Church House celebrates service of Jane Baird 

Three friends, two of who are giving presents to the third person.

Colleagues and friends gathered at Church House on 21 June to wish Jane Baird well for her retirement. 

Jane has served as Deputy General Secretary (Administration & Resources) for the past nine years. 

Her last working day will be 30 June. 

“It has been a huge privilege to serve the URC over the past nine years,” Jane said. 

“I have made many new friends and caught up with people I hadn’t seen for a while. The United Reformed Church is very special as are its people.  

“Church House is a really good place to work, with an amazing team of dedicated and gifted staff. My thanks go to them all for their support, I could not have done my job without them. 

“I am also grateful to those I have served with on the various councils of the URC, for their friendship and encouragement. It is rare to work somewhere where your personal values are so closely aligned with those of the organisation – I have been blessed.” 

At the leaving do, colleagues within the Discipleship department sang a specially written and amusing song and members of the Finance team recited an entertaining poem. 

Much to Jane’s surprise and delight, colleagues had also arranged for Ryan Early, an actor from The Archers to record a personal greeting to Jane, also wishing her well for her retirement. 

Before joining the URC, Jane worked in business and not-for-profit sectors including telecoms, aviation, motor, and healthcare where all the skills, knowledge and experience were carried into her role at Church House. 

At the event, thanks were expressed for her service by the former General Secretariat: the Revds John Proctor and Richard Church and Francis Brienen, amongst many others.  

The Revd Dr John Bradbury, URC General Secretary, said “Jane has been a wonderful colleague to work with. During her service Jane has transformed much from the situation she found.  

“Amongst many achievements, she was central in the renovation of Church House and leaves a modern building fit for purpose. She has shared her expertise in HR such that the URC’s processes have been transformed and has offered wisdom and counsel to many throughout the URC facing these challenges. She is a much-loved line manager and will be missed by us all.” 

Jane was brought up in the Congregational Church and then URC. She is a member of Foleshill Road URC in Coventry and has strong connections with Holyhead Road URC Coventry where she leads the choir. 

Jane loves horse riding and, during her retirement, plans to spend more time with her husband Tom and at the stables where she rides. 

Jane and her husband Tom.

“My friends there are looking forward to my retirement as I am apparently a very good tack cleaner,” added Jane. 

“I’m also looking forward to spending time in the garden and catching up with friends and family of whom I haven’t seen enough over recent years.” 

As agreed at the 2022 General Assembly, the post of the Deputy General Secretary (Administration and Resources) is replaced by the Chief Operating Officer role, held by Victoria James.