Staff team update

With the government roadmap well under way, it’s time for an update on our staff team. This time round, we have needed to wait for detailed guidance to cover our work, and some of this is still in the works. Our team is working hard doing the things we are allowed to do, and planning for the next phase. April to August will see a gradual restart of some of our ministry, and we will say more about that as we go along. I’m aware of speculation about things like our Sunday services; we have made no decisions and will be watching and listening with interest over the next few weeks as we return to in-person worship at 10.30am.
 
One piece of sad news to share is that our fabulous cleaner Carol Amber is retiring and will finish with us in mid-April after over 16 years. She has been an unassuming, hard-working presence behind the scenes and we will miss her enormously.
 
The church office is back to full capacity with Jess McNutt and Sharon Row back from furlough. Much of their work is still undertaken from home, but they are manning the phone and email, and if you need to pick anything up from the office, you can make an appointment. I’m delighted to report that Jess and her other half Elliot announced their engagement this week – congratulations from all of us!
 
Dave Doran, Kate Clarke and Tina Thomas remain on part-time furlough, as much of their work still cannot go ahead. Children’s and youth groups cannot restart indoors or outdoors until 17 May at the earliest, and workers are not allowed to meet one-to-one with children or young people except in emergencies. We are waiting for guidance for toddler groups but they are certain to be one of the last things to reopen. However, after-school groups are allowed, and we’re delighted that Kate will be returning with her team to Barnsbury School after Easter, so her furlough will end then. Dave and Tina’s furlough will be reviewed at the end of April.
 
Sarah Tapp’s one-day-a-week furlough ends next week; the co-operation of Guildford Diocese’s curates has saved them thousands of pounds.
 
Bekah Clark, our bookkeeper Christine Strutt and me remain working for our usual hours. My Extended Ministerial Development Leave is going ahead this year and I will be away from 28 May – 12 September, with Bekah and Sarah covering my workload. Dave is also planning to take some study leave this summer, probably covering the school holidays, and we will ensure his work is covered by the team, with help from outside if necessary. I’ll write more about what this leave looks like after Easter.
 
Do keep praying for all our team as we face an exciting few months!

Mark Wallace, 25/03/2021