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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary



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From the Brigade Chaplain

Wednesday 31st August 2022

As he prepares to pass on the baton of a role he has held for the last three years, our outgoing Brigade Chaplain Rev Leigh Maydew shares his reflections of his time in post and his hopes for the future.

How many Methodists does it take to change a lightbulb…?

It was September 2007 when I first joined the Brigade Executive as a member of the England Regional Committee, and for nine of the last 15 years I have had the privilege of being a Trustee of this great organisation that I joined as an 8-year-old in what was then 6th West Bromwich (now known as 2nd Wednesbury).

A lot has changed for me in those 15 years, including ordination in the Methodist Church which resulted in me being invited to serve as the Brigade Chaplain for the last three years. Much has also changed in the life of The Boys’ Brigade in that time too.

There’s an old joke about Methodists not being good at change: I’d want to suggest that The Boys’ Brigade has its own issues around change too. If you look at our history, the key change in the time since I first served as a Trustee was the formation of The Girls’ Association in 2008, but I believe that there have been many more significant changes in that time too.

For me, one of the most significant changes in the life of the Brigade was a change in attitude and mindset following the independent review conducted by Wren and Greyhound in 2019. This review looked back at our previous strategic plans, considered how we had implemented them, and gave us some ideas for what might be next.

The Wren and Greyhound review helped us to consider our Vision, Mission and Values as an organisation. Our Vision, we asserted, is that children and young people should experience “life to the full”, a term we find in John 10:10, and one that echoed the mission statement of my home Church.

We then decided to Be Bold, Be Strong as we published our Strategic Plan for 2021-2025. For me, the Wren and Greyhound review and our work since has begun to implement a real root and branch cultural change within The Boys’ Brigade, perhaps accelerated by the effects of Covid-19. In the Strategic Plan we decided to focus on achieving Quality, Growth and Voice at all levels of the organisation; the difficulty as always is about taking all our leaders with us.

Covid-19 meant that all of us have had to change the way we work, the way we communicate and the way that we see the work of The Boys’ Brigade. The pandemic gave us a fresh chance to be bold, be strong and to introduce new ways of working: to embed OBM, to introduce new programme resources, to restructure the work of our staff team and so much more.

And so, my prayer for the future is that we as an organisation might “be bold, be strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

May you continue to be a blessing to children and young people across our organisation.

Rev Leigh Maydew
Brigade Chaplain


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