After nearly 12 years of employment within the British Union Conference (BUC) Sophia Prince will be moving on to a new field of employment outside of church administration from 7 February. Sophia started work at the BUC office in February 2008 as Evangelism (Pastor Eglan Brooks) and Publishing Secretary (Pastor Curtis Murphy). Then after the 2011 Session, she served as Administrative Secretary for the Secretariat department with Pastor Paul Lockham (Executive Secretary). Since that time Sophia has remained in that department, working under Pastors John Surridge (Executive Secretary) from 2016 and Jacques Venter (Associate Secretary) from September 2018.
Commenting on her years of service Sophia said, "As a church member serving God manifests itself in so many ways. I have no regrets and feel privileged to have served in administration, the members of the church I love and believe in. It is impossible to grow to spiritual maturity by yourself and being connected to the church in this way has immersed me in a worldwide family atmosphere. The affiliation, the fellowship and worship in a place where my colleagues support, encourage and serve each other will be missed."
BUC President Ian Sweeney said, "Sophia was extremely professional and efficient in her work. This allied to her friendly, spiritual and warm personality which will mean her departure will be felt deeply."
Executive Secretary John Surridge said, "Over the last twelve years Sophia has given outstanding service within the Secretariat department. She has been a particularly strong support to the three Missions, using her wisdom and experience to train new local church officers, not to mention new administrators, in the finer points of secretariat processes. I personally have benefited from Sophia's technical expertise, but perhaps more importantly I have gained a great deal from her wisdom and wider understanding of how the denomination works. Although she will be leaving denominational employment, I have no doubt that she will continue to be a blessing to the church.
Sophia will be replaced by Kerrine Guthrie who presently serves as PA to Pastor Kirk Thomas in the Evangelism department.
Prior to working for the BUC, Kerrine came from a legal background having worked as a trained Legal PA with over 15 years' experience having gained her Diploma in Legal Studies from the Institute of Legal Executives. During this time Kerrine specialised in Personal Injury, Commercial Litigation and Contract Law, working for the Senior Partner, HR and the Financial Director. She then moved to a Criminal Defence Law firm where she was able to specialise in Criminal Litigation.
Having given up work to take care for her eldest daughter and to take her to Stanborough Primary School, Kerrine then later started to look for work in the Watford area. Thankfully, a position became available at the BUC in the Personal Ministries department. Her approach to working in a new church environment is reflected in her comment, "I gave this position the same respect and professionalism which I had done in my secular work. This meant, working to a fast pace, keeping to strict deadlines, attention to detail, being kind, courteous and professional when interacting with members, staff and others. It has been such a humbling experience to be able to interact with members on the front line of evangelism, who are passionate about spreading the gospel."