Jenny Mills appointed as next URC Deputy General Secretary (Discipleship)

The Revd Jenny Mills, the United Reformed Church’s (URC) Secretary for Education and Learning, has been appointed to serve as its Deputy General Secretary (Discipleship), taking up the role after the Revd Adrian Bulley retires in August.

Jenny was a teacher at Lumbertubs Primary School, Northampton, before accepting the call into ministry.

After training at Mansfield College, Oxford, Jenny was ordained in 2008 and inducted into the Milton Keynes Mission Partnership, Newport Pagnell and as Pastoral Consultant for the East Midlands Synod until 2016. From 2016-2020, Jenny continued to serve at Newport Pagnell URC, where she helped to develop The Mead Centre, a welcoming space for individuals, clubs, families, businesses and other community groups, and at West End United Church in Wolverton.

In 2020, Jenny became the URC’s Secretary for Education and Learning, the team that encourages and enables training and learning throughout the Church, the way it thinks about learning, the content of courses and working with the URC’s Resource Centres for Learning in Glasgow, Manchester and Cambridge.

It also supports Assembly committees and Synods in training and development matters and maintains oversight of the initial and continuing development of ministers of Word and Sacraments, CRCWs and lay preachers.

The Revd Dr John Bradbury, URC General Secretary, said: “Jenny brings many gifts and graces to this role. Her passionate commitment to, and experience of, education is a real asset to the United Reformed Church. She also brings a commitment to discipleship in its widest sense, particularly as we are all people who are continually learning to follow the way of Christ.

“It will be a joy to welcome Jenny as a colleague to the General Secretariat. I look forward to working with her over the next few years, as together the United Reformed Church faces its challenges and opportunities.”

While serving in local ministry, Jenny also served as Convenor of the Children’s and Youth Work Committee.

Jenny said: “I am delighted to have been put forward for the role of Deputy General Secretary (Discipleship) after receiving nominations and a number of wider encouragements.

“I offered myself into the process to test my call to the role and was very pleased that the call was affirmed, and that my gifts and skills were seen to be a good match for the position.

“I have been part of the Church House staff for nearly three and a half years, as Secretary for Education and Learning, and I look forward to using that experience in this new role too.

“As I move on, there will be questions around what happens next with Education and Learning since we are already in a period of change following the appointment of the Revd David Salsbury to the role of Moderator of the National Synod of Wales. We are currently looking at where Education and Learning emanates from within the URC, exploring even closer links with our Resource Centres for Learning and closer working with Synods, through the Training and Development+ Network.

“I know I will be given the best handover as I begin this role, by Adrian, who retires in the summer, who will be greatly missed. He is a hard act to follow having brought stability, wisdom, structure and closer working relationships both within Discipleship and beyond, post-Covid. I will endeavour to build on the solid foundations he has laid.

“As we work out the transition into this new role for me, I ask for your prayers and encouragement. It will be a time of letting go alongside sorting out and learning new things!

“Please also pray for the whole Discipleship Team as we continue to journey together with all we do, as well as finding new ways to support and resource the local churches whom we serve.

“I am grateful to all who have supported me in my journey so far and for those who have believed in me and seen things in me I could not see in myself. I thank God and the Church for this new opportunity, and I will seek to give of my best, as I am able, and working closely with those alongside whom I serve.”

Jenny has been married to Aldam for 35 years and they have three adult children, Harriet, Abby and AJ.

Jenny will be inducted at the URC’s General Assembly which meets from 12-15 July at The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick.