Churches Together in England’s Company Secretary and Trustee, Rev David Lavender reviews ‘Tracks of Trustworthiness – Biblical and contemporary insights for church and charity trustees’ by Heather Wraight…
Heather Wraight’s book Tracks of Trustworthiness is a reflection on the role of Christian Trustees. The Charity Commission provides some very helpful leaflets about Trustees responsibilities but Tracks of Trustworthiness takes us much deeper, working through the various aspects of being a trustee generally and also helping us reflect on the Christian nature of our calling.
Heather has a wide range of experience from her time as Deputy Director of Christian Research as well as her own extensive involvement as a trustee and chair of trustees. For this book she interviewed a wide range of trustees about their experience and quotes their experience extensively. Alongside this she looks at biblical stories particularly those of Daniel and Nehemiah. Daniel who rose to high office under King Nebuchadnezzar as an excellent administrator and Nehemiah who earned the trust of King Artaxerxes who then allowed him to return from exile to oversee the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. Through all this she reflects, as the subtitle of the book puts it, on biblical and contemporary insights for church and charity trustees.
In a busy life it is easy to put our eyes down, get caught up in the day to day rather than looking up and taking the wider view. Tracks of Trustworthiness is an encouragement to do just that: think more deeply about the role of a Trustee and a Christian Trustee at that.
While reading this book I remembered the church leader who used to remind me from time to time that the word administration has ministry at its heart! Being a good trustee is nothing less than being a good steward of the resources God has given us to use in the service of his kingdom.
I was particularly struck by the discussion about faith and risk, about the concept of conflict of loyalty (not just conflict of interest) and the chapter on accountability with its emphasis on the wide variety of accountabilities trustees have: to HMRC and the Charity Commission, to the wider community as well as to the members of the organisation, to each other and to God.
Whether in setting out why good governance matters, raising our eyes to think about vision and values or the more down to earth running meetings, thinking about relationships and managing money, Tracks of Trustworthiness will help you in the task. It is a book to read right through but would also bear dipping into for help in a particular aspect of the work.
Heather Wraight has provided us with a good and timely book, a very useful tool to reflect not just on being a trustee but on being a Christian trustee.
The book is available from the author: firstname.lastname@example.org