Statement from Trustees 6 December 2014

The trustees and leaders met with Nigel Davies this morning at Trinity Church, with Terry Mortimer present as an independent witness, as we had previously mentioned. We would like to thank Nigel for his time and effort in preparing his statement that he presented. He talked through his general concerns with the culture that existed at Peniel and listed about seven specific incidents that he wanted us to investigate further. These incidents included allegations of financial and sexual misconduct.

These are all issues that the trustees take very seriously. The trustees will consider Nigel’s testimony from this morning, and to facilitate the trustees’ ongoing investigations into past wrongs, it was agreed that Nigel would follow up today’s meeting with an email containing his testimony. The trustees requested that this contain as much detail as possible about all the issues that were raised, as this will help tremendously in our investigations. We do appreciate that some of the points Nigel raised are confidential to him, and we respect that.

The next steps are for the trustees to ask any clarifying questions on the email that we receive from Nigel. However based on this morning’s meeting we would like to invite the individuals mentioned in Nigel’s statement who have concerns about two incidents of financial misconduct to meet with the trustees and our finance team so we can investigate further. The concerns that were raised, as we understand them, relate to funds being donated for a specific purpose, namely the school bursary fund and for kitchen equipment, and then the funds not being used for the purpose for which they were given. We welcome the opportunity to meet these people, to understand exactly what went on, to ensure there is clarity for all parties, and if mistakes have been made, to correct those mistakes.

As we have previously mentioned, we are meeting the Evangelical Alliance to provide an additional independent Christian external voice to help with our ongoing investigations into past wrongs. Nigel’s testimony will be included in that process. We have a genuine desire to reconcile with Nigel and others that were hurt, and who seek reconciliation, and we hope that today’s meeting was another step along that journey. We will continue to be diligent in striving to correct the erroneous culture that existed over a long time at Peniel. This effort will take time, and we ask for your prayers as we move forwards, with God as our witness.