Life is a journey – an update from our Chief Executive

By Giles Arnold, Chief Executive at Church Growth Trust

We are encouraged to keep in step with the Spirit, because life is a journey with the Lord. Giles Arnold, Church Growth Trust’s Chief Executive can testify to that, as he has seen the Lord lead him and Church Growth Trust (CGT) over these last 14 years. From working part-time from his front room to now having eight staff and offices in converted barns in Rutland, this has shown the blessing of the Lord and growth of the work and ministry of CGT. And now with Giles moving to Devon to look after his elderly parents he has experienced further change and another journey (literally). 

As Giles puts it, “This is a demonstration of the Lord’s goodness, to enable me to move to another part of the country, but for the work of CGT to continue to grow. There is a such a strong team with everyone playing their part so well. Over the years we have been able to offer more services to our occupying churches with regular visits by our Property Manager, as well as surveys and support with building projects from our Architect. Our Property Administrator is helping churches keep on track with compliance issues and our Admin and Operations team keeps us moving with the accounts, systems and admin support that we need. I remember our Architect saying some years ago, when I was taking her to meet a few churches, that it felt like visiting family. This of course is what it is, as we are all part of the Lord’s family. It also feels like a journey that we are travelling and picking up friends on the way, all adding their expertise to the team, enabling us to continue on this adventure with the Lord.” 

Giles continues, “Although I am now working four days a week, I am still visiting churches and trustees of church properties around the country helping them secure their properties for future Gospel use. The Lord continues to grow this ministry as we are taking on 10-15 new properties and trusteeships each year. Our Communications Manager is getting in touch with many churches to ensure they know about our services. She is discovering that many are struggling with low numbers, increased age and lack of trustees; so, our work is even more vital in these days. We are praying that more people who need our help will hear about us and join us in this journey.” 

Over the last 20 years Giles Arnold has been able to help many churches with advice on leases and purchases, as part of CGT’s consultancy services. This has now had to stop, due to him reducing his hours. “I have thoroughly enjoyed connecting with many churches around the country and helping them with negotiating leases; often seeing the same church taking a second or third lease or moving to a bigger building. I am sad not to be able to offer this service anymore, but am happy to recommend them to others who can do so.” Meanwhile, CGT’s architectural and surveying consultancy work continues to be available for independent evangelical churches. 

With the Lord, the journey is never boring, as He opens up new opportunities and connects us with new people. We are grateful to all of you for joining us on this journey of faith to see the Church in this country growing and buildings continuing to be used for Gospel purposes.