Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Kerith External Advisors

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.”

(Proverbs 15:22)

The book of Proverbs is abundantly clear that part God's process for us shaping plans and hearing from God is to get input from others. I never cease to be amazed when people tell me about some life changing decision they've made, and when I ask them who they've talked to about it they say no one. That to me is just madness, speaking either of a deep insecurity about what others may think, or an arrogance that says that nobody else has wisdom to bring to the decision.

What is true of us as individuals is also true of the church. We as a community need to hear the wisdom of others just as much as we need to as individuals. For years we've done that on an informal basis, sharing our plans and ideas with leaders outside Kerith, and asking visiting speakers for their observations and input as they come to us on a Sunday. However, we feel that it's now time to do that on a more formal basis, with a couple of leaders external to Kerith who we recognise as external advisors.

These leaders won't have any formal authority over us. Instead they will:

  • Be people we talk through our future ideas with, not in order to get their permission but in order to get their wisdom and input as trusted friends.
  • From time to time they will come to Kerith and both preach and have meetings with our elders and senior leaders. This will allow us to hear their reflections on where we're at and what we should be focussing on, as well as hearing what they see happening in the wider church and in society.
  • If we ever got into serious difficulty (a church split, a moral failure of one of our senior leaders or something similar) they would be the people we'd call in to help us navigate our way through it. We're not thinking that anything of this sort is likely, in fact our history is one of remarkable unity and stability, but we're also not na├»ve enough to think that it couldn't happen so it's important for us to know what we'd do if it did.

Our first external advisor is David Devenish. David is a long time friend of Kerith, and he has a long history with Ben Davies, our previous Senior Pastor. Many of us will know David from the Downs and Stoneleigh Bible weeks where we came to know and appreciate his preaching. Lots of us will remember one particularly significant prophetic word he publicly spoke over our church from the Stoneleigh platform, which launched us into much of the social justice we're engaged in today. For many years David led Woodside Church in Bedford where he has now handed over leadership. He leads the Catalyst network of churches within Newfrontiers, leads the different apostolic leaders who make up Newfrontiers and works extensively into the Russian speaking world. David is married to Scilla and they have four children and five grandchildren.

The second is Stuart Bell who came and preached with us earlier this year. Stuart leads both Alive, a vibrant multi site church based in Lincoln, as well as the Ground Level network of churches across the UK. He also ministers extensively into South Africa and the USA He is a hugely respected figure in the wider UK church, and regularly meets with the likes of Justin Welby, Nicky Gumbell and others. Stuart is married to Irene and they have three children and five grandchildren.

We're hugely privileged to have both David and Stuart involved with us.

I hope that all makes sense. If you have any questions then please ask.

Much love,



Saturday, November 19, 2016

Vision Fund Offering - Thank you and a confession!

If you were around last Sunday you'll have heard me announce that as of Thursday 10th November the Vision Fund Offering total including gifts, gift aid and a small amount in IOUs was an amazing £170,151. Another £2,300 came in the following day, making a total last Sunday of £172,451.

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who gave to what I'm pretty sure is the biggest single gift day offering we've ever had as a church. It's an amazing total, which will enable us to give a huge kick start to creating more space for growth at all three of our sites. Thank you.

Let me for a moment let you into the thought life of a senior pastor when it comes to an offering like this (for those of you who like to think that leaders have no insecurities, and always lead from a place of total security, please just skip the rest of this blog!). One of the secret fears of senior leaders goes something like "are the people who come to the church I lead just coming as consumers who like the 'show' we put on every Sunday, or are they consumed and genuinely committed to where we're going as a community". An appeal for money always feels like a very real test of which side of that line people sit!

The fear therefore when you announce a fresh vision such as this one, and set a goal of raising a large amount to kick start it, is what happens if we only raise a small fraction of the goal - it could well be an indication that the vision is little more than a daydream with little chance of becoming a reality. I'm therefore thrilled that we've raised so much, especially when at this point the vision is quite nebulous in that we're still some way away from having any sort of costings for what redeveloping K2 will actually cost, or which buildings we'd like to make use of in Sandhurst or Windsor.

I'm not sure it's been too different for leaders throughout church history. I'm struck that in the book of Acts there's a man called Joseph, who the apostles rename Barnabas which means "son of encouragement", when he releases some money and entrusts it to the early church leaders (Acts 4:36-37). It was hugely encouraging then and it's hugely encouraging now. Thank you.

We haven't got an updated gift day figure this week as our finance team have been rightly working on the monthly reports for October, but I'm very hopeful that when we do get an updated total it will be over the £200,000 goal we set. If not we'll take up another mini offering to get us past the goal. In the meantime if you wanted to give but for some reason didn't get round to it, or did give but would like to help get us over the line, then it's not too late! You can put your gift in one of the offering envelopes and write "vision fund" on the envelope before giving it in on Sunday, or give online or via our church app.

Thank you again from a very grateful leader.

Much love,


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Kerith Job Opportunity - Site Services Manager

I know I said I wasn't turning my blog into a recruitment website - well I need to be more careful about what I say as another opportunity to join our team has arisen which I wanted to let you all know about.

We are currently looking to recruit a new Site Services Manger to take the lead on maintaining our buildings, facilities and grounds, as well as ensuring a high standard of cleanliness and functionality for all those using and accessing them. The role will be part of the Operations team and we are looking for someone who not only has experience of managing this area but also has a passion for building teams of volunteers around them who will help manage and grow our levels of excellence in the facilities we provide.

If you know of someone who might be interested, or that person is you, application packs are available from the Kerith Centre reception or further information can be sought by contacting Gary Scull (our Operations Lead) or Ali Hudell (our HR Manager) by email, or by phone on 01344 862699. The closing date for applications is Wednesday 30th of November with interviews anticipated for the second week of December.

Applications are also still open for the two administration roles I blogged about last week.

Even if none of these roles are for you or someone you know, please join me in praying that we find the right people to fill them, as they're all key as we seek to grow as a community and become more effective at helping people find their way back to God.

Much love,


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Create Hope Book Keeper Vacancy

Following on from the two job opportunities at Kerith I blogged about yesterday, the amazing Catherine Barrett has a paid opportunity for a part time book keeper at Create Hope, the charity she founded.

You can find an advert for the job here, and a job description including salary details and hours here.

The closing date for applications is Friday 18th November, so if you or someone you know would be interested please get in contact with Catherine as soon as possible.


Ps - just to be clear I'm not turning my blog into a recruitment website :)


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Admin Roles on the Kerith Office Team

I've been asked to blog about two part time roles which we have vacancies for on our office team. Please take a look at them, and if you or anyone you know might be interested in them, please pick up an information pack for the relevant role from the Kerith Centre reception.

Many thanks,



Kerith Academy Administrator

This year, we have 17 students on our Kerith Academy. Year on year growth means that we are now looking for someone to support Ben Pocock, our Academy Co-ordinator, by managing the day to day running and administration of the Academy, and assisting in its future growth and development. If you have strong administrative skills and like working in and supporting a team, this could be the role for you.

Academy runs on Wednesdays and Thursdays and it is vital that you are available on these days although we can offer a degree of flexibility with start /end times on these days.

If this sounds of interest and you feel that you might be the person we are looking for, then we’d love to hear from you. Application packs (which include a job description and person specification) are available now from the Kerith Centre reception and the application window is open until Monday 28th November. We will be interviewing on Wednesday 14th December 2016.

If you have any questions in regard to this role, please contact Ben Pocock (Kerith Academy Co-ordinator) or Ali Hudell (Human Resources Manager).

Human Resources Administrator

We currently have a part-time vacancy for a Human Resources Administrator. The purpose of this role is to support the Human Resources Manager in administering all aspects of the function such as recruitment and selection, holiday/absence and training records and performance management. It would be the ideal introduction to an HR department for anyone interested in following this career path.

We need someone who can ideally work from 9am to 5pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays although some flexibility with days is possible.

Application packs (which include a job description and person specification) are available from Reception until Monday 28th November when the application window will close. We will be interviewing on Tuesday 13th December 2016.

If you have any questions in regard to this role, please contact Ali Hudell (our Human Resources Manager).

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Kerith Vision Fund

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

On Sunday, as well as having a minutes silence as part of our Remembrance Sunday, we'll announce the Kerith Vision Fund total. Our initial goal is to raise £200,000 to pay off a chunk of the mortgage on the K2 house, start funding a midweek venue for Sandhurst and a Sunday venue for Windsor, and give 10% of all that comes in away to some of our overseas partner church.

I know many of us will have already given and played our part in moving us forward as a community, but if you haven't and you want to it's not too late to get your giving included in Sunday's total. You can give online, do a direct bank transfer using the bank details here, using the giving section on our smartphone / tablet based Church App or bringing your gift into the Kerith Centre reception. If you want to make sure your gift gets included in the Sunday total you can always email our accounts team to let them know it's coming.

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who gives towards the Vision Fund. One of the greatest encouragements for leaders is when people get behind vision with their finances - I'm so grateful for every pound that gets given.

Much love,


Friday, November 4, 2016

We Can't Stay Here

Sunday is the final gift day (for this year at least) for the launch of our Kerith Vision Fund. The goal is to raise £200,000 in order to allow us to provide more space at our Bracknell, Sandhurst and Windsor sites (more details here and here).

If I'm honest leading the charge in raising money is one of the least favourite parts of my role. However, I willingly do it because I have such a deep conviction that we can't stay where we are. For me not having space for our church to grow is not an option, and on all three of our sites we need more space.

  • Kerith Bracknell needs more space to allow us to grow on Sundays, in midweek activities and in the size of the staff team. It's going to be at least two years until any we'll be in a place to start building, so we need to start planning and paying for that building now! The first step in this is to pay off the mortgage on the house behind K2.
  • Kerith Sandhurst needs space to grow midweek, allowing us to do social justice, small groups, parent and toddler groups, prayer meetings and much more.
  • Kerith WIndsor will soon need a Sunday venue.

All of us benefit from the previous generations who gave their money to build the facilities we enjoy today. It's now our time to do the same for the next generation.

So please join me in the adventure. Whether you can be one of the ten people we're looking for to give £10,000, or if you're only able to give a much smaller amount, please come and play your part in helping us invest in the future of our church.

If you're around on Sunday you can give using the giving envelopes, which we'll properly give people time to fill in. Otherwise you can give online, via Church App if you've got that on your smartphone or tablet, or via a bank transfer using the bank details here (if you do that please be sure to indicate that it's for the vision fund). Please also fill out the appropriate Gift Aid declaration if you haven't already done that for your giving to Kerith, this allows us to claim back £25 on every £100 given.

We'll announce the Vision Fund total on Sunday 13th November, so please get your gift in as early as possible to make sure it gets included in the total.

A huge thank you in advance to everyone who gives. You are such an encouragement to me, and to everyone else in our community.

Much love,