16th September 2021

Further to the statement issued on 29th June, I am writing on behalf of the subcommittee of the Board to provide an update on the review process.

The final report was received by the subcommittee on 6th September. We would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to engage in the process and provide us with your views and comments about Life Church.

The report sets out a range of concerns raised by participants which were not related to one specific issue. The report also highlights some positive experiences by current and previous staff, students and volunteers as well as providing evidence of positive developments over time.

The insights provided by the report have been set out in a series of recommendations for action. In summary, the recommendations signpost the need to;

– Improve organisational culture, specifically relating to working with staff, volunteers and college students
– Review potential gaps in governance
– Review a number of policies and procedures

Producing an action plan to address the issues highlighted by the report is now our priority.

We will work with staff, students and volunteers to make the changes that are necessary. Working through this process is part of our commitment to provide a healthy working and volunteering environment where as part of Life Church people flourish.

I want to personally thank all who have taken part in the review and would like to invite you to pray and work with us as we move into the next phase of shaping the future of Life Church.

Phil Manchester
Subcommittee Chair

Will the Review Report be published?
Whilst many of the comments within the report are anonymous, a number refer to individuals within the church and as such it is not appropriate to make the report public. We continue to engage with the Charity Commission and as part of our self-referral we have sent a copy of the report to them. We will also provide a copy of the action plan to the Charity Commission once it is completed.

When will the action plan be implemented?
Some of the recommendations within the report can be implemented quickly and others will take longer. We are working to produce an action plan which sets out the approach to each recommendation and agree a timescale for the completion of each action agreed.

How will we find out what has changed?
We will work with staff, students and volunteers in relation to improving the culture of the church. We will take any necessary action to address any gaps in governance that are identified. We will notify staff, students and volunteers of any changes in policies and procedures that affect them.

29th June 2021

On behalf of the subcommittee of the Board responsible for leading the review currently going on within Life Church, I am writing to provide an update on the process.

The period for contributing to the review is now closed. The independent consultancy Trusted HR, who we appointed to undertake the review, are currently reviewing the information that has been provided and will be producing a report for the subcommittee by the end of August.

I would like to pass on my thanks to those who have engaged in the process so far as we move into the next phase of the review.

Phil Manchester – Chair of the Board Subcommittee

1st June 2021

In response to recent concerns raised from a number of people via social media, we have been working to provide a robust process to give time and space to listen and learn from people’s experiences.

To that end we have established a sub-committee of the board to oversee and lead this process. This is chaired by Phil Manchester. We have also appointed independent members to this sub-committee from outside of Life Church.

We have appointed a third party, Trusted HR Ltd, to lead the review and compile the report and any resulting recommendations.

We are now inviting people who want to participate in the review to register their interest.

If you want to register your interest to be contacted by Trusted HR please email statement@trustedhr.co.uk with ‘terms’ in the subject line. Trusted HR will then be in touch detailing the process of capturing your contribution, clarity around confidentiality and what the next steps will be. We will be requesting information from between June 1st 2021 until 5pm June 25th 2021.

We know that this might be a difficult time for some, and our prayer is that through this process the heart of God will be expressed and that His love for people and His ability to heal will be evident.

Phil Manchester, on behalf of the Sub Committee

13th May 2021

As lead pastors, we are aware of the concerns raised via social media about certain experiences at Life Church. We want to say how deeply sorry we are for the hurt caused to some people who came to, or have been a part of Life Church. We want to affirm the courage of those who have recently expressed their pain. We have always sought to provide an environment where people find love and belonging and we are deeply saddened and apologise for where that has not been the case.

Steve & Charl Gambill

We, the board, are keen to listen, learn and make sure past failings are not repeated. Therefore we have undertaken the following actions:

  • We have formed a sub-committee of the board which will lead the process and will not involve any staff or leadership
  • We have referred Life Church to the Charity Commission and will go through any due process as necessary
  • We are in the process of engaging with a third-party consultancy to review our employment and staff culture and make recommendations for change
  • We will ask that third-party consultancy to collect and report on people’s stories or concerns. An email address will shortly be made publicly available. The third-party consultancy will then prepare a report for the sub-committee, any further action will depend on their recommendations

We take our duty of care and pastoral responsibilities to the church and wider community very seriously. We know that we make mistakes in our desire to follow Jesus, but we are grateful for the grace we receive from him and we ardently hope that the measures outlined above will go some way to reassure everyone that we are committed to providing a healthy environment where people can believe, belong, become.

Matthew Walker, and the board of Life Church Bradford