Breaking News: BUC Executive Committee Makes New Elections

Breaking News: BUC Executive Committee Makes New Elections

Pastor Eglan Brooks, BUC President

On Thursday, 4 April, the British Union Conference (BUC) Executive Committee convened for a pivotal meeting to elect a new Executive Secretary and a new Stewardship Director.

After extensive deliberations and careful consideration, the committee members voted to elect Pastor Jacques Venter as the new Executive Secretary.

Pastor Jacques Venter is a third-generation Seventh-day Adventist and an ordained minister, born in Springs, South Africa. He graduated from Helderberg College, South Africa in 2000 with a BA in Theology and pastored in the Northern Conference (then Transvaal Conference) before accepting a call to serve as pastor in the South England Conference (SEC), in 2007.

Venter served in various churches across the SEC until his election as BUC Associate Executive Secretary in September 2018. In this role he served as Executive Secretary for the Scottish and Welsh Missions, as well as the Irish Mission (2018-2022). Additional functions included BUC Human Resources Lead and BUC Pensions Coordinator.

Venter also holds an MA in Theology from Friedensau Adventist University, obtained at Newbold College, and is a certified Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Venter is passionate about missiology, discipleship, and people development. He also loves to share what he learns about God, life, people, and their intersection in vocation. Pastor Jacques and Lara have two daughters, Layken and Jaymee.

As Pastor Venter was previously the BUC Associate Executive Secretary, the committee deemed it necessary to also elect an individual for this position in line with the vote taken at the last BUC Session in 2021. As such, Pastor Max McKenzie-Cook was voted as the new BUC Associate Executive Secretary.

Pastor Max McKenzie-Cook is an ordained minister who has been serving in the South England Conference for over ten years. He has also worked as the Lead Champion for I AM URBAN, a partnership between ADRA-UK and Adventist Community Services aimed at mobilising local churches for community engagement.

McKenzie-Cook has extensive experience in community services, diversity, and prison ministries.  Recently he took up the position of Stewardship and Trust Services Director at the SEC. He is skilled in strategic management and decision-making, and his academic qualifications include an LLB in Law, a BA and MA in Theology, and an MBA in Business Administration. To further enhance his skills, he became a Director and Trustee for Lambeth and Southwark MIND, a mental health charity, and a trustee for the Luton Friendship Homecarers group. He also serves on various committees, including the SEC constitutional committee, the BUC constitutional committee, and the BUC working policy group. He was awarded a certificate in strategy execution from Harvard Business School Online.

McKenzie-Cook has also gained valuable external experience by learning from senior executives through his board and advisory positions. He has been mentored by several individuals, including senior executives at PWC, Kids Company, the Medical Protection Society, and War Child UK. He has also been mentored by CEOs from national charities.

The committee also spent time discussing the Stewardship Director position. I am further pleased to announce that Mrs Catherine Boldeau was elected for this role.

Mrs Catherine Boldeau is an experienced, competent and dynamic, professional communicator and lecturer. She has extensive experience in the creation, planning, preparation and delivery of a diverse range of projects and training for small businesses, charitable, educational and faith-based organisations, with excellent results. She has a demonstrable track record of client engagement and developing partnerships within each sector. A trained and accredited mediator with strong negotiation and relationship-building skills and a passion for the use of all forms of media in delivering key messages.

Catherine held the role of Communication and Stewardship Director for the South England Conference and has worked in a variety of positions within the church both as an employee and a consultant.  She has undergraduate qualifications in both English and History, an MA in Creative Writing, an MBA (Entrepreneurship) and a Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership and is a qualified FE teacher and lecturer.  She is a member of the East of England Ambulance Research Interest Group and an active member of Journey of Hope, a group of faith-based peacekeepers in the UK and the USA run by St Ethelburgas Centre for Peace and Reconciliation. 

Her mantra: It is Impossible. It is Difficult.  It is Done.  She is married to Dr Desmond Boldeau, and together they have a 21-year-old daughter, Arianne. 

In appointing these three individuals for their new roles, in keeping with our strategic directive, we were mindful to ensure that they will be adding experience, education and expertise as individuals who will enable and encourage envisioning, as we work together to pursue our vision. Pastor Venter, Pastor McKenzie-Cook and Catherine Boldeau are on fire to see the work of the Lord executed with excellence in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.  We wish them well in their new roles and pray that God will lead and guide them.