Staff Team growth and change:

In late 2014 whilst I was the ‘vicar-designate’ and still living in Nottingham, the Church council made me aware that there was a financial shortfall, one member of staff had been made redundant and another was transferring from staff to starting a business (Westwood Fundraising) as part of the church.

The financial and spiritual season for the church has been one of pruning for much of the past two years, prior to our arrival in March ’15, some members of the church felt a call to move on geographically and step out into new things.

Very early in my time Lara Mills made it clear she was already headed for a full time job elsewhere for the good of her family and future. The PCC did not continue the role on her departure.

Since the joining of the Park Fellowship and St Johns congregations John Dagnan’s role became redundant. Catherine and James Hartson felt a call to go and plant a Missional Community in London, meaning Catherine’s role became vacant.

With all these staff changes naturally occurring and as a new leader bringing a new vision, one of the tasks for the Church Council (PCC) and I was to prayerfully review staffing. Many of the staff had job descriptions which where outdated as they had stepped up into new roles during the interregnum.

It was clear that Dave Merrifield as Church Manager (and the Vicar’s role) had a huge amount of work to get through and the set up needed highly knowledgeable individuals with a vast bank of Westwood experience to keep everything going. It seemed that an expansion of these roles to allow repeatable systems to replace gifted individuals was the way to grow to the next level.

As far back as June 2015 I offered the staff and the Church Council (PCC) my first draft of a new staff team for a new season of growth after a deep, ongoing pruning time. This plan was the product of consultation, prayer, and much soul-searching.
It was both exiting and scary. It meant a lot of change. It has meant redundancies, not because of individuals not being up to the task; but simply that as roles change they don’t fit existing individual’s gift and skill mix.

2015 St John’s PCC Staff:

Vicar (David Hammond- paid by Diocese)
Worship, Youth, Communication (and general cover) (Mike Knight)
Children and Families (Sarah Ashelby)
Missional Communities (Catherine Hartston)
20/30’s worker (Gareth Irvine- paid for by diocese)
Church Manager (Dave Merrifield)
International Student worker (Chernise Neo)
Park Fellowship Leader (John Dagnan)
Contract Cleaner

Continuing roles:
Vicar (paid by Diocese expanded by PCC to 1.4 FTE as Caroline and David job-share)
20/30’s Worker (Gareth 0.5 FTE paid by diocese)
International Student Worker (Chernise Neo)
Contract Cleaner

New roles:
Operations Minister (Mike Knight till 9/17 and then Stevey Cater)
Multi-Generation Coach (Sarah Ashelby)
Admin & Finance (half time) tba
Communication apprentice tba

Desired Future Roles: (dependant on future provision)
CAP Worker
Inner Healing

PCC have agreed to increase our operational staffing to allow for growth and to implement efficient systems that are simple and multipliable, allowing for rapid growth.
We have agreed that other roles become coaching roles for the discipleship of our church family and that these workers will be liberated from desk work as far as possible. We want to have a strong staff implementing and upkeeping functional structures for our church alongside a dynamic team of coaches who lead us out in areas where God is leading us to grow.

Redundancies are hard, personally, financially and they sap energy. It has been a difficult period for all, but it feels like we turning the corner. Every member of staff made redundant has a new job lined up, in every case it feels like a ‘better job’ for them. Most are financially better off too! The PCC has been generous in redundancy and all relationships are positive.
God has been good!

We hope to start 2017 with a full complement of staff and to begin to settle into our roles and grow.
Many HR constraints have made communication difficult- thank you for your patience.

Staff are important to our church, but staffing is not our plan for growth. We are all God’s plan for the growth of the Kingdom. The organisation of church needs gifted servants to make it run, some need to be paid. The ministry of the church is aided by coaches and leaders with enough time to serve all, but we all work together in our assigned callings to advance God’s work together.

Every blessing as we go forward together.

David and Caroline Hammond.


Westwood Church
45 Westwood Heath Road, CV4 8GN
A charity registered in England and Wales
Registered charity number 1129017

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