8 January 2024

Structure Co-ordination and Design Group: Handing over

A Salvation Army building with a red shield

Lieut-Colonel Dean Pallant, chair of the Structure Co-ordination and Design Group (SCDG), provides a final update as the group concludes its work.

At the end of a Sunday morning meeting, when we’d considered how we could better love God and love others, the corps officer concluded with this challenge: ‘The meeting is over, but the service is just beginning.’ That’s a very Salvation Army challenge! We are activists.

We know meeting for worship is essential to give us the energy and passion we need to be faithful and fruitful disciples of Jesus. However, we don’t meet for meeting’s sake. The challenge General William Booth gave to his eldest son, Bramwell, still resonates with the Army today: ‘Go and do something!’

For the SCDG, the meeting is over, but the service is just beginning.

In this final update, I must start by thanking the members of the SCDG who invested significant time, energy and wisdom into the project over the past three years. We decided not to use external management consultants, so all the work was done in addition to existing responsibilities. This saved the Army a significant amount of money and, we believe, resulted in better outcomes because we relied on the professionalism and skills already within the Army.

Thank you, friends – yes, we are all still friends, despite all the challenging discussions!

We were also helped significantly by Cabinet, which received progress reports at every meeting. Working closely with territorial leadership ensured there were no surprises as the proposals developed.

We were also helped by countless Salvation Army people, like you, who attended forums, completed the 2022 survey, participated in Divisional Design Groups, asked perceptive questions and helped the SCDG cut through processes and structures that have frustrated or burdened you as you seek to love God and love others through the Army.

A photo of the new THQ at Denmark Hill.
The new Territorial Headquarters

We have prayed hard, listened hard and taken a long hard look at what we do and why. The work is not over. There is lots to do to achieve the three desired outcomes of the project: transformation, integration and streamlining. However, progress has been made and it is the right time for the SCDG to hand over responsibility for the work moving forward.

This month, we will submit the Project Completion Report and a handover plan to Cabinet and SATCo. The proposal is for the Territorial Operations Board to be given responsibility to monitor the implementation of the handover plan during 2024 so we continue to improve ‘how we do things around here’ in the service of God.

What’s next?

The five main teams at Territorial Headquarters (THQ) are taking the lead on several pieces of work.

Divisional Headquarters (DHQs)

This change process is not only being led by THQ. The 14 DHQs have been given greater freedom to adjust their structures and staffing to ensure they are working in the most effective manner for their context.

All DHQs will be facilitating and developing mission focus groups and divisional advisory councils to keep God’s mission at the heart of all they do and will reduce local administrative pressure with divisional administration support. Several new mission worker posts have been introduced to enable more local mission delivery.

Feedback welcome

The Chief Secretary’s Office will continue to welcome your feedback and questions. Please email transformation@salvationarmy.org.uk so your comments, questions and contributions continue to help us be the people and Army that God longs for us to be.

To God be the glory!

Written by

A photo of Dean Pallant.

Lieut-Colonel Dean Pallant

Secretary for Communications (THQ)

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