FIVE MINUTES with JUDE DAVIS
On 19 May, Bishop Stephen (Chair of Church Army's Board) announced the appointment of Jude Davis as Director of Ministry and Community Leader in a part-time capacity for the next 12 months. Jude will work with Des Scott (Church Army's CEO) and Andrew Chadwick (Dean of Community) to look at how Church Army, as a Mission Community, ensures that our missional DNA runs through every person who works with us, volunteers with us and supports us and that they feel part of the Church Army’s Mission Community.
Jude is no stranger to Church Army and has served as Vice Chair on the Board since November 2016.
On Monday 1 June, Jude set aside her role on the Board to take up her new position. Chris Hardy (Publications Officer) took the opportunity to catch up with Jude before she started…
Jude, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in the southwest of Sheffield, right on the edge of the Peak District. Having grown up in a very busy and vibrant church, I knew that some form of ministry was what I was looking at for my future.
It was during the year after I finished my A-levels that I worked for Church Army. I worked as the receptionist at the Wilson Carlile Centre. That was about 14 years ago, in the same year that Mark Russell (Church Army’s previous CEO) started. I was doing my applications for ordination training at that time and was hopeful that the church would recommend me for training, which they did. So, I just worked for Church Army for just under a year.
That was the beginning of my involvement with Church Army. I then went off to study theology at Cambridge for three years before coming back up to Sheffield Diocese where I was ordained and did my curacy in Doncaster where I was for three years before I went to work in three parishes in the Peak District. I was there for six years as rector before I moved across to Southport.
But I love Sheffield and I am thrilled that this job will bring me back.
Tell us about your previous role as vice chair of the board?
I have been Vice Chair of the Board since 2016. It has been a really good four years. It’s very inspiring to work with and interview the evangelists who are on the front line of ministry and the Wilson Carlile Centre is a great place to visit.
The board is full of wonderful, interesting and engaging people who are passionate about the work of Church Army. So those meetings, even though we would have to discuss quite dry topics, they were always very fun.
Tell us about your new role as Director of Ministry and Community Leader, and how it integrates with Des' role as CEO?
The idea behind this role is that Des has been fulfilling two people’s roles over the last year and he has done that tremendously well. The Senior Leadership Team and other people across Church Army have picked up some other work, but going forward we know there is going to be an extended time where we will not be making an appointment of CEO and so this role is to bolster that capacity at a Senior Leadership Team level and make some progress in some key areas. There will now be someone who is actually looking at those areas while Des continues to be committed to the daily, complex running of the organisation.
One particular area that the Board is keen to make progress with is; since Church Army has grown so much over the last few years and as a Mission Community we have been finding our feet, and now we want to look at how we can ensure that the Church Army DNA runs through every person who; works with us, volunteers with us and supports us. We want them to feel that they are connected to the Mission Community.
What do you hope to accomplish within the year?
I hope that we will have made real progress in each of the evangelists understanding, in particular, what it means to be part of the Mission Community and what it means to be supported by the Mission Community.
What are you excited about for the coming year?
The most exciting thing for me about working with Church Army is always the innovative and dynamic ways in which the evangelists in Church Army actually continue the heritage that Wilson Carlile started and seeing how they find new and exciting ways of engaging people with the story of the gospel in a way that I am in awe of. As a practitioner myself I know that I cannot do it anywhere near as creatively as I see the people in Church Army doing it. The most exciting thing is being able to see those people and talk with those people and learn from those people; this is what really
Church Army is a really positive community to be part of, I think. I have always been overwhelmed by the positivity when I speak to Church Army people. That isn’t something that you get in every part of the church.
11 June 2020
Jude currently lives in Southport with her husband. Before training for ordination at Ridley Hall Cambridge she was part of the office staff at (what was then) Wilson Carlile College of Evangelism. She was elected to Church Army's Board in 2016 and was Vice Chair until June 2020 when she started the new role of Director of Ministry and Community Leader with Church Army.