Planning for the future of St Johns

On its website St John’s describes itself as a thriving Scottish Episcopal church at the heart of Scotland's beautiful capital city. This presents us with an abundance of opportunity but an equally huge responsibility. A period of economic and political change, major development projects and an evolution of the needs of our community have, combined, made it essential that we re-consider how we manage our resources, as well as our vision for the future. As Christians, we trust that God has not abandoned us. It is because of this trust that we pledge to answer God’s call to be good stewards of human resources (the most precious treasures of the church - St Lawrence), of our finance, of our buildings, of our administration (incl. communication), and of our governance. 

With the appointment of our new Operations Director, Iain Herbert, The Vestry and CDEL Board have started the process of a full and detailed review of the many ways in which we support and serve St John’s varied community. In closing our doors during the Coronavirus pandemic we have been afforded an opportunity to step back and consider the changes needed and the steps we must take to plan for the future. 

We are working through a five-step process that started with assessing where we find ourselves. We are now in phase two, where we have started to look at our short to mid-term vision. It was agreed, by all, that significant and swift change is needed if we are to achieve this vision, as well as adequately responding to the circumstances and world we now find ourselves in. 

As a result of this review process we have, in consultation with the individuals concerned, taken the decision to make the three café, two vergers  and one administrative role redundant as of the end of July. To reach this decision we conducted a full review of all paid roles and assessed their viability against the current circumstances as well as what we anticipate our needs to be for the short to medium term. 

Any decisions such as this come with a heavy weight of responsibility and careful consideration. Whilst there is no denying that the Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on our income from donations and events, this review was already needed and underway before the current circumstances escalated. The members of The Vestry and CDEL Board feel confident that these steps are both correct and necessary to make real in life-giving ways God’s mission for St John’s: to affirm and nurture the faith of the members of the Body of Jesus Christ; to make new disciples of Jesus Christ; to embrace God’s call to take good care of creation; to nurse the wounds of those hurting in body, mind and soul; and to speak truth to power. We will continue to review our staffing needs as we work through planning for the future at St John’s.

It is our intention to report progress to our full community, through the website and magazine. This will not only show our progression through this second phase of review but moving on towards breaking even, putting in place sustainable building blocks for growth and then seeing this used to enrich our fellowship, mission, activities and partnerships.

If you have any questions about this please contact Markus directly. 

The Revd Markus Dünzkofer, Rector

Austin Reilly, Vestry Secretary

23 June 2020