Phil writes re leadership transition


Julie and I experienced a sabbatical this summer (you can read & hear about our time here and here) It has delivered all one could hope for from a sabbatical in that it was a tremendous opportunity to slow down, to delight in creation, do some deep listening to God and to one another, and to set a course that we trust will result in the greatest possible fruit for The Kingdom. We returned sensing that God is calling us to a larger sphere of influence; to be leading and mentoring leaders on a wider scale.

Last Sunday over our fellowship meal after the service Julie and I alongside Haydon and Alison shared that in order to facilitate this shift, Haydon and Alison will increasingly be taking over the practical running & leadership of the Church. The rest of the hub leadership team (Heidi, Savie and Nicky) will be very much involved in this process.  Julie and I are not leaving The Well and will remain on staff and be an active part of the Hub team, but everyday responsibility and management of The Well and the majority of its various leadership administrations will transfer to Alison and Haydon. We will continue to steward the vision together and our prayer is that this shift and recognition of changing roles in this season will result in a greater release of the Spirit in boldness and mission across the church.  (cf. Acts6:1-8). 

We stated on Sunday that this is the beginning of a gradual change, the start of a process, and one that we invite our Church family at The Well to journey with us on. We are finding our way with God & one another and want to do this journey well, with love and grace. If you have any encouragements, questions or thoughts do please come and chat to us or send an email

Those present gathered around and laid hands on us and prayed for us. This is a period of adjustment and we are in no hurry. 

I love that in Acts 6 the apostles and the people together chose leaders ‘full of the spirit and wisdom’ to serve the church. It is not organisational sophistication that we seek as we build the church, it is people full of the Spirit and Wisdom. Julie and I commend Alison and Haydon to you as those who have served The Well and have modelled a life full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom over many years. 

In Acts chapter 6, as they pursued the life of the Spirit within their structures you will read that there was a resulting revival! It is as we slow down and look into heaven that God always reveals a way that will propel us further than we can go in our own strength.  Despite having little or no concrete plans to declare to you at the point of writing, Julie and I are excited as we anticipate what is next. We have received lots of prophetic words and promises from different people in different places over this year, all saying much the same things and so we have some ‘inkling’ of what we are to focus on. It feels a bit like we have received ‘sealed orders’ – the secret instructions that naval or army officers would be given to open only when they had arrived at some new destination – its scary and exciting at the same time!

This is our journey but it is also The Well’s journey and we invite you to pray as a church family for the fulfilment of all His rich promises over The Well. Do please be praying for all the hub team as we adjust to this journey. We praise God for you all and pray for you to know peace and grace in the fellowship of the Spirit.

“Lord, come and do your work in us that your work might be done through us. Help us to slow down to go further, to breath deep and listen carefully, to move as you direct and to speak as you instruct”

Here are a few general Q&As that may help as you consider these changes

Why now?

P&J sensed that it’s time to be explicit regarding a leadership succession process

A&H have expressed a sense of calling and a willingness to lead the church 

The church is in a healthy place and ready for a new adventure!

Why Alison & Haydon?

Murr’s & Stokes’ have a strong covenantal relationship established over many years in leadership together

Alison & Haydon are people ‘full of the Spirit and wisdom’ with a proven tack record of faithful servant leadership at The Well

Alison & Haydon are committed to expanding the mission and growth of The Well

What will help the transition?

We have each witnessed healthy models of transition in recent years 

We have experienced external mentors to draw on for help in the process

We have discipleship tools and language designed for this purpose (the square, etc)

We have an amazing church family and an amazing God!

What will Phil and Julie do?

They don’t have all the answers to that which is why it is a step of faith. 

They will expand their commitment to investing in missional leaders (internal and external to The Well) 

They will explore ways to support London expressions of church planting and missional discipleship

They will continue to serve on staff and be an active part of the Hub leadership team

What opportunities do you foresee? 

The opportunity to open up fresh frontiers and energy in mission, church planting and discipleship 

The opportunity to model how the fivefold callings of Ephesians 4 function together to increase kingdom impact 

The opportunity to inspire and encourage a new generation into discipleship, leadership and mission

The opportunity to do a healthy journey of succession

What can I do to help?

Pray for the hub team, particularly over the coming weeks and months

Seek the Lord regarding your own service and leadership

Be sure there is oil in your lamps and get ready for a harvest!