It seems a little late to be introducing myself in the #MondayMeet area as I will only be with you until the end of June. But it does give me a chance to acknowledge to all of my colleagues and parish representatives who I encounter that I have had such a wonderful and fun working experience during my time with you.
“Finance is Fun” – I wonder how many of you will agree? But like most things in life it’s what you make it. That’s not to say that at times it doesn’t get tough. Despite reports to the contrary we are not a wealthy Diocese!
My role in the Diocese involves overall control of the finance area and responsibility for a great team – who will be following me over the coming weeks in introducing themselves and their specific area of responsibility to you. (Note to Editor .. get copy now so there’s no excuse – that gives you 5 people)
My day by day responsibilities are to ensure the flow of funds, matching income against expenditure, giving advice as requested and advising on the financial aspects of strategy. As we reimagine ministry I am involved in “what if” scenarios and the impact of realigning parochial boundaries and areas.
Most of my working life has been in the commercial arena where you spend what you earn apart from a stint at The Millennium Dome where there was no money to spend and lots of problems! Here I am responsible for spending what you earn and generously give and I do remind my team and my colleagues of that fact so that we are as efficient as possible.
As a Church Warden in another Diocese I experience heartaches similar to yours first hand. But we should continually remind ourselves that “All things come from you, O God, and of your own do we give you.” Our God is gracious and beneficent and wants what is best for His children – sometimes the issue is our trust!
Personally, in my long ago youth, I was a PK (pastor’s kid) in a free church environment in East London and Essex although the first 5 years of my life were in Congo as my parents were missionaries. Out of that has grown my passion to share the good news of Jesus Christ. But mission takes money and here in Canterbury I have been able to combine the type of work I love with my passion. I have a brilliant wife, Julie, who keeps me grounded and takes no nonsense, is retraining as a nurse and is our parish’s Evangelism Enabler. 4 children (all now early 20s), Jess the 21 year old cat and Ruby springer spaniel feed into the busy mix that is the Spraggins household. Some might say that coming to work in Canterbury was like going on holiday!
So as my colleagues here in Diocesan House count down to the days of the noise level reducing, the boisterousness abating and Essex tones departing I take this opportunity to say “thank you” to you all. Please hold the Finance Team in your prayers as they hold the fort until my successor joins. And pray for those who are involved in the appointment process.