I had my last round of ministry visits this week in England. I would like to thank:
- Nick Stevens, Group Financial Controller, Alpha International and Holy Trinity Brompton Church;
- Mike O’Neill, Chief Executive, Stewardship;
- Steve Clifford, General Director, Evangelical Alliance UK;
- Gordon Showell-Rogers, Associate Secretary General, World Evangelical Alliance;
- Philip Poole, Deputy Chief Executive, Bible Society; and
- Redina Kolaneci, Senior Fundraising & Stewardship Consultant, McConkey-Johnston International UK.
Once again I was surprised to discover, as I did in all the other countries, that ministry leaders hold a single perspective on what’s happening with ministries, donors and the religious climate in their country. If I were doing these interviews in Canada I’m not sure there would be such a singular consensus. But then, I’m asking a different set of questions than I do in Canada.
I now look forward to reviewing all my pages of notes from these meetings and seeing which themes come out. I know right from the start that there is very broad consensus among ministry leaders on both research topics, which takes the fun out of probing deeper to understand different opinions. It seems too easy when everyone agrees! What remains is to look for application to the Canadian context, and then find possible opportunities here.
My meetings this week took me to London, Debden, Reading and Oxford and would have taken me to Colchester, but at the last minute, that person had to come to London so we met here. This provided a nice bookend to my time in the U.K., because the first thing I did when I got here was tour St. Paul’s, and based on the meeting place suggested by my interviewee, the last thing I did before leaving the country was sit outside Paul’s cafe in the courtyard at the side of St. Paul’s.
One other thing I have not yet mentioned is that I met up with my second cousin Graham Zabel and his family while in London. He is related through my father’s side. While I’ve been visiting places my ancestors emigrated from, Graham has reversed the flow of emigration by moving from Canada to London, and he lives in the same area of London that our family came from. Twenty years ago when he relocated there he did not know of that precise connection. He has a lovely family and I was amazed at how similar our families are in terms of interests and activities.
Maintenant, je vais à Paris!