How The Trust Began


In the 1980's a prayer group was established for schools. Led by Joan Dewhirst, Head of RE at Shenfield School, it drew its members from many Churches in the town and met regularly to bring before God the spiritual and other needs of children and teachers in schools.

Towards the end of the decade a small group of people in the Sawyers Hall Lane Chapel were given a vision of how a Christian Schools Worker could make a difference to the life and work of schools in the town.

In the Summer Term of 1989 they called an open meeting at the Brentwood County High School where the vision was shared and a small support group was set up to carry it forward.

The group carried out some research into the various ways in which other towns were realising similar visions and then called another public meeting held in January 1990 at Christ Church Warley.

An appeal for someone to Chair the initiative and someone to act as Honorary Secretary to the group was issued and Geof Care and Sally McMahon from Brentwood Baptist Church stepped forward to take up these roles.

A period of intense activity followed and by October 1991 a Trust was established with six Trustees working as an Associate Body of Scripture Union.

The founding Trustees were Geoff Bown (Treasurer to the group), Geoff Care (Managing Director of a medical photographic company), Joan Dewhirst (an experienced teacher and school leader), Sue Howard (a former Schools Work Director at Scripture Union), Richard Soper (an elder of Sawyers Hall Lane Chapel) and Andrew Wood (a Lecturer at Anglia Polytechnic University).

The Trust was soon formally supported by around twenty churches who assented to the Basis of Faith of the Trust, which is based on the 'What We Believe' section of the Scripture Union Mission Statement.

After a further period of raising the vision and securing financial support the Trust was able to appoint Chris White as the first Brentwood Schools Christian Worker in September 1992.