Dear Friends,

We are pleased to be able to share the following, regarding Partnership in Mission (PiM), which has been agreed with the BUGB Trustees. As a Network, we face a very substantial budget deficit for 2024, so we are appealing to the generosity of all our churches and hope this agreement will provide both clarity and a good foundation going forwards.
 
At the last Webnet AGM, the churches of Webnet continued to affirm implementing Partnership in Mission. Since then, Webnet have liaised with BUGB trustees in seeking to implement Partnership in Mission in a way which honours Webnet’s commitment to the wider Baptist Family and the national budget. We have sought to do this alongside joint work on the national Financial Model Review (FMR), which is taking place with all Associations and will be brought for consideration by Council on the 4th of June this year. 
 
We acknowledge that in late 2022, BUGB Trustees asked for PiM not to be implemented, citing Clause 7 of the Home Mission Bylaws and recognise there have been some difficult genuinely and prayerfully held concerns. We would like to clarify that Webnet’s intention with Partnership in Mission was never to take money away from Home Mission but to increase income for mission, while maintaining Webnet’s ongoing commitment to the support of the Baptist family nationally. The main reason for Partnership in Mission is to seek to increase the money available for mission. This matches a key aim of the Financial Model Review being undertaken by Baptist Together and we believe Partnership in Mission represents an interesting effort in seeking to achieve this. 
 
For 2024 we proposed Partnership in Mission be rolled out in line with Webnet’s budgeted contribution to the Common Purse for 2024, inclusive of housing allowance. In addition to this, if Partnership in Mission outperforms the budgeted expectation, half the relevant surplus will be passed to the Common Purse and the other half used for mission in Webnet. This means the Common Purse should not be out of pocket; and will indeed benefit if Partnership in Mission is as successful as we hope.  
 
We will review Partnership in Mission alongside outcomes of the Baptist Together Financial Model Review in the latter half of the year, in collaboration with BUGB Trustees and Staff. We are pleased to be able to state that BUGB Trustees have agreed with this statement, and we would like to thank them for their understanding.
 
We do hope this will prove a positive springboard to us increasing the money available to mission in our communities and look forward to hearing from you with any feedback you may have, and with news of how God is moving in our churches.
 
Nigel Coles
On behalf of the Webnet Trustees.