SHEFFIELD, UNITED KINGDOM (ANS) — Mark Russell, Chief Executive of Church Army, is to leave the organization in early July to become the next Chief Executive of The Children’s Society.
Bishop Stephen Cottrell, Chair of the Board of Church Army, told ASSIST News Service that after almost 13 years of service, the Church Army community “will miss him hugely.”
“We give thanks to God for the way that Mark’s energy, commitment and creativity have brought about a transformation as Church Army has transitioned to become a Mission Community, developed new strategies for evangelism, changed the way it trains evangelists, and through its centres of mission is now at the forefront of revitalising the Church of God in some of the poorest communities of these islands,” Cottrell said.
Plans are already being made to find Mark’s successor.
“As Chair of the Board of Church Army, I wish him every blessing for the future with The Children’s Society,” Cotrell said.
“I also want to assure the community of Church Army that whoever follows him will be building on very firm foundations and working with the most incredibly gifted, faithful and committed group of men and women.
“Please join me in praying for Mark, for The Children’s Society and the important work it does and for the future life, mission and ministry of Church Army.”
Cottrell said the move “has been a huge decision for me as it has been such a privilege to serve as Chief Executive of Church Army, leading an amazing and gifted team committed to being Good News in every part of these islands.
“I know I will miss working with you all immensely, but this feels like the right next step for me. I have admired the work of The Children’s Society for many years. I am deeply committed to helping younger people and The Children’s Society’s commitment to support and help some of the most disadvantaged children in our society is simply remarkable. But they also campaign in Parliament and elsewhere to change the systems that trap young people in disadvantage.
“I know I leave Church Army in good heart, with an amazing team of people and I know Church Army will continue to thrive in the years ahead. Thank you for all love, prayers, encouragement and support, it has meant the world to me.”
The Board hopes that Russell’s successor will be in post in early 2020 and in the meantime they have asked Des Scott to serve as Acting Chief Executive.
Scott is already leading the organization on strategic development, and the Board says it has every confidence in Des and the Senior Leadership Team as they continue to lead Church Army and implement the exciting new strategy, as they await the arrival of the next Chief Executive.
Church Army was established in 1882 by Wilson Carlile with a vision to train ordinary Christian men and women to reach those most in need with the gospel. More than 130 years later, Wilson’s vision still guides all they do.