Support for Leaders

Local churches can greatly benefit from objective, impartial and sympathetic outside advice, which is informed by knowledge and experience of local church life and needs.  This help can be valuable

  • When churches and leaderships have specific difficulties which they feel that they cannot resolve on their own; and
  • In more positive circumstances, when churches want an objective view of their strengths, weaknesses and strategic opportunities.

Even the best and biggest churches can find outside help profitable. Seeking it is not a sign of weakness or inability to cope.

  • Would you find it helpful to have outside help in thinking through issues with which you are grappling?
  • Do you find yourself needing outside pastoral support?

Partnership may well be able to offer you help. Here are some suggestions – click on the links for more information:


Every so often it is worth standing back and thinking about church life and whether we can become more effective in our mission:

  • Do we have a clear and shared sense of purpose?
  • Is our activity shaped to fulfil our  mission and vision?
  • Are our leadership and governance structures effective?
  • Can we benefit from God’s gifts to the wider church and perhaps contribute something for the good of others?

Partnership is keen to see independent churches maximize their mission potential.  Working with a team of experienced advisers, we are willing to resource a church check – without charge to the local church.  (Though if you can cover travel costs, that is greatly appreciated.)

What Happens?

Churches asking for a church check will first be send a questionnaire for the leadership to complete.  This is in itself a helpful exercise as it gets leaders thinking together about their own assessment of the church’s current situation.  It is all too easy to find that the urgent issues of the moment cloud our vision of the realities that some objective questions bring to light.

In light of the church’s comments, the adviser will produce a report and recommendations for presentation to the church leaders.  The report may include suggestions for additional advice or ministry support, making use of connections through Partnership.  

Churches who are considering appointing church staff would find it particularly helpful to conduct a church check as part of their preparation to welcome a new worker.  Indeed, recognising the gifts God has already given to the church is an essential element of determining what sort of staff role might be most helpful.  And a church check report could help potential candidates determine if they are a good fit.

Many churches will not want to appoint staff, however, but would benefit from the help of an evangelist or Bible teacher, or perhaps access to training that can be locally delivered and in keeping with church’s ethos.  We are developing a network of senior workers (including some of our church check advisers) who will supervise missionary teams who can support churches in their mission – either short term or longer.

For more details, contact Alistair Hornal, Partnership’s National Co-ordinator.

Partnership has a team of experienced church leaders who can advise churches and their leaderships, and assist individuals. Some have nationally-known ministries. Others have long years of grappling with the problems of leading a particular congregation from day-to-day. The consultancy service is co-ordinated by the Partnership National Co-ordinator. He can help identify the consultant who would be best placed to deal with your particular case.

Local churches and others often want to deal with specialist subjects, to help their congregations place current issues in an appropriate Biblical context. Often, however, they do not know who are the right people to approach to speak on the topics. For this reason, Partnership holds a list of speakers willing to speak on a wide variety of issues. For advice or information, contact the Development Coordinator Alistair Hornal on 07986 236633 or enquire by email (

Ministers at large and Ambassadors at large

A number of senior people who have long been in Christian ministry are available to speak at local church events, regional meetings, etc. Those in the UK are known as Partnership Ministers at large. Abroad, there are a number of Ambassadors at large who have a similar ministry but in a number of different countries, either internationally or regionally.


  • Derek Burnside, 9 Gordon Road, Exeter EX1 2DH (tel. 01392 274163)
  • Alastair Noble, 4 Lynn Drive, Eaglesham, Glasgow G76 0JJ (tel. 01355 302119)
  • Graham Poland, 105 Newport Road, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 1SA (tel. 01271 767388)

International Ambassadors-at-large

  • Jonathan Lamb, 16 Eden Drive, Headington, Oxford, OX3 0AB (tel. +44 (0)1865 760131)
  • Dr Briand Tatford, B.P. 19, Domaines des Cèdres, F-01710 Thoiry, France (tel. + 33 450 20 48 89)

Do you need advice on legal matters relating to trusts, constitutions and charity status? Partnership has an advice service. Contact Neil Summerton.

NB. Papers giving advice on trust matters, particularly relevant to the circumstances of Partnership churches are:

Current issues for trustees (May 2018)

Bringing trust and trusteeship arrangements up to date (December 2008)

Religious charities, public benefit and related matters (April 2009)

Charitable Incorporated Organisations for church charities: a joint Church Growth Trust, Stewardship and Partnership Briefing Paper (January 2013)

Many Partnership churches, and others who take an interest in this site, have a background in the Open Brethren. Since June 2012 there has been further publicity relating to one group of Exclusive Brethren, two of whose charity registration applications have been refused by the Charity Commission. Among other things, because of the risk of confusion between this group and other churches having a background in the historic Brethren movement, Partnership in conjunction with others has been seeking to clarify the position, to avert possible difficulty relating to charity registration applications. See a news release and paper which Partnership and Church Growth Trust have issued as part of the effort at clarification.

If you need urgent help, on any matter of church life, contact the Partnership National Co-ordinator. He is available to give advice, or to suggest other agencies for particular needs. You may phone him on 07986 236633 or email him on

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