Acts 435 Giving to anyone who has need

Last week we had a trustees meeting and bade a fond farewell to Margaret Sentamu who has stepped back from her role as a trustee to concentrate on her own ministry in Northumberland. The Charity Governance Code recommends that a trustee serves no more than nine years service and so it was the right time for us to release Margaret and we wish her well in what God has in store for her next.

I want to take a moment to pay tribute to Margaret's role in Acts 435 and how much we owe her. As our founder, Julian Richer, has often said, it was when he invited John and Margaret Sentamu to tea back in 2009 that he found someone who would say 'Yes' to his idea of connecting people in UK poverty with individual donors who wanted to help, run through the church network and fronted by the church.

The timing was perfect and Margaret was able to work for the charity, setting up a successful pilot among Anglican churches in the York Diocese, telling them all about the idea on roadshows, then training in 'advocates'. It was all so new, something we forget now that crowdfunding has become somewhat mainstream.
I met Margaret for the first time in my lounge with my husband keeping our 3 week old baby calm upstairs. When I applied for the advertised role of P/T book-keeper, and Margaret found out I had a little baby, she immediately said I couldn't possibly come to Bishopthorpe Palace. She would come to me.

Margaret brings a wonderful exuberance coupled with being deeply practical and grounded. On that first meeting we discussed ways I could bring my baby along to work with me and be able to breastfeed him there. She has always been keen for Acts 435 to work for me and for my family, something I have so valued.

When I announced to the trustees that I was at the second interview stage of two jobs, Margaret graciously stepped out of a paid role so that I could step up into the Executive Director role, and she then became our Chair of Trustees and therefore my line manager. Her trust and confidence in me have been greatly appreciated as has her availability to step into situations where her presence and charisma has been warranted.

The trustees and staff team sent a thank you gift of an engraved vase, and of course some flowers to go in it, which sadly we couldn't present in person as our last trustee meeting was held virtually. The engraving sums up our thanks and reads:

Presented to Margaret Sentamu for your support and commitment to Acts 435 from the beginning

Margaret, we wish you well for the future and are pleased our paths are likely still to cross given the fact Archbishop Sentamu remains patron of Acts 435.