GovernancePartnership is the operating name of Partnership (UK) Ltd., which is a company limited by guarantee not having share capital. It is a registered charity in England and Wales. It has a Board of Trustees, who are also Directors of the Company, and a Council who are the members of the Company and who elect the Trustees. It is the aim that Council members should be broadly representative in geographical terms, and representative of the key agencies which also serve Partnership’s partnering churches, and of the partnering churches themselves. The Board of Trustees has legal responsibility to see that the business and work of Partnership is efficiently, effectively and properly conducted. The Council assists the Board in shaping policy and the Board has a duty to have regard to the Council’s advice on policy matters. The Board meets regularly in the course of the year and the Council meets twice a year.
Stephen Bedford, Chair
Stephen Bedford is an Elder at Beechwood Chapel, Wirral, as well as a barrister and Recorder. Raised in a loving Christian home, he attended David Street Chapel in Toxteth, Liverpool, where his late father became an Elder and his mother remains a member. As a young Christian, Stephen was always influenced by Christian camps, Christian Unions and Operation Mobilisation. He moved to Beechwood Chapel, Wirral, in 1975 and became an Elder in 1988, and enjoys serving with gifted, gracious, committed and visionary young elders. In 1974 Stephen married Ruth. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. He is looking forward to a fruitful, active retirement.
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Neil Summerton, Secretary
Neil Summerton is Secretary to the Board, and also General Editor. He has been associated with Partnership and its predecessor body since 1980. He has been involved in local church leadership virtually all his adult life, first at Cholmeley Evangelical Church in Highgate London, then from 1991-2001 in planting a church in Crouch End London, and in 2002-16 at King Street Chapel, Tiverton. He was a Council member of the Evangelical Alliance for some 30 years and has been for some years a member of the Alliance’s Theology Advisory Group. He has been a trustee of a number of other para-church bodies. Professionally, he was a civil servant for many years, and has been a non-executive director of water companies. He is married to Pauline, a hospital and hospice chaplain, and they have two sons and four grandsons.
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Philip Miles, Treasurer
After 33 years farming in deepest Suffolk, some 10 years ago, having completed an accountancy course, Philip began bookkeeping for a living, servicing mainly farming clients. Parkview Chapel, Botesdale has been his home church since childhood and he is actively involved there and part of the leadership. Combining his faith with his farming experience, he is a local coordinator for Farming Community Network, providing pastoral support for farmers. Married to Helen, they have two sons, a daughter and three grandsons. Outside work, Philip enjoys gardening and has for several years had an allotment.
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Jill is based in Oxford, having moved there in 2014 to work with IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) in supporter relations. She became a Christian through her Sunday School, and was significantly impacted by the work of IFES affiliated Christian Union movements in the UK and Russia while a student. She started attending a Partnership member church while studying, and has been involved in Partnership nationally since 2009. She has been involved in a variety of church and secular leadership roles, and currently volunteers with international students in Oxford. She is a keen photographer and loves a good film and a good book.
Beth is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow, where she has had much experience of management first as Deputy Head of the School and then as Director of Teaching and Learning with responsibility for over 1,000 UG and PG students. She has written extensively on Christian topics in Aware and Perspectives, was a Council member of the Evangelical Alliance in the 1990s, and a board member of SU Scotland in the 2000s. She speaks regularly at the annual Word for Women conferences and is particularly interested in prayer. She fellowships with West Glasgow New Church.
Ian is a church leader in Warwick, where he has lived and worked since 1990, first as a Baptist minister and now as a full-time elder at Saltisford Church. He is married to Jan with four children and three grandchildren. Outside of work, his hobbies include water-colour painting, cryptic crosswords and walking. Originally from Liverpool, he supports Everton, and tries hard to mention them in sermons after a good result.
Neil Walker has been associated with Partnership since 1998, and has served as a Director since 2014. He has been involved in local church leadership at his home in Walsall for over 25 years, along with his wife Christine, serving in Oversight throughout this period. Most of his career has been spent as an educator, in a variety of settings, and he continues to do some work with a number of local schools. Neil is also a Director of our partner organisation, Church Growth Trust.