‘Your presence and wisdom will be greatly missed’
Staff at Baptist House said goodbye to long-serving administrator Ian Millgate, a key figure in the Churches' Ministerial Counselling Service, on Friday (20 July)
Ian, who is retiring, has served the Ministries Team in a variety of ways for 25 years. Ministries Team leader Andy Hughes said Ian’s ‘greatest legacy’ is his contribution to the Churches' Ministerial Counselling Service (CMCS), the cross-denominational service that provides confidential and independent help to ministers and their spouses. Ian served as administrator to the CMCS steering group from its launch in 1996, and has dealt with the day-to-day running of the service.
The service has continued to grow and develop, and the help it has given people over the years 'has been invaluable’, said Andy.
The CMCS role is just one of the many ways Ian has helped to support ministers, Andy continued. He has been involved in co-ordinating several conferences such as the ministers’ refreshers conference, the NAMS conference and a preparing for retirement conference; he has administered further studies grants, supported sector ministry and for several years took council minutes.
‘You have blessed many people around the country as they seek to serve,’ Andy said. ‘Your presence and wisdom will be greatly missed.’
Ian is an accredited Baptist minister who was ordained in 1977. After pastorates at Tyndale Baptist Church in Bristol, where he was also a university chaplain, Longbridge Baptist Church (Birmingham) and Coleford Baptist Church (Gloucestershire), where he also served for the latter part of his ministry as Association Secretary, he began working at Baptist House in 1990, initially as a home mission officer. He joined the Ministry Department four years later and has worked under four department heads.
He has continued serving local churches, leading Marcham Baptist Church (1995-2002), and preaching regularly elsewhere. He has been a long-standing member of Abingdon Baptist Church in Oxfordshire.
Of his time at Baptist House, Ian said, ‘There have been a lot of highs, some lows – twice we have been through rounds of redundancy – but on the whole it’s been a great experience.
‘The counselling service, in which I was there from the beginning, will always have a special place in my heart.’
Among the gifts presented to Ian were a framed copy of a Baptist Times report announcing his arrival in the Home Mission department back in 1990; part of an address given at the 10th anniversary of CMCS which highlighted how Ian’s ‘methodical, careful’ work had been a ‘godsend’; and a tie featuring photos of his two dogs, Morse and Lewis. Ian is a science fiction fan, and colleagues also knitted him a scarf in the style of that worn by Tom Baker's Doctor Who.
Joining Ian in his retirement is wife Jill, who retired from her own administrator role at BMS World Mission on the same day.