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The following letters relate to difficulties in the United Church of God - British isles.  The first is from John Jewell, the sect's CEO in Britain. The second from Clyde Kilough, Chairman of the UCG's Council of Elders.

United Church of God an International Association
Clyde Kilough
Roy O Holladay

United Church of God - British Isles

4 New Mill St, Eccleston, Chorley, Lancs, PR7 5SZ
A member of the United Church of God, an International Association

Tel: 01257 450829
Fax: 01257 453978

5th January 2003

Dear Members of the Charity,

It has become necessary for me to write this letter In order to acquaint you all with a sequence of events which have given rise to circumstances, which, if not checked immediately, could well lead to the dissolution of the UK charity. More importantly the church members themselves whom we all seek to serve, may once again be subjected to rumours about a split in the church here in the UK. As the CEO I ask you to please read this letter carefully so that you realise the severity of the problems which a small, specific group of people, who do not appear to understand their responsibilities, have not only created but are continuing on a path which is leading us all into troubled waters.

As you know, the charity was set up in the UK with a Constitution and a Board of Trustees in 1999. The Board or National Council at present is constituted as follows:

Frank Jarvis, Chairman - voting member
John Jewell, CEO - voting member
Gerhard Marx - voting member
David Payne - voting member
Brian Ellams - voting member
Brian Greaves - non-voting member
David McDermott - non-voting member
Jan Schroeder - non-voting member

All members of the Board of Trustees, or National Council, of the United Kingdom charity "United Church of God British Isles" are not only held liable for their own actions in regard to their being subject to UK charity and trust law, but each trustee is also bound by his or her fiduciary duty to the charity. In effect this can best be summarized as follows:

The relationship between a charity and its trustees is one of principal and agents and as agents the trustees stand in a fiduciary relationship to their principal, the charity. This means that the trustees must at all times use their powers for the proper purpose, i.e. for the benefit of the charity. The trustees are legally as well as morally responsible for all aspects of the charity supervisory and operational. No trustee may act in a way which allows either their personal prejudices and/or personal interest (be that interest directly or indirectly} to influence their decisions. Further, they are bound to set aside their own feelings and desires in order to ensure that whatever powers they exercise (i.e. decisions they make} must be for the benefit of the charity. These requirements and fiduciary standards are taken very seriously in charity and trustee law and also corporate law. They are spelled out clearly in print by the Charity Commission.

While recognizing that local congregations and national councils of the United Church of God may work in conjunction with the Council of Elders to establish policies and procedures, it should be borne in mind that both the Constitution and the Rules of Association of the United Church of God, an International Association, recognise that national councils in nations outside the United States are to conduct their affairs in accordance with the law of their sovereign state, and that the Rules of Association are subordinate to the governing documents of the national councils in their respective nations. It should be noted that the Council of Elders is the Board of Directors of the United Church of God, an International Association, which is a corporate body established in the State of California and governs the American churches only.

I regret to say that these criteria have been breached by a very small number of people, including a few members of the National Council. Efforts have been made to involve the Council of Elders in the United States in the running of the British work. As a direct result of this improper action by a handful of people the operation and administration of the British Charity is being subjected to gross interference which is expressly forbidden by United Kingdom law.

Now while I would agree that in certain circumstances, it is not only right and prudent to seek help and/or advice from the Council of Elders, it is a course of action that would be initiated by the British chairman not by others. He would initiate it when he judged that there was a genuine, clear and undeniable irreconcilable difference on the national council that if it persisted would harm the church. He would then ask the Council of Elders in the United States to render a decision. Otherwise it is for the British church to make its own decisions as to operations and administration as a charity legally registered in England and Wales. The chief executive officer has the responsibility for all other liaison with the Home Office in Cincinnati and the church in other parts of the world. He may, at his discretion, delegate some of that responsibility of liaison to others as appropriate.

As you are the voting members of the British charity I would fail in my duty to the charity if I did not tell you of the present situation. As a result of the improper actions of a few as mentioned above who have then influenced some in the United States, a well orchestrated campaign began which has resulted in my being heavily pressured to immediately step down as of this moment, not only from all my responsibilities as the chief executive officer of the British charity, but also as a ministerial member of the national council and as a member of the pastoral committee. The pressure is also heavily on me to not seek any nomination or appointment to these positions. In a recent email it is said that "I agreed to immediately step down, etc etc" At that point considerable pressure had been placed on me. Anything I said was as a result, in my view, of duress. Then further documents came my way which showed clearly what was happening. There has also
been pressure to move the office from Eccleston.

To more fully understand the position I am in, I must quote from an email sent to me by the present chairman of the Council of Elders, dated 24th December 2002 and with subject title "Clarification on UK Discussions". It was copied to Mr Holladay, Mr Kubik and Mr Hawkins. It sought to clarify another email, one designated confidential, sent the same day to all members of the Council of Elders. I cannot of course quote from this one but I can tell you that its contents include no mention of any matters relating to Mrs Barbara Fenney.

Quote: "Furthermore I trust that you clearly understood the council s intent and understanding is that you are stepping aside very shortly to allow Peter (Hawkins) to take over his new duties."

There is no mistaking the fact that the chairman, Mr Kilough, is telling me that it is the council of elders' intent to replace me by their ensuring that Mr Hawkins is appointed chief executive officer of the British charity. Mr Hawkins was copied with this email. Not only do I believe this to be a violation of ethics, but it is also a direct interference in the running of a British charity by an American organization which is expressly negated by United Kingdom law. Let me elucidate: The principle is that if you do not have a fiduciary responsibility or involvement with an organization then you cannot and must not interfere with its administration or operation.

Let me be very clear about this matter. Mr Hawkins first approached me some two years or more ago about the possibility of being part of the work in Britain. Somewhat more than a year ago I felt it would be good for me to begin to off-load a lot of the administrative work I had been carrying. This was brought to the national council which authorised me to begin discussions with the Home Office in Cincinnati. For one reason or another we made no progress until an approval was finally given in August 2002 at a meeting of the council of elders followed by a formal agreement to the move by both the British national council and the South African one for him to move to the UK. The understanding always had been, from the point I first brought it up in 2001, that the purpose was to relieve me of much of the administrative load. It would appear now that another agenda has developed.

Interference by members of the council of elders began through a few members of the British national council beginning to not only bypass the procedures laid out in our own rules but also to bypass those whose responsibility it is to ensure those rules are followed. This was contrary to published policy (mentioned above) and contrary to their fiduciary duty to the charity as they rightly knew, as they each had been given some months previously a copy of the Charity Commission publication which covers these things so there can be no claim of ignorance. There was little or no effort to ascertain any facts from me relative to the disfellowslnipment of Mrs Fennney, instead there was a disregard of the fact that some things are covered by ministerial confidence. I could not, and will not, breach that. As a result there was a most dreadful taking up of positions, a taking of sides when there should be no sides, and then the development of a "bandwagon" to ensure my removal from any position within the charity or indeed the church. This very small number have sought to paint a picture of me which was not, and is not true or fair. Indeed, it borders upon the libelous. In my view these actions not only show a lack of moral judgment but a spirit and attitude Of rebellion. This has no place in God's church.

Mrs Fenney appealed to the pastoral committee in the UK. The committee agreed that her appeal should be passed to the secretary of the council of elders for onward transmission to the Ethics Committee for consideration then by the Member Appeal Committee (MAC) in the U.S. Part of the process is the requirement that a Christian resolution should be sought by the one making the appeal before the appeal is actually made. This did not occur. However, the MAC duly found that she had been disfellowshipped quite properly and reported to this effect by letter on 8th July. She was encouraged by the committee to "If you accept our decision and wish to have your membership reinstated, please contact your pastor to begin the process of reconciliation." Please note that the reconciliation is NOT with the pastor per se, it is with the church, it is with God. However this, too, did not happen. Mrs Fenney did not contact me. Instead, she took her appeal to the council of elders. Within a few days and with dates between 15th July and 24th July letters from the same small group supportive of Mrs Fenney were sent in to the council of elders, all but one being addressed to Mr Kilough. Supposing to be supportive of Mrs Fenney they were once again mainly about me and my alleged shortcomings. Once again reinforcing an adverse picture of me.

On 24th July, Mr Kilough wrote to fellow council members saying "It is not my intent here to even begin to try to sort through the details of who and what was right and wrong in the situation (the MAC had already, on the 8th July, rejected Mrs Fenney's appeal and upheld the original decision) rather I want to alert you to the fact that the UK members, ministry and national council are dealing with a degree of inner turmoil that threatens to divide and severely hurt the church I am sending this information to you (this comprised copies of the letters sent in by the small UK group between 15th and 24th July) in hopes of finding ways to help the brethren there."

Members of the charity, there was no inner turmoil threatening to divide and severely hurt the church. The church overall is in good heart. You may have had concerns over some things you may have heard, but that's different to a situation described as "turmoil"!

Just last month, December 2002, right at the end of the recent council meetings in Cincinnati, the Member Appeal Committee (MAC) met with the Ethnics committee of the council of elders at which, at the close of the meeting a 6 page summary of events in date order surrounding the issue of Mrs Fenney's disfellowshipment was given to everyone with the comment that this showed she had been disfellowshipped properly and correctly. There is nothing confidential about the document. It simply does what the chairman of the MAC said had not been done before, in that it lays out the events in date order in an objective manner.

From the time of the MAC's dismissal of Mrs Fenney's appeal and subsequent appeal to the council of elders, a hostile climate of opinion has been progressively and deliberately built against me personally and an impression given in Cincinnati that the situation in the UK was "critical" and how "badly the church in Britain was divided" despite the fact that the MAC had reached the correct decision based upon all the facts. With the support of the tiny group here in England, Mrs Fenney claimed she had not had a face to face interview as part of her appeal. Although this was properly the responsibility of the MAC, the council of elders appointed Mr Kubik and Mr Kilough to visit the UK and undertake this face to face interview. This was duly carried out, but they then began to widen their involvement to issues relating to the structure and organization of the British charity. I would just say at this point that if what has been happening is allowed to continue then the ministry will be virtually unable to function. (Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? Amos 3:3) This is, after all, a church! A church which has a mission! A mission given to it by Jesus Christ. The charity is the structure that is legally required and which enables the church to operate and to fulfill its commission in a complex world. The charity is not the work! It facilitates the work.

Since re-structuring in 1998 the United Church of God - British Isles has achieved a tremendous amount. In fact, the progress made by the church in this time has been little short of miraculous. We are well aware of Divine intervention in making these things possible as we pleased our Father - church attendance has grown, churches have been established, the gospel is being preached, the income has shown a progressive increase and is currently above budget. Many opportunities for the work await us. They will not however open to us if the attitudes of a small number persist and if there is continuing interference in the administration and operation of the British charity.

It is my perception that strong and decisive action needs to be taken so that we remain in charge of our own affairs nationally, so that we can get on with the work in the British Isles and in the European, Scandinavian and Middle East arena. To achieve this, some difficult decisions have to be made.

For some time now the UK national council has been aware of the need to make changes to the Constitution the need to actively which will aid in the more efficient running of the British charity and it is conscious of pursue ways in which they can ensure workable procedures and processes.

The present constitution, our governing document, has some flaws and makes it difficult to work with, a fact that no one who has been a member of the national council can deny. We will need to take appropriate action to remedy the shortcomings. With a re-drafting of the constitution we also need to develop a set of Bylaws. Work needs to be done on this as soon as possible with the view to then bringing them to you, the voting members of the charity. The relationship between the ministry and the charity as an administrative structure needs to be more clearly defined in order that the work of the church as a spiritual organism is not hindered. These past few months the ministry has been operating with virtually both hands tied behind its back! The work of the church, the work to which the Father has called each one of us must go forward, especially as we see the troubles piling up in the world around us and we come to more urgently realize how close the return of Jesus Christ could be.

The church is NOT divided, we have here in the British Isles, a wonderful group of people dedicated to the work of the Eternal. A lot will be achieved through us if we please our Heavenly Father. We want to remain part of the United Church of God, an International Association, but on the basis of equals, of brothers and sisters in Christ.

It is my hope and prayer that those who have been taking sides, following personal agendas, taking things into their own hands following that which is expedient rather than that which is right, that they will see the error of that direction and will join with the rest of us in dedication to the work of the Great God, the Father of us all.

Let me just restate a point I made earlier. I would like to off-load some of the responsibilities I have been carrying for these past four years to someone else, but this must be done, as I'm sure you will agree, in a Christian manner and in accordance with our charity policies, charity and trustee law and Charity Commission guide lines. There must be a whole hearted acceptance by all those involved in the administration of the charity of their fiduciary responsibilities and
everything must be done decently and in order.

In love and concern,
John A. Jewell

January 15, 2003

Dear Members and Friends of the United Church of God-British Isles,

It is with deep concern and much prayer that we write this letter to you, understanding that the recent circumstances in the UK have been quite stressful and perhaps somewhat confusing for you.

On January 5, 2003, a letter was sent to all members of the United Church of God-British Isles (a United Kingdom Charity) by the CEO, Mr. John Jewell. In his letter Mr. Jewell made serious and unsubstantiated accusations against the Council of Elders and other individuals within Britain. On January 13, the Council of Elders discussed this matter at length with Mr. Jewell and asked him to withdraw the letter and write a retraction as it contained inaccuracies, incomplete statements and breeches of confidential material. He chose not to comply with our request.

The Council of Elders was also gravely concerned about the unprecedented and highly questionable actions that occurred in the wake of Mr. Jewell's letter, resulting in considerable turmoil and unrest among the members of the Church in the British Isles. On January 7th Mr. Jewell suspended an elder who was opposed to his continuing on as CEO. Then on Sunday, January 12, Mr. Jewell suspended from church membership two, and disfellowshipped another (also an elder), of the five voting members of the National Council and suspended another non-voting member - half the entire UK Board of Trustees! The husband of the non-voting member was also suspended on January 13. These measures were done without explanation or any prior warning. We considered these to be outrageous acts! Furthermore, upon inquiry by the Council of Elders, Mr. Jewell would not disclose to us the reasons for these actions against his fellow UK National Council members - even though any appeal by them would be to the Council of Elders.

Therefore, we must respond to Mr. Jewell's statements and actions, make clear the role of the Council of Elders, and explain our subsequent actions.

When affairs deteriorate to the level of "any unresolved conflict within the National Council", Article K, section (8) of the Constitution of the United Church of God- British Isles provides that "the matter shall be referred by the Chairman of the National Council to the Council of Elders of the United Church of God an International Association for mediation and arbitration with a view to resolution." This same document provides for an appeal to the Council of Elders by members of the Charity and members of the National Council [Article E, section (4) and Article I, section (6)]. The United Church of God-British Isles Constitution also states that the decision made by the Council of Elders in such cases will be binding on all parties. For well over a year now the Council has been well aware of certain conflicts and difficulties within and without the National Council in the United Kingdom. As a result, internal discussions have been ongoing with Mr. Jewell as a member of the Council of Elders, always with an eye toward resolution. In the past two Council meetings (August and December 2002), we spent considerable time with Mr. Jewell in an
attempt to understand the issues and offer assistance for resolution. At the December Council meeting, Mr. Jewell agreed with the Council of Elders on a course of action for moving forward in the UK. The goal of these discussions was to achieve a godly solution to this ever-growing problem.

In his extraordinary letter of January 5th, Mr. Jewell acknowledges that he originally agreed with the Council on a plan to move forward. But upon returning to Britain, Mr. Jewell changed his mind, stating in his letter that his previous decision had been made as a result "of duress." This was shocking to the other members of the Council since Mr. Jewell never indicated in the December conference that he was opposed inany way to the plan of action, or that he felt he was being pressured into accepting it or under any duress at all. Nor did Mr. Jewell indicate to the Council of Elders that there had been a change of heart prior to his January 5th letter to the Charity members. As a member of the Council Mr. Jewell could, and should, have requested that the Council
reconsider its previous decision, but he chose rather to write his letter of January 5th. Mr. Jewell' s characterization of the Council as interfering in an international area is a misrepresentation of the facts. The Council has conducted itself in accordance with the governing document of the United Church of God British Isles and our own governing documents and Rules of Association. Briefly, here are the facts regarding the involvement of the Council of Elders :

1 . The United Church of God, an International Association through the Council of Elders is required by our documents and the documents of the United Church of God-British Isles to hear appeals from Church members and members of the National Council in Britain.

2. As a result of general awareness of ongoing conflicts, as well as a formal member appeal, the Council of Elders on several occasions entered into discussions with Mr. Jewell, the CEO of the Charity and himself a member of the Council of Elders, in an effort to bring about reconciliation among those involved in these conflicts within the Church in Britain.

3. After many meetings and hours of discussion, in our last meeting December 16, 2002, Mr. Jewell along with the Council of Elders agreed to a plan of action as a way to move forward.

4. At some later point, Mr. Jewell changed his mind and rejected the previously agreed to plan of action.

5. Without notifying the Council of Elders of his change of heart Mr. Jewell sent a letter to the Charity members accusing the Council of Elders of interfering with the British Charity

6. This letter has been divisive and it puts forward an incorrect representation of the role of the Council in this matter.

In addition, Mr. Jewell took up a considerable portion of his letter with a discussion of an appeals case that came to the Member Appeal Committee (MAC) of the United Church of God, an International Association. The UCGIA "Policy For Member Appeal to the Council of Elders" expressly states, " All information submitted in connection with an appeal to the Council of Elders must be kept in confidence." Not only did Mr. Jewell violate this requirement by addressing the appeal in great detail, but he also omitted several important facts about the process of appeal. There are several clear steps in the appeal process, including the MAC making a determination whether the appeal should be upheld or overturned. If the appealing party is not satisfied with the decision of this committee, then it is quite appropriate for the individual to appeal to the next and final level - the Council of Elders. In the case referenced in Mr. Jewell's letter the appeal was brought according to policy to the Council since the MAC did not overturn the action taken against the member. Before the Council of Elders could reach a decision in the case, a resolution was apparently achieved, the UK Pastoral Committee rescinded the decision, and the appeal was subsequently withdrawn. Considering that such matters are highly sensitive and that we have a strict confidentiality policy, it was inappropriate for Mr. Jewell to bring them up in his letter. In addition, he gave misleading information about our process of member appeal.

Since Mr. Jewell did not comply with our request to rescind his letter of January 5,2003, the Council of Elders has chosen to communicate directly with all of you. Regrettably, we have been forced to take the steps of revoking Mr. Jewell's ministerial credentials and removing him from the General Conference of Elders of the United Church of God, an International Association. This action, conveyed to him in a Council teleconference, was taken January 13 , 2003, effective immediately. By virtue of this removal, he is also no longer eligible to serve on the Council of Elders.

It is not the desire of the Council to thrust itself inappropriately into the affairs of the British Charity, but it is the responsibility of the Council to arbitrate and assist in resolving conflict. The Council also has the responsibility to address matters of concern involving the conduct of ministers who are credentialed by the United Church of God, an International Association. W e hope that this letter has helped clarify some of the issues involved in this difficulty. Our goals and desires have not changed since the beginning days of United. We continue to pray to our Father in heaven for guidance in these matters. As a Council of Elders, we are deeply committed to working together with our brethren in Britain to achieve a godly solution to the ongoing conflict.

We have confidence that the UCG-BI ministry and the National Council will carry out their respective ecclesiastical and Charity functions in unity and teamwork, and in the safety and wisdom provided by a multitude of counselors (Proverbs 11:14 and 24:6). Resolution, righteous judgment and reconciliation demand the most from us spiritually, but God does provide the most for us through His Spirit. We want to convey to you that you have our deepest concerns, and our prayers are with you. Please let us know if there are any questions and we will do what we can to
address and clarify your concerns.

Sincerely, on behalf of the Council of Elders,
Clyde Kilough