To all in Birmingham Vineyard:
Rosie and I have some significant news to communicate. We believe that the Lord is leading Simon and Keely to a new assignment that will take them away from our Church community and the leadership team here in Birmingham Vineyard. They have fulfilled their calling here and we clearly witness that God is inviting them to a new adventure. They spoke with us in late January and when we initially heard it was a shock. Simon and Keely are trusted, loyal friends and co-workers so this has of course has an impact on us and it will be a loss. Our prevailing conviction is that God has multiplication in store for Simon and Keely, the Church and Rosie and I. The timescale for their moving is yet to be decided but will be months not weeks and Simon and Keely don’t have a new job set up already. This is an invitation to pray for God’s good purpose to be expressed at this time.
From Simon and Keely
"This has been a really challenging process for us. When God started to speak to us about a new assignment we were surprised because our home, friends and family are here in Birmingham and we didn't expect God to call us away.
We have served and been part of this church for over 20 years - we were here when it started, we planted Halesowen Vineyard in 1996 and God called us back in 2000 to work with Andrew and Rosie to help it grow into what it is today. You are all our dear friends and we have known many of you for decades and so this calling to a new place and new people is scary and hard.
We “wrestled with God” through the autumn of last year and prayed and fasted in January until we were absolutely convinced through many words and impressions that this was God’s leading. Lots of you have prayed for us during this season, knowing nothing about our situation and God has used you to powerfully speak to us.
We love the healthy senior / associate pastor relationship that we have built with Andrew & Rosie and together we have used this as a model to teach into many other Church staff contexts. The four of us believe that this is the beginning of a new chapter for us all and models what it means to follow the Lord wholeheartedly. We are completely in unity and genuinely excited about what God has in store for us all.
At this point we don't know what God is leading us into - this is a faith journey for us which we want to invite you all to be part of. We consider it such a privilege to have worked with you all in building what God has created here in Birmingham Vineyard and we know this Church will continue to go from strength to strength under Andrew and Rosie's leadership with the vision God has given."
God in His wisdom is calling Simon and Keely on. If we were to hold on to them then we’d be robbing another place of a gift God wants to give. By being open handed we free Simon and Keely to follow God and we are positioned to receive all that God wants to give us as church. We know that obedience is a key to blessing and we anticipate much good for them and our church community in this change.
As you will appreciate we continue to take extensive counsel as we lead this transition for the church in the coming months. We’ve spoken with our overseers John and Debby Wright, our regional leaders Steve and Juliet Barber, and our current national directors John and Eleanor Mumford. Within our church, senior leaders (including our community leaders and trustees) remain closely involved as we consider the developments ahead.
We are in a very exciting phase of church life with sustained growth and expansion of ministry. Just so you are aware this change has not been the catalyst for us looking to employ 2 full-time assistant pastors (responsible for children, and youth / student roles). As a team we had already come to that decision to invest in those crucial areas of church life.
Our invitation is that we all pray for God’s will to be done in this development. We’re praying for guidance for Simon and Keely, continued growth of the church and for God’s good purpose to be expressed in it all. Every one of us has a crucial part to play as we pray and walk in the things God has prepared for us.
With our love
Andrew and Rosie