My job at the Church Mission Society has been made redundant.
News has gradually been seeping through CMS over the past three months: firstly that budget cuts are needed into next year; then that redundancies are likely; then – in particular – that the part of CMS' British work that I am a team leader in (Mission Movement) will have to 'lose' around five staff. Financial difficulties have precipitated a revision of a 'provisional' organisational structure.
This is in addition to those job losses which result from the move of CMS Britain's offices from London to Oxford in mid-2007, because everybody does not want to relocate.
I now have an e-mail telling me that my post is one of those that has been made redundant, and await formal notification and clarification of timescales. There may be other vacancies within CMS that I can apply for (but do I want to?), however it's clear that it is time to start 'job-hunting.'
I have not been with CMS long (since May 2005) however it has been enriching to be part of a mission agency, to build new friendships with colleagues and others, to have my horizons expanded through international and multi-cultural work, and in particular to spend a month in India and Sri Lanka as part of my induction process. (My journal and photos of that visit will get posted on this new web-site when I have the time.)
That is part of the positive side. When I share the situation with friends they find it difficult to understand how a well-managed organisation can recruit for a post in one year, only to make it redundant in the next. There have been redundancies before at CMS, and (who knows?) more may happen next year. Perhaps this is a good time to leave!
I have compassion not only for those whose jobs are affected by this, but also for those (particularly the directors of CMS) who have difficult decisions to make. It is not an easy time for charities to raise funds for mission work, CMS is seeking to invest more in its fundraising, and to recruit more people into that team. They will also have to find new people to do the work that they are raising funds for.
It is natural to take redundancy personally, to feel discouraged or that one's work is not valued. On the contrary, a friend said to me encouragingly lately. Briefly: if your post is made redundant you should not assume that you have been doing bad work, because if you had been you should have been sacked. Taking this to its logical extreme: those of us whose posts are being made redundant should pat ourselves on the back, becaues we are clearly the ones who have been doing good work!.
'Everyone who seeks, finds.'
Be encouraraged, and may God bless you in your search for pastures new.