We are delighted to announce that we have appointed Luke Goss as our new CEO for the next season of Welcome Churches.
We asked Luke to introduce himself and let us know what to expect from him as he joins us in January. This is what he had to say:
‘What a joy it is to greet you as the newly appointed CEO of Welcome Churches.
My name’s Luke and I live in Nottingham with my wife Kirsty. I love sport, especially my beloved Leeds United, and as of 2020 writing poetry and baking! I have a strong conviction, rooted in my Christian faith, that every human being is created in the image of God, having inherent value, dignity and worth.
As the church, I believe we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to outwork the words of Deuteronomy 10:18 to enact “justice for the fatherless and the widow and love the sojourner”. This has subsequently been the central call and theme of my working life. I bring to the charity a decade of experience in charity management and church engagement.
A major emphasis of my career to date has been inspiring and facilitating the local church to engage with refugees and asylum seekers in their community. I deeply believe that the church is called to outwork the psalmist’s declaration that “the Lord watches over the sojourners”, to respond to the needs of refugees and display an inclusive, prophetic picture of Biblical family and hospitality.
Personally, my wife and I have been profoundly impacted through our growing friendships with refugees and asylum seekers here in Nottingham over recent years. One vivid memory is from December 2015, when we were part of a welcome team hosting the arrival of over 100 Syrian refugees to the East Midlands via the UNHCR Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. To have the honour of being one of the first people in the UK to welcome these brothers and sisters to a new home was deeply moving. We especially befriended one family that chilly December day, and five years on they are now dear friends, with two of their daughters being flower girls at our wedding. They bless us with the VERY BEST food and coffee and help us as we clumsily try and practice our Arabic! Through this and many other experiences, I have encountered the face of Christ in those fleeing war, persecution, and natural disaster. In doing so I have forged a deep commitment to empowering and resourcing the UK Church to support and welcome refugees and asylum seekers.
I take up my new role at the start of 2021 and I am extremely excited about joining the Welcome Churches team. Learning from the talented staff and their passion and experience, as well as bringing my strengths to the table as we seek together to build and extend the impact of this wonderful charity. I count it an immense blessing and honour to be invited to lead this work of empowering and resourcing the UK Church to welcome refugees moving forward.’
Please join us in praying for Luke as he prepares to join the Welcome Churches team. This is what our Chair of Trustees, Mark Mumford, had to say about the appointment:
‘We believe that Luke will bring fresh passion and energy to the CEO role, as well as his considerable experience in working with charities and churches. He will be officially taking up the role in the new year, and will lead Welcome Churches into a new and exciting season. We look forward to all that God is going to do in the next part of the story of Welcome Churches.’