Scripture Union, perhaps best known as publishers of daily Bible reading notes and holiday club resources, issued the press release shown below on Wednesday 16th September, announcing up to 25 job cuts in a major shake up intended “to create a more cost-effective, flexible, mission-focused organisation”.
Consultations with staff — any of whom could be affected, according to the press release — are in progress and should be concluded by November, the plan being to bring the “new model” for the organisation into effect in January next year.
Scripture Union announces plans for a flexible, digital future
The leadership of Scripture Union in England and Wales today announced a major re-shaping to create a more cost-effective, flexible, mission-focused organisation. The aim is to minimise overheads and drive resources from fixed costs into longer-term development of front-line mission through field work, publishing and holiday and mission events.
Scripture Union’s publishing arm will build on its ground-breaking commitment to digital resources, though its much-valued Bible Reading Guides and resources for churches will still be available in printed format.
Face-to-face work with children and young people will be increasingly managed and funded regionally, allowing for greater flexibility and responsiveness to local needs and opportunities. Central costs will also be pared down, with head office positions being reduced.
This is the most radical re-shaping of the organisation in a generation following on from the strategic investment in digital ministries. To achieve it the movement will shed some staff posts and seek to increase the number of locally based associate roles. The move is likely to reduce the number of existing staff posts by 25. Any employees could potentially be affected, and any that are will be offered help to find new work.
Commenting on the developments, Scripture Union Chief Executive Keith Civval said “Our calling to make God’s good news known to children, young people and families hasn’t changed. We’ve been carefully seeking God for the way forward and this move is about being faithful to our heritage in a new context. These are tough recessionary times and we can’t do everything, so we are choosing to invest limited resources wisely.”
Scripture Union has begun a comprehensive consultation with its staff, which will be concluded by the end of November. The new model will come into effect in January 2010.