.
The Director of Setting God’s People Free, who leads the Everyday Faith programme, Dr Nick Shepherd, will also move to the Diocesan Support Team, and the title of his post will also be changed to “Senior Vision and Strategy Consultant”. He will “champion” the Church’s drive for more “missionary disciples”.
It is also understood that the National Lead for Evangelism, the Revd Dr Stephen Hance, will now head the Churches and Networks Team, which is a subset of the Vision and Strategy team, and the title of his post will be Co-Head of Churches and Networks Support; and that the National Youth Evangelism Officer, Jimmy Dale, will also join the Church and Networks Team, and will have a wider remit in addition to youth evangelism.
The restructuring has come about as a result of the Transforming Effectiveness agenda, which began alongside the Vision and Strategy work in 2020 (News, 16 July 2021).
Canon Millar has written on the Church Hub Support website: “As part of the restructuring at the National Church Institutions, the role of Head of Life Events is being made redundant, and I will be leaving. So from April there will no longer be any central support or dedicated expertise for Life Events — instead, there will be a legacy of people like you in every Diocese and every parish. . .
“Please keep using the resources found at www.churchprinthub.org and www.churchsupporthub.org as you create a life-changing encounter with God and God’s people for everyone you meet.”
Some clerics have reacted with dismay to the news of Canon Millar’s redundancy. The Rector of Barlborough and Clowne, in Derby diocese, the Revd Bryony Taylor, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday: “Really disappointed to see the C of E Life Events Team being closed. They’ve been brilliant at inspiring churches as they carry out our core ministry of hatching, matching and dispatching! Sad to see Sandra Millar go.”
The Rector of Broughton with Cransley and Mawsley, in Peterborough diocese, the Revd Nicki Hobbs, wrote on Twitter: “So saddened to see this. My curacy mission project was based on taking a group to one of Sandra’s baptism training days. The occasional offices are so central to parish ministry, especially in rural settings.
“I’m gutted that future generations of clergy and lay ministers won’t get to benefit from the team’s wisdom and training. The Church of England will be poorer for losing this amazing team.”