Principal Officers report

Essex and East London Workplace Chaplains Essex Churches Council for Industry and Commerce (ECCIC)

Annual General Meeting – Tuesday 9 February 2021 Principal Officer’s Report

I would like to begin by emphasising the importance of workplace chaplaincy (WPC); from my personal experience of having previously worked in industry for eighteen years, and my involvement with football chaplaincy, extending over a period of sixteen years. I would also like to acknowledge the tremendous commitment and dedication to workplace chaplaincy from core and volunteer chaplains from across Essex and East London, especially during the difficulties and challenges that have impacted on us all over the last year.

It is apparent there has been a real sense of purpose regarding the opportunities presented to continue to support and encourage those with whom we are engaged, as we serve God in sharing his love at their point of need. Over the last two years an appraisal of the ECCIC Constitution (noting the specific reference to Industry and Commerce), has been taking place, particularly regarding its Terms of Reference and the development, oversight and coordination of the work of chaplains, to reflect on current practice and potential for change in relation to and considering the following:

• Definitions of chaplaincy in relation to ECCIC - Currently chaplains are defined as Full Time/Part Time/Dual Role (Industry and Commerce) or Associates (those having a supportive interest – e.g., Educational, Agricultural and Therapeutic).

• The inclusion of other chaplaincies – e.g., Health Care Trusts, Prison, Emergency Services and Sports Chaplains.

• An additional category in relation to supportive interest – e.g., Friends/Supporters (especially prayer, administration, finance and secretarial support). • Principal Officers – clarification of role and denomination representation on the ECCIC Board.

• Churches Together in Essex and East London (CTEEL) – As the ECCIC Sponsoring Body, the potential to strengthen this relationship, including Principal Officer and Team Leader presence at the CTEEL meetings. In addition, a reassessment of the organisational structure was considered, to provide a clear understanding of the WPC (ECCIC) function and its operation, to encompass the following:

• Membership – to establish a clearly defined framework across the diocese, including accountability arrangements relating to each of the chaplaincy roles. • Commitment – to enhance attendance at monthly ‘Core Group’ meetings (engendering support and encouragement) and AGM.

• Training – to ensure adequate training and review, with clear expectations, taking into consideration those Chaplains who have their own training provision and oversight.

• Finance – to secure a long-term strategy to sustain and cultivate funding.

• Visibility – to generate additional publicity and improve communication, to encourage increased awareness and participation.Page 2 of 4

The appraisal being undertaken accords with the ECCIC Constitution, which states, ‘The work of ECCIC (Board and Chaplains) shall be reviewed by a team appointed by the Sponsoring Body every seven years.’ This review was validated at a meeting on 19 September 2019, with Mike Lodge, (WPC (ECCIC) Principal Officer), Andy Hudson (WPC (ECCIC) Team Leader), Jacqui King (County Ecumenical Officer for CTEEL) and Nick Lear (Chair of CTEEL and Regional Minister Eastern Baptist Association) to discuss and clarify the relationship between CTEEL and ECCIC. The issues discussed centred around:

• The future of WPC (ECCIC) as an organisation - to give a clear sense of purpose and direction, it was proposed that a questionnaire determined, ‘Why are the chaplains not engaged and what would they want/need from the organisation in the future if it were to continue?’

• How might the future of WPC (ECCIC) be appropriately resourced, relating to questions of cost, capacity and viability? • Consideration given to the standing of WPC (ECCIC) as a quality service - as to whether WPC (ECCIC) could constitute a ‘kitemark’ for chaplaincy in CTEEL (recognising that most chaplains are volunteers) or a training provider (with its already established programme). The task of creating a questionnaire was confirmed at a meeting of the Core Group attended by Ivan King (Baptist Church Minister), the questionnaire researcher, on 19 November 2019, in relation to the identified issues. As such, the following methodology was agreed: The survey was carried out in January 2020, largely online, and the results reported to the Core Group on 20 February 2020 and approved for circulation on 10 March 2020.

The report offered some analysis and recommendations for consideration by the Core Group, arising from the responses received. The key points included:

• there is not a coherent WPC (ECCIC) network (core group and volunteers)

• there is a lack of awareness of whom is responsible for what

• the scope of WPC (ECCIC) is uncertain to whom the support is directed

• there is cross-over with other chaplaincy organisations who may have a clearer framework for support, with potential to extend the chaplaincy network

• understanding a multi-faith dimension to chaplaincy

• the existing constitution is too complicated and requires redrafting • communication requires improvement, including website and social media

• better training sessions are required so that more can be achieved

The recommendations were discussed at a CTEEL Business Meeting held on 23 April 2020. In noting that the WPC (ECCIC) is a missional Local Ecumenical Project (LEP), as its future was considered, it was recognised that the survey had not answered the foundational question of CTEEL’s role as the umbrella organisation for WPC (ECCIC); how it encourages, supports and enables WPC (ECCIC) in the future.Page 3 of 4 The discussion centred around the work to the WPC (ECCIC), with the suggestion that the survey provided some evidence that there was no longer a need for WPC (ECCIC) in its present form. In this context the level of organisation to fulfil the WPC (ECCIC)’s role was considered, questioning if CTEEL should remain the sponsoring body that oversees WPC (ECCIC).

Following an in-depth discussion, a formal resolution was proposed that CTEEL should withdraw its oversight of WPC (ECCIC) by dissolving the WPC (ECCIC) Missional LEP, which was unanimously agreed by the meeting. From a legal perspective, it was confirmed that the ECCIC Constitution allows for CTEEL, as the sponsoring body, to dissolve ECCIC. This was clarified under the terms of the Constitution and Standing Orders of the Essex Churches Council for Industry and Commerce (ECCIC), paragraph 8:

• “The sponsoring body (CTEEL) has the power to dissolve ECCIC and terminate its functions and activities, in which case any funds standing to the credit of the council shall be used at the discretion of the sponsoring body”. It was agreed that a small group from CTEEL should work to establish how the dissolution would take place, comprised of Nick Lear (Chair of CTEEL and Regional Minister Eastern Baptist Association), retaining Presidency of ECCIC during this process, Paul Whittle (Moderator Eastern Synod United Reformed Church), Mike Lodge, (WPC (ECCIC) Principal Officer), Andy Hudson (WPC (ECCIC) Team Leader), and Jacqui King (County Ecumenical Officer for CTEEL). It was noted that the group would consider how a new organisation might emerge upon closure of the existing structure, to be created by WPC (ECCIC) and to continue to serve Essex and East London. At its meeting on 2 June 2020, this group discussed a possible structure, its leadership and finances, noting the need for a CTEEL committee minute to authorise the use of ECCIC funds for the new organisation.

The question of what type of legal entity would be most appropriate was discussed, including the setting up of a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), granted by the Charitable Commission on application. The scope of the chaplaincy service would need to be established, e.g. agriculture, education, health care, sport, police/emergency services, prisons. It was recognised that the WPC (ECCIC) Core Group in the main represents these sectors, however other forms of chaplaincy, e.g. Street Pastors were not part of the group and that it might be helpful to explore these.

It was agreed that the questionnaire consultation and report, with its recommendations, provided adequate information to progress the creation of a new workplace chaplaincy organisation. Co-ordinated by the existing ECCIC Board, it was decided that the WPC (ECCIC) Core Group would be consulted to consider the new organisation, for a recommendation to be presented at the next WPC (ECCIC) Annual Meeting

.Page 4 of 4 Over the past eight months the WPC (ECCIC) Board, Lesley Lee (Chair), Mike Lodge (Vice Chair), Andy Hudson (Team Leader), Cyril Bamforth (Treasurer), Janet Nichols (Chaplaincy Representative) and Sue Wise (Secretary to the Board), have met on eight occasions to fulfil the requirement for the setting up of a new Workplace Chaplaincy Structure. These discussions have been shaped in consultation with and alongside the meetings of the Chaplaincy Core Group. In doing so, the consultation and report, with its recommendation, completed at the beginning of 2020 has been very helpful in defining priorities and direction. The relationship with CTEEL, and their decision as the sponsoring body of ECCIC, to dissolve ECCIC, has been recently announced. In working out a new structure, other models of workplace chaplaincy, e.g. ‘Workplace Chaplaincy in Derbyshire’ and ‘Cambridgeshire Workplace Chaplaincy’ have been considered. In doing so, the priority has been to avoid replicating the complexity of the current ECCIC Constitution while ensuring a framework that supports and enables workplace chaplaincy to flourish. Consideration was given to setting up a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). In doing so it was recognised that appointed Trustees would hold legally defined responsibilities under the Charity Commission authority, which may deter prospective representatives. As an alternative to a separate charity set up, it was suggested that the possibility of the workplace chaplaincy being incorporated within the structures of the Diocese of Chelmsford should be explored, with the proviso that an essential ecumenical distinctiveness remained intact, retaining the existing ecumenical links with Eastern Baptists, RC and Salvation Army. This proposal has been followed up with Roger Matthews (Interim Chief Executive and Diocesan Secretary), who sees this as a logical concept and has asked if further discussion could be held with the new Diocesan Director of Finance, Michaela Southworth (w.e.f. 8 February 2021), as it would be essential to involve her in making such a decision.

With regard to finances, following consultation with Maureen Cole, Interim Chief Operating Officer, it is envisaged that transactions would be enacted within the new organisation, e.g. expense claims, training, hospitality and conference, although the new set up would not act directly as an employer. In relation to the current financial arrangement for the Stansted Airport chaplaincy, and the planned Southend Airport chaplaincy, it is proposed that all contracts would continue through the Diocese Finance Department. Stated by Roger Matthews, this anticipated new structure creates openings for greater workplace chaplaincy engagement across the Diocese; to learn from it and tap into the expertise that exists within the group, an example conveyed through Janet Nichol’s role as Agricultural Chaplain. Subject to the endorsement of this meeting, it is intended that the setting up of a new Workplace Chaplaincy group, incorporated into the Chelmsford Diocesan structures, is pursued and approved at a future meeting of the WPC (ECCIC), by the end of July 2021. Your continuing prayers are valued, with the assurance of my prayers for all that is being done to share the good news that Jesus brings, to our lives and our world of need.

The Venerable Mike Lodge Principal Officer 9 February 202