Following the publication of the report by Phil & David to the leaders and trustees we agreed together an initial action plan that included 7 key steps. We have been considering and working on those and we wanted to give you an update on some timelines and more specifics in regard to each of the 7 steps.
- Following personal reflection by each leader and trustee, individuals have been, and are being sought out, in order to make apology and seek reconciliation. However, there is also a corporate process going on and by the end of January 2016 the trustees and leaders expect to have met with a number of individuals in order to apologise on behalf of the church.
- With input and advice from an independent, Consultant Clinical Psychiatrist, we are seeking to establish a panel of three independent people who will be able to receive applications for financial help from individuals who have been hurt and who are seeking professional counselling. We hope to have this panel in place by the end of January. In addition to this we have also identified a number of independent counsellors who will be available to members of the church who are seeking help to process their own pain.
- By the end of February 2016 we will have set up an independent panel who will receive claims for reparation. This panel may be the same group as mentioned in 2) above. This panel will consider, investigate and adjudicate these claims.
- Phil & David will help identify key areas of Biblical teaching that need to be addressed and emphasised and these will be incorporated into the life of the church from January 2016.
- Phil & David are working with the trustees and leaders on key actions so that we can build a culture of trust. We hope that recent actions have begun this process, though we acknowledge that there is much to do; we have 30+ years of cultural error to correct.
- In regard to establishing an effective structure for leadership and governance, we had an appointment with one of the leading professionals in the UK in this particular field this week. None of the current leaders or trustees is seeking to hold on to position and are willing to do whatever is in the best interests of the church. However, it is important that we have some continuity in this transitional phase. We expect to prepare a proposed new structure of governance and leadership, based on current best-practice. There will be a process of discussion and consideration of this with Trinity church before we ask the church to ratify any changes.
- We are working hard to try and introduce seasoned spiritual leadership to the church as we process these various key issues. We believe it would be unwise to make permanent decisions at this stage but we also recognise that it is important that we have experienced ministry that can provide effective leadership and continuity during this season. We hope to be in a position to introduce you to such a transitional team in the New Year. During the coming months, we will continue to identify the essential qualities and characteristics required by future leadership and establish a secure pathway from our transitional position.