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Baptist Union of Wales searches for new General Secretary

The Baptist Union of Wales has begun searching for a new General Secretary with current incumbent the Revd Peter Thomas standing down at the end of the year

Peter (pictured) was appointed to the role in January 2005, having served as part-time Assistant General Secretary for 18 months in an interregnum. This summer he celebrates 40 years in ministry - he was ordained at Rhydwilym in Pembrokeshire in 1974, one of the earliest Welsh Baptist churches, and received a call to Aberystwyth and Penrhyn-coch in 1985.

Peter ThomasReflecting on his tenure as BUW General Secretary, he said there had been many highlights as well as challenges. 'There is a maxim that states that “Life should not be measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” 

'As I face these final months in office and prepare to pass the baton of leadership to my successor at the turn of the year, I thank God for those many instances that made me gasp with excitement at the wonderful things that He has done and is doing within our Union.

'The many blessings, the doors of opportunity, the thrill of journeying with people called by God and to discern his purpose for their lives. The joy of seeing an increasing number of new ministers and new models of ministry over the years and of being part of a small but wonderful and dedicated team at the BUW Office in Carmarthen.

'I am indebted to my colleagues in ministry for their encouragement and prayers that has made this high calling such a joy and a privilege, for the number of people that I have met and the many friendships that have been forged along the way. I thank God for the influences of others and for the many experiences wrought.

'I am grateful for the close working relationships with colleagues from sister unions and for the fellowship that we share under the FBBI banner. I thank them all for their loyalty and support; but above all I thank God for my dear wife Meryl for her love, patience and understanding, without whose constant support I would not have been able to manage the responsibility of office.

'As you can imagine, it hasn’t been all a bed of roses. There have been disappointments along the way and there have been times when the responsibilities of office have become arduous; when situations of conflict and upheaval, criticism and complaint have called for an extra measure of grace and yet I thank God that we are sustained in the knowledge that there is a power at work which is far greater than our ability to do or to achieve and that we serve a Great God and Master and that his cause is worthy of the best that we can possibly give.'

The Revd Simeon Baker, the BUW's Director of Mission, said, 'Peter has been a wonderful servant of the Union during his time as General Secretary and more importantly a true servant of Christ.

'He has served with visionary leadership that has been brave enough to take risks whilst graciously holding together the diversity of the Baptist Union of Wales. He has consistently prioritised mission and encouraged new ministries wherever possible. There is no doubt that Peter will be greatly missed when he stands down later this year and we wish him and his wife Meryl well in retirement.'

The process of appointing a successor has now begun. The role is being advertised with interviews set to take place on 15 September.

'I pray God’s guidance upon those who will be involved in the process of appointing a new General Secretary over the summer,' Peter continued, 'and pray God’s richest blessing upon the person that He has chosen and called to take up the baton and to carry on the work.

'I am reassured by the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 71: “Lord you have taught me ever since I was young that I may still tell of your wonderful acts. Now that I am old and my hair is grey, you will not abandon me, for you are always with me while I proclaim your power and might to all generations.”

'To serve God is the highest goal, I thank him for his call upon my life and for his guidance and constant support during my watch as General Secretary. I place my trust in him for the forward journey.'

Baptist Times, 24/07/2014
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