Members of the charity reappointed Bryan Ellams as a member of the Council, appointed Brian Crook and Steven Moschidis as members of the Council, reappointed Barbara Fenney as treasurer and ratified the budget for the financial year ending June 30, 2008.
Bryan Ellams reported:
It has been a year of progress and change with the European English-language Good News no longer being sent out from the United Kingdom. That responsibility has now been transferred to the home office. Also, UCG-British Isles has moved to a new office at Chalfont St. Giles, which has enabled us to solve the health-and-safety problem of moving items up and down stairs, while providing a larger area for future growth, all within budget.
We are now able to focus our efforts on the United Kingdom and Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. Advertising in the Consumer Information Centre brochure (delivered to homes by direct mail) has brought in many replies as we continue to build up our readership to the previous level we had with the European mailings.
The Internet continually brings in new Good News subscribers at the rate of over 500 a month. This interest leads also to growth in our literature requests. We need to maintain a vigorous renewal program to keep the subscription numbers to a manageable level and to only send the magazine to those genuinely interested.
Chief Executive Officer's Report
Peter Hawkins reported that the past year has seen some significant and welcome developments.
Publications: This financial year we distributed 42,000 copies of The Good News, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year. The resulting mail was 16,400 items of normal mail plus 12,100 Internet requests. More than 29,500 booklets were posted, excluding our serial publications. An average of 150 United News, 215 Vertical Thought and 450 World News and Prophecy per issue were sent, down a bit on the previous year due to renewals.
The National Council approved an advertisement in the Consumer Information brochure summer issue just before the conclusion of the financial year. We agreed to pay for 2,500 responses from people requesting Marriage and Family: The Missing Dimension and the May/June issue of The Good News, which featured the family as its cover theme. The majority of these have been posted, and we are receiving some good comments and a few cancellations.
The coworker letter in November 2006 advertised the booklets The Book of Revelation Unveiled and You Can Understand Bible Prophecy. We were pleased with the 9 percent response since these publications are often mentioned in the magazine itself.
A number of other projects are on the move, including the hand delivery of older magazines through letter boxes, offering a free subscription.
The local Web site www.ucg.org.uk is now running quite well, including areas for registration of both 2007 and 2008 Feast sites. At the same time development is taking place to provide an easier way of updating information and perhaps having a member-related area.
Church Activities: We were very happy to have an increase of 4 percent in attendance and 33 percent in offerings over the first three Holy Day services this year. Some of the main developments this year included:
• 40 speakers and leaders attending a Leadership Development weekend in Derbyshire provided by the home office.
• The ordination of two elders to assist pastors in their congregations.
• Three two-week pastors' training sessions were recorded for distribution for the U.K. pastors.
• Five U.K. elders attended the GCE in Cincinnati.
• The Feast in York was very successful. Planning for this year's Feast in Milford-on-Sea and the next in Stirling, Scotland, is well underway. Stirling has provided much overseas interest.
• Our young adults group is becoming more involved in the work of the Church, and this is very encouraging.
• We had one ministerial meeting during the year.
• Although we have suspended Sabbath meetings in Chelmsford and the Bible study in Camberley, we have begun more regular meetings in Milton Keynes, Nottingham and Stirling, Scotland.
Presentation of Business Plan
Peter Hawkins included the following possibilities and options for next year's activities:
• Selection of two ministers who may be able to participate in a second pastors' training at the home office.
• Possible European conference of ministers organized by the home office.
• Online banking and payments.
• Increased number of ministerial meetings.
• List of emergency contact numbers of members.
A meeting of the UCG—British Isles National Council followed the annual general meeting. See the report in the "International News at a Glance" section to the right. UN