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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

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Do all the good you can…

Friday 9th December 2022

This time last year I reflected on another extraordinary year, and in many ways the same could be said for the past twelve months, although for different reasons. 

Our world is in turmoil and the impact of the devastating war in Ukraine has been widespread, we face a cost of living crisis, and as a nation are coming to terms with the death of our monarch, who has been the constant in all our lives. 

We continue to live in troubled and unsettling times, and as an organisation we haven’t been immune from that sense of unease. The decision of Northern Ireland District to seek to be a separate autonomous body has been greeted with sadness by many of us, and the sale of Felden Lodge is difficult for some to accept. 

However, amongst all the difficulties, I believe there is always hope, and the chance to embrace new opportunities, and the signs of that is what I hold on to. 

I have been encouraged with the way Companies have embraced our programme resources: seeing the way the resources about Ukraine and the death of HM The Queen have been used by leaders to tackle difficult subjects has been inspiring. 

The way in which leaders responded to the Company Census has also been encouraging. It is great that leaders used the process to reflect on the way their Company is operating and to build an action plan for the future. The findings also indicate our strategy to improve the quality of experience for children and young people is in tune with the priorities identified by leaders. The findings from the Census are highlighted in the Vision article of this Gazette.  

It was great to join with young leaders earlier in the Autumn to launch our Young Leaders Network. This is the first step in ensuring young leaders have the opportunity to shape our organisation as well as being its voice. 

The Queen’s death was a significant moment in the life of our nation and a landmark moment for our organisation too, as we recall the seventy years Her Majesty has been our Patron. It was an immense privilege to attend the State Funeral at Westminster Abbey and to join with people from across the nation and wider world in remembering the selfless service to others to which the Queen dedicated her life, rooted so firmly in the Christian faith. 

It reminds me of the words of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church:
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can!”

This was certainly the way the Queen lived her life and is something we can all aspire to.

At this time of year, we naturally start to think ahead, whether that is to a period of holiday and time spent with family and friends, the possibilities of a new year, or as Christians in the expectation and wonder that comes with celebrating the birth of Jesus. 

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

With very best wishes for the year ahead and all the opportunity it will provide.

Jonathan Eales
Chief Executive

Follow Jonathan on Twitter at: @jonathanealesbb

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