Having established a new direction for Spurgeons and overseen the acquisition of Fegans, this autumn Ross Hendry will hand on the baton to a new CEO. He shares a few parting thoughts.
Seven years is a comparatively short term for a CEO in Spurgeons’ long history, but nevertheless I feel God has changed me for the better and helped me to learn some important lessons.
Firstly, I’ve learned to honour the past in its shaping of the present. It is good to reflect on how much has been achieved, as the charity has grown from a home of six boys to a national charity that has helped to transform the lives of tens of thousands of children.
I’ve also learned to see and celebrate God’s hand in all we do. One of our team knocks on the door of a struggling family just when they need help; a supporter’s gift means an exhausted young carer can have a holiday. My work isn’t on the frontline, but I’ve become conscious that it’s just as vital, if less visible, as we collectively strive to transform young lives for the better.
And thirdly, I’ve learned to always try to embody faith, hope and love. Spurgeons’ work can be harrowing. I recall the 8-year-old young carer who I met days after he had tried to kill himself because he thought his parents would be happier without him; the young woman, pregnant after being assaulted by her mother’s drug dealer; a prisoner, having grasped the importance of being a good father and husband, holding his baby for the first time. Each of those young lives has been made brighter through Spurgeons’ support.
Our founder said, “A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.” I hope I have been faithful to him, and to the calling of his saviour and mine. And I trust that God will bless Spurgeons’ new CEO with clear vision and fresh energy, ready to guide the charity and its team, supporters and beneficiaries on the next exciting leg of the journey.