UCAN News Update 17:2

Area Training Days series 3 currently booking for May

Jules Morgan, Director of Operations and Development at St Stephen’s, Twickenham and one of the UCAN Directors for the new organisation now being set up, writes:

“We decided to focus UCAN’s third series of Area Training Days on the biblical and creative nature of our work.  We could all do with some encouraging teaching in these areas and John will provide that at five venues this year.  We’ve also asked him to be the trainer for this material in other venues next year when he will no longer be running UCAN himself.

Three of the new UCAN Directors will be hosting the May events.

·                Birmingham on Thursday 4th May – come and hear our exciting new plans for UCAN from Julian Mander and receive training input from John to give you fresh insights into the value of your work.

·                St Albans on Tuesday 9th May – I shall be hosting this event and telling you about our future plans with training from John.

·                Guildford on Wednesday 17th May – when Andy Bagwell will be explaining the future and John again providing the training.

There are details and booking forms at http://www.bit.ly/UCANevents.  These will then be followed by Nottingham on Thursday 6th July (details to go on the website in early April) and Belfast, probably in September.

2018’s likely venues include: Edinburgh/Glasgow, Manchester, Bristol/Bath, Kent area, Leeds, Southampton, Plymouth, Hexham, central London.

If you work solo, these days are great encouragements.  If you work in an administrative team, they are great to come to together for a really worthwhile team day out.  We hope to meet you at one!”

What I learned in ten years as a Church Administrator….

Sarah Burdett has just moved to a new post from being the Church Administration Manager at Holy Apostles’ Church in Cheltenham.   We asked her to share her experience.

“None of this is rocket science but I did find that some of it can get lost in the busyness of work. 

·                Embrace your gifting - Administration is a spiritual gift and you are called to exercise all your gifts in whatever circumstances you find yourself.  So remember administrative skills are a gift from God which is valued by him.

·                Give a positive impression - As an Administrator you may be the only contact that someone has with your church.  Always try to be warm, welcoming and as helpful as possible.  You never know where it might lead.

·                Know your colleagues - Whatever size church you work in, you will work with others, whether paid staff teams or unpaid volunteers.  Recognising differences (and similarities) with individuals helps to understand how they work and, hopefully, how you can work effectively together.

·                Find other Administrators – Church administration can be a lonely job.  Try to meet up locally with other Administrators, if only for coffee.  Also use the UCAN website to ask questions of other Church Administrators.  There is a wealth of experience and knowledge out there.

 ·                Know your limits - Many Administrators end up doing lots of small jobs which they may or may not be qualified for.  Where possible engage others from the congregation who have experience in these areas – or, when necessary, pay for professional expertise.

·                Realise your impact - Not everyone is gifted as an Administrator and not everyone realises the impact of a good Administrator (sometimes even ourselves!).  However, in using your gifts effectively, you can become an enabler, assisting and releasing others to exercise and develop their ministries and gifts; through which God can work bringing more people into his kingdom.”


A great sense of accomplishment

Leisa Young, Circuit Administrator for the Preston Ribble Methodist Circuit in Lancashire, has just completed the UCAN / St John’s Nottingham distance learning course, ‘The work of a Church Administrator’.  We asked her to tell us about the module.

“It had been almost two decades since I had taken on any kind of academic endeavour – as such, it was not without trepidation and a slightly shaky start that I began ‘The work of a Church Administrator’ distance learning course through St. John’s College, Nottingham.

My fears were quickly diminished when I received the coursework, which was easily broken up in to ten manageable units with clear guidelines.  The first of many emails and phone calls from my wonderful course tutor (UCAN member Simon Jones) also put my mind at ease, that the course could be completed at my own pace and that I would have support whenever I needed it.

As a Methodist Circuit Administrator I had some concerns that the course might not quite fit my needs but to my delight I discovered that it was adaptable to my denomination and a slightly different office environment and therefore entirely relevant to my role.

The coursework was challenging and practical.  Everything I studied proved a helpful reflection on how I manage things both in the office and theologically.  The three marked assignments in particular required a good deal of personal reflection and I found that I spent at least twice as long as the recommended amount of time on each of them.

The course has encouraged further learning, improved my work environment and communication channels, helped me make some valuable ecumenical contacts and completing it has given me a great sense of accomplishment.”  

For details of what the course involves and how to apply, see https://www.john-truscott.co.uk/Administrators/UCAN-distance-learning.


Local Group news

These items are included in each issue to give all groups ideas for their meetings and to encourage others to form new groups.  They are very much appreciated by those who belong to one!

Greater Manchester Group

Fran Townsend, Church Administrator at Elmwood Church, Salford, writes:

“Every term our group meets at a different member’s church so we can share hosting responsibilities, and see and learn from other churches’ ways of operating.

We recently met at the LifeCentre, the relatively new home of LifeChurch Manchester, south of the city.  We had several new attendees though some regulars couldn’t make this one - an inevitable consequence of covering such a large area.

We had two very useful presentations by Andy and David from LifeChurch; one on safety and another on how they use the church management system, ChurchApp, to facilitate the integration of new people arriving at their church. 

Both presentations were based on methods created by the church to meet their needs, so we knew they were practical tools we could use too.  They also generated a number of questions and gave us inspiration for addressing and developing better ways of working in our own contexts.

We always share documentation on Dropbox. So a wider audience can benefit from the presentation on safety.”


BH Postcode Group

Gillian Mannouch, Senior Administrator at St John’s, Wimborne, sent us this contribution from their meeting this week:

“Twelve of us met at Poulner Baptist Chapel in Ringwood and we covered a wide range of issues sharing what our churches currently do on each.  These included

·                Easter leaflets and booklets – with the idea of being able to put in combined orders

·                Use of Facebook and Mail Chimp for churches that use social media and email information to members

·                Producing printed reports for annual meetings

·                Giving and stewardship reviews – plus fund raising ideas

·                Use of Alpha, Discipleship Explored and other home-produced courses.

We had a visit from a photocopying firm to demonstrate what they could provide for churches, with specific advice on the production of banners.  We found time for an opening Bible verse and for prayer.  We meet again in July when we move round to another church venue.”


We have several members in the process of getting new local groups off the ground.  If this includes you, do get in touch to see how we can help and support you.  Local Groups are the main bottom-up part of UCAN and we long to see the number grow and the groups flourish.

 If you have indicated a desire to be part of a Local Group in your area but have heard nothing more this will be because no one was prepared to start a group, or someone hoped to do so but found they had no time.  Please get in touch with John if you would be interested in getting a new group off the ground, perhaps working with someone else.


Quick news, reminders and updates

Cutting Edge conference completely full!

The biannual residential conference at King’s Park, Northampton from 20th to 22ndMarch is completely full with a waiting list.  We have never had so many booking for this event and will report on it in the next issue of Update.

New Risk Toolkit, and other new items on the UCAN resources page

New items on the UCAN resources page of the website include:

·                MR31: Running a church pre-school

·                MR32: Organising music events at church

·                MR33: Fire and safety PowerPoint presentation

·                UR8: A new complete and updated version of the Risk Toolkit.

The Risk Toolkit was written by Daryl Martin for UCAN’s 2016 Cutting Edgeconference.  It has been available to all UCAN members since then and costs £20 for the pdf.  After a number of updates, a new version has now been produced and we have put this on the UCAN resources page.

If you were at the 2016 conference or have purchased a copy since, please download the new version or print it out free of charge.  If you have not had the earlier version, you are asked to send £20 in payment.  Half goes to the author and half to UCAN.

The Administrators’ version of Daryl’s Risk Toolkit is only available to UCAN members and for use in their churches.


Help with mortgages for churches

Simon Shefford is an independent mortgage broker with 28 years’ experience.  He helps churches and Christian charities obtain competitive mortgages and insurance for church buildings.

If you are looking for help in these areas see http:///www.churchmortgages.co.uk andhttp://www.cpmc.org.uk.


Plans for new-UCAN progress

There are six Directors for the new UCAN organisation being set up to take the network forward after John hands it over later this year.  Four are current UCAN members: Andy Bagwell, Joyce Gledhill, Julian Mander and Jules Morgan.  Two are former UCAN members now involved in charitable and church consultancy work and leadership: Kevin Lawrence and Colin Rye.

They are meeting regularly (next on 9th March and 11th May) to plan the running of new-UCAN and will be making presentations on the final morning of Cutting Edge in March and at the three Area Training Days in May.

They would value your prayers as they consider transfer plans, the effective use of website and IT in running UCAN, and future staffing.

John will then be able to focus all his energies back again on his core work of consultancy, training and writing.


Welcome to new members

Here are our new joiners for January and February.  A really warm welcome to all.

The lists each time are in order of joining.  If I seem to have missed you out or shown anything that is incorrect, please let me know so I can put it right.  Additions and changes after 28th February will be given in the May 2017 Update.  * indicates there is at least one other UCAN member at this church.

Welcome to new UCAN members for January and February

Sarah Gosling, Parish Administrator at St James’, Rowledge, Farnham

Christine Hobson, Administrative Assistant at Gateway Church, York*

Debbie Beville, Circuit Administrator at Staffordshire Moorlands Methodist Circuit, Stoke-on-Trent

Sue Humphries, Church Administrator at Holy Trinity, Takeley & All Saints’, Little Canfield, near Bishop’s Stortford

Angharad Broughton, Administrator at St John’s, Hinckley

Janet Nicholson, PA to Vicar at St John’s, Great Horton, Bradford

Kate Slater, Church Administrator at Moortown Baptist, Leeds

Linda Buesnel, Administrator at St John’s, Long Eaton

Samm Richards, Benefice Administrator at St John the Baptist, Pilton, near Shepton Mallet

Judith Jones, Church Administrator at St Sebastian’s, Great Gonerby, Grantham

Graham Ball, Church Centre Manager at Guildford Baptist*

Jana Phillips, Parish Administrator at St Nicolas’, Guildford*

Elizabeth Gaulton, Parish Administrator at B&A Church, Bristol

Sarah Bradley, Church Administrator at Portswood Church, Southampton

Alison Stuttard, Parish Co-ordinator at Mid-Wyedean Churches, Coleford

Carolyn Ford, Parish Administrator at Christ Church, Crookham, Fleet

Tassy Russell, Parish Manager at St Peter’s, Acton Green, London


...and those who have taken over from another UCAN member at their church

not always in the same post or with the same responsibilities and some changes may have taken place some time ago but the UCAN transfer has just been effected or there has been a vacancy for some months.

Sarah Eason, Circuit Administrator at Northampton Methodist Circuit (replacing Ann Atkin)

Lynne Lee-Diep, Parish Administrator at St Peter’s, Stevenage (replacing Barbara Blackwell)

Wendy Neary, Centre Operations Manager at Gateway Church, York* (replacing Caleb Ellwood)

Amy Wright, Church Administration Manager at Holy Apostles’, Cheltenham (replacing Sarah Burdett)

Becki Whitlock, Parish Administrator at St James’ Church Centre, Woodley, Reading (replacing Janice Parker)

Katie Urban, Operations Manager at St Michael the Archangel, Warfield, Bracknell (replacing Lucy Vitale)

Rebecca Willows, Parish Administrator at St Alban’s,  Hindhead (replacing Kay Young)

Patricia Rogers, Church Administrator at the Gospel Centre, London (replacing Sandra Berry)

Elizabeth Harris, Conferencing & Events Administrator at ChristChurch, Woking* (replacing Esther Harrison)

Helena Tarrant, Church Co-ordinator at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London* (replacing Elinor Newman)

Andy Neale, Parish Administrator at Parish of High Ongar (replacing Lynne Neale)

Fiona Hedges, Director of Ministry at All Saints’, Crowborough (replacing Andrew Drummond-Smith)

Karen Moore, Operations Director at Everyday Church, Wimbledon, London* (replacing Peter Troup)

Sarah Godwin, Office Administrator at Hereford Baptist (replacing Maggie Johnson)

Jane Foster, Church Secretary at St Clement’s, Poole* (replacing Tom Reiblein)

Annette Ross, Church Administrator at Christ Church, Virginia Water* (replacing Lesley Dumbleton)

Gaynor Robertson, Parish Administrator at St Luke’s, Great Crosby (replacing Shirley Wallin)


Members who have moved on from their posts and who are not being replaced

We have lost a total of 107 members in seven and a half years when appointments are not renewed, posts are made redundant, or we are asked to cancel the membership.

Helen Walter, Church Administrator at St Mark’s, Wyke, Normandy

Jenny Rote, Church Office Manager at Highfields Church, Cardiff



Angela Anderson, PA to the Vicar at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London has, sadly, died.