Malcolm Kayes (on behalf of the Elders) - 27 September 2016
As you know, my sign off comment for emails and letters is Keep Pressing On. It is something I encourage in others and also in myself – but I am not going to be pressing on as Leader of The Coign Church for much longer.
I have taken the decision to retire (whatever that means) from full time Leadership of the Coign Church at the end of July 2017.
Leading the Coign Church these past 25 years has been, and continues to be, a joy and a privilege, but there are several substantial reasons that have prompted my decision to retire:
I am not now thinking and planning 2 or 3 years ahead and The Coign needs and deserves such a forward thinking leader.
The Coign is a good church but I believe it needs some change and fresh challenge.
The Building Project plans have changed and another leader should now be involved to take the church forward into future development plans.
Other considerations have been: My Age (now 66 years young, I will be 67 when I retire) and My Wonderful Wife, Pam. There has been no pressure placed on me from Pam regarding a decision to retire – she and I have pressed on through her recent chemo treatment, and will do so through her current stem cell transplant treatment, but, it will be good to be able to spend more time together in retirement.
Though not leading the Coign Church I expect to be still working alongside Guy Miller in Commission leadership and ministry for a few more years.
Pam and I are not planning to leave Woking. Here we have strong family, friendship, and fellowship connections, but we will be open to God’s prompting and leading.
I will not continue in leadership or eldership or preaching at The Coign, beyond my retirement, unless invited to do so by the Future Eldership team, and I don’t want to meddle in matters that will no longer be my responsibility.
JOHN WARDILL WILL ALSO BE STEPPING DOWN FROM ELDERSHIP AT THE END OF JULY 2017.
The process for finding and appointing a new leader for the Coign Church
This is substantially the responsibility of the current Coign Eldership team working with Guy Miller (Apostolic Leader of Commission family of churches) and with some of his Commission Leadership Team. The Coign Church Trustees will also be informed and involved.
After some consideration already, we do not think there is an internal candidate ready to succeed me next year, so we will be looking to appoint a new leader from outside the Coign, but from within Commission – someone who shares the same apostolic context and holds to the same values and vision as The Coign does.
We are still in the very early days of this process, but the Elders (with Guy Miller) will work hard in this, and we will aim to propose a new leader to you in November.
If that happens, then the proposed leader will be invited to preach on a Sunday morning in January 2017, and to meet with the church members on that evening to share his life story, his family context, and his values and vision. There will be also some opportunity for Q&A.
If this timetable is achieved and all goes well then we hope to seek the membership’s support for his appointment at a church meeting, also in January if possible.
The new leader will be expected to start his FT work at The Coign on September 1st 2017, but we expect him to be consulted and involved in key Coign discussions and decisions prior to that date.
Some closing comments…
Pray that God will lead us all through this process – pray especially for Guy Miller and the Coign Eldership.
Please don’t speculate during the early part of this process!! It can be very unhelpful and also you might be very mistaken. For example, we have 3 Commission leaders coming to speak at The Coign in the next two months – they were booked to speak before my final retirement decision was made, and any speculation or gossip might be very unsettling for them, their family, and their church. (The Coign Church membership has shown itself ‘mature’ in such processes before)
Finally, between now and September 2017 there will be no leadership vacuum here at The Coign. I will continue to preach, lead, and serve alongside the other Elders for several months (though it will be a strange period), but I will obviously need to become less and less involved in discussing and planning the Coign’s future ministry and mission strategies.
What a joy it has been for me to lead such a great church for over 25 years. Pam and I are so grateful to God for the partnership, love, and support demonstrated by church members and fellow leaders over all of those years, and surely we can all look forward to the future with faith - with no fear and no regrets - for our Heavenly Father cares for us.
Keep pressing on!