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Wednesday 21st August 2019

I always find it strange that some sermons over talks from years ago stay fresh in your mind but sometimes I can struggle to remember what last Sunday’s service was about.  I often come back to a talk I heard many years ago at a BB leadership course.  I was a young leader then so you can guess how long ago it was!  The Battalion President challenged the Boys (there were no girls then) to always try to leave things better than you found them.

That simple idea has stayed with me ever since and it still makes good sense.  I have been involved in many organisations over the years and I have always tried to make some improvements. On a daily more practical level it can just mean picking up a piece of litter or clearing away a few weeds.  Once during a stay in Toronto I came across some guerrilla gardeners who went out at twilight to tidy up roundabouts – I thought that was interesting but probably a bit extreme even for me.

Some of you will be aware that over the last few months we had to undertake a review of the staff employed by the Brigade.  It has not been an easy job and some difficult decisions had to be made.  As a result some very loyal and dedicated colleagues left the Brigade; we are most thankful to them for all their hard work over the years.  However, we have also created new posts to ensure that we have the right things in place to be able to support the work of the Brigade going forward.  I know many leaders have been praying for us during this time and I can assure you your prayers were much appreciated.

Of course, leaving things better than you found them ties in well with our current “Raise the Bar” campaign.  I have been greatly encouraged travelling around the country to see how Companies, Battalions and Districts are getting behind this.  The campaign does seem to have caught the imagination of leaders and already we are hearing results of increased numbers, improved programmes and increased engagement with local Churches.  I was delighted when visiting the 11th Leeds to see that they had dedicated a whole wall in their Church hall to Raise the Bar.  A great idea that I hope many of you will follow, but if nothing else please do make sure it is at the top of your agenda at all BB meetings when making plans for next session.

If we all just make a few improvements, we can transform the work of the Brigade across the country.  I am trying hard to do my bit – will you?

Bill Stevenson
Brigade Secretary & CEO

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