I’m delighted to announce that we have appointed a new Operations Manager for Welcome Church: Uti Anyaegbunam.
Uti has been part of Welcome Church for around 17 years and will be well known to many in the church. She is married to Nnamdi and together they have two children. In her spare time she likes to play tennis and is also a fan of Korean soap operas 🤔
In case you’re unsure, Uti can be pronounced either as ‘You-Tee’ or ‘Ooh-Tee’. She really doesn’t mind which way you say it, but goes for ‘You-Tee’ herself.
Uti comes to us from a successful career as a trademark lawyer with a firm in London. In her new role she will become part of the Senior Leadership Team of the church, working alongside Darren Forsdyke, our Director of Operations. We are really looking forward to her starting with us full time from 1st August.
As lockdown ends and we return more fully to ‘in person’ church life and open up the offices and the building again, we expect to carry our more recruitment for our operations team. Do watch this space if you’re interested.
In case you missed them here are some updates from our Welcome Church family regarding elders, staff, the new Lockdown and Sunday meetings:
At our vision focus evening we were delighted to propose two people to join our eldership team: Nnamdi Anyaegbunam and Robin Willison. Both of these are a real gift to our church and a model of godly leadership and life; we recommend them to you wholeheartedly.
We would love to hear your endorsement of these choices and equally, if you have any Biblical concerns, please let us know. How and when they will be appointed during Covid remains to be seen!
Rhea John and Peter Leach have both now left our employment. They had been on furlough for a while as their roles were not possible during Covid.
Rhea has secured a much sought after job in London as a civil servant, a role she was pursuing before she joined us. Peter has now officially retired. We will miss them around the offices, but they will remain part of our church family.
Impact Of The New Lockdown
The new Lockdown has impacted some of what we do:
The church offices are closed for the next four weeks with all staff working at home
Recruitment of new staff (bearing in mind that Ben Martin, Peter Leach and Rhea John have all left us during Lockdown!) has been put on hold until the crisis has passed. This will both help us financially and allow us to fully assess what roles we need most for the future.
Welcome Youth had planned to start ‘in person’ meetings this week, but this will be delayed until this Lockdown ends. Youth Alpha starts online tonight, so pray for them
Our day time Life Groups were working towards some in person meetings in the building and these will now also be delayed until after Lockdown
Some things remain unchanged:
Sundays will continue online as before
Prayer meetings will continue online on Tuesday and Friday mornings
Our Life Group refresh will continue as planned
Baptisms can go ahead as planned unless the Lockdown is extended
Our new Leadership Development course continues online
Live Streaming on Sundays
At Vision Focus I announced our intention to move away from a ‘pre-recorded’ approach to Sunday meetings and towards Live Streaming, with whatever congregation we are allowed to have ‘in person’, from early January.
It is possible (not definite) that the start date may be delayed slightly because we need to do significant technical training for some volunteers, and Lockdown 2 is making that difficult. Regardless, our direction of travel remains the same.
Finally, please pray for Alan and Beryl Hunwicks. Alan is a former elder and a current trustee of Welcome Church, and Beryl is a local councillor and the Mayor of Woking.
Alan fell down a flight of stairs and has been in hospital. Sadly we heard today that he now has Coronavirus with some clear symptoms. The hospital are unsure how he caught it. He has been transferred to the Covid ward. Please pray for Alan’s full recovery, and also for Beryl, who is not allowed to visit.
And remember …
… in all things God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purposes. (Romans 8v28)
We are not abandoned or forgotten. God is at work for his glory and his purposes, even now.
On Sunday 18th October at 7.30pm, for about one hour, Welcome Church will hold an online Vision Focus meeting. These meetings provide a great opportunity for us to look ahead and share news and vision for the church.
This one will take place on Zoom, and login details will be publicised nearer the time; in the mean time please put the date and time in your diary.
There are three main things we need to talk about that evening:
We have two new elders to propose to the church
We have some staff changes to announce
We want to update you on plans for our Sunday meetings
There are a few other things to mention as well, so don’t miss it!