Partnership is the operating name of Partnership (UK) Ltd., which is a company limited by guarantee not having share capital. It is a registered charity in England and Wales. It has a Board of Trustees, who are also Directors of the Company, and a Council who are the members of the Company and who elect the Trustees.
It is the aim that Council members should be broadly representative in geographical terms, and representative of the key agencies which also serve Partnership’s partnering churches, and of the partnering churches themselves.
The Board of Trustees has legal responsibility to see that the business and work of Partnership is efficiently, effectively and properly conducted.
The Council assists the Board in shaping policy and the Board has a duty to have regard to the Council’s advice on policy matters.
The Board meets regularly in the course of the year and the Council meets twice a year.
Steve Bedford, Chair
Stephen Bedford is an Elder at Beechwood Chapel, Wirral, as well as a barrister and Recorder. Raised in a loving Christian home, he attended David Street Chapel in Toxteth, Liverpool, where his late father became an Elder and his mother remains a member. As a young Christian, Stephen was always influenced by Christian camps, Christian Unions and Operation Mobilisation. He moved to Beechwood Chapel, Wirral, in 1975 and became an Elder in 1988, and enjoys serving with gifted, gracious, committed and visionary young elders. In 1974 Stephen married Ruth. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. He is looking forward to a fruitful, active retirement.
Neil Summerton is Secretary and also General Editor. Associated with the work since 1980, he has been involved in local church leadership since the 1960s, first at Cholmeley Evangelical Church N6, in the 1990s in planting a church in Crouch End London, and latterly at King Street Chapel, Tiverton. He was a Council member of the Evangelical Alliance for some 30 years and is now a member of its Theology Advisory Group. Professionally, he was a civil servant and then a non-executive company director. He is married to Pauline, a hospital and hospice chaplain, and they have two sons and four grandsons.
After 33 years farming in deepest Suffolk, some 10 years ago, having completed an accountancy course, Philip began bookkeeping for a living, servicing mainly farming clients. Parkview Chapel, Botesdale has been his home church since childhood and he is actively involved there and part of the leadership. Combining his faith with his farming experience, he is a local coordinator for Farming Community Network, providing pastoral support for farmers. Married to Helen, they have two sons, a daughter and three grandsons. Outside work, Philip enjoys gardening and has for several years had an allotment.
Jill is based in Oxford, having moved there in 2014 to work with IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) in supporter relations. She became a Christian through her Sunday School, and was significantly impacted by the work of IFES affiliated Christian Union movements in the UK and Russia while a student. She started attending a Partnership member church while studying, and has been involved in Partnership nationally since 2009. She has been involved in a variety of church and secular leadership roles, and currently volunteers with international students in Oxford. She is a keen photographer and loves a good film and a good book.
Tim and his wife Katrina are Counties Evangelists, Dairy Farmers and Church Planters. Together, they responded to God’s leading to plant a new church in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, targeting those who didn’t go to church. In 2006, they set up the Forest of Dean Community Church and it is now a thriving community, under God’s hand of blessing. Tim is Senior Pastor at the Church and is keen to support Kingdom growth through closer working of church support organisations in replanting and revitalising local expressions of church across the country.
Mark is a former Principal of Tilsley College and continues as GLO Europe Training Director, developing aspects of church-based training. With his wife Shirley, he is based at a church re-growth situation in Highgate, London – the Partnership associated Highgate International Church. He previously served in Zambia for twenty years engaging in Bible teaching, Bible Translation (Bemba language), developing mission, resourcing infrastructure and HIV/AIDS intervention work before coming to Tilsley College. Mark continues to support ministries in Zambia, including as a trustee of the Chengelo Education Trust.
Beth is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow, where she has had much experience of management first as Deputy Head of the School and then as Director of Teaching and Learning with responsibility for over 1,000 UG and PG students. She has written extensively on Christian topics in Aware and Perspectives, was a Council member of the Evangelical Alliance in the 1990s, and a board member of SU Scotland in the 2000s. She speaks regularly at the annual Word for Women conferences and is particularly interested in prayer. She fellowships with West Glasgow New Church.
After nearly 30 years in local church ministry, since 2010 Alistair has been supporting church leaders through missions and ministry consultancy, generally working in depth with two or three churches for a period of months to a few years. He was Partnership’s National Coordinator until June 2018. Alistair has been actively involved in world mission, having served on the international board of SIM and as chair of its UK board. His focus is now mainly on working with small churches that want to grow and on nurturing the next generation of church leaders.
Alistair and his wife, Senga, have two married children and three grandchildren.
Neil Walker has been associated with Partnership since 1998, and has served as a Director since 2014. He has been involved in local church leadership at his home in Walsall for over 25 years, along with his wife Christine, serving in Oversight throughout this period. Most of his career has been spent as an educator, in a variety of settings, and he continues to do some work with a number of local schools. Neil is a Trustee of 2 local Almshouse Charitable Trusts and is also a Director of our partner organisation, Church Growth Trust.