8 September 2022

An update: Structure Co-ordination and Design Project

Commissioner Anthony Cotterill

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Commissioner Anthony Cotterill in Salvation Army uniform

A letter from Territorial Commander Commissioner Anthony Cotterill to all officers, members and employees of The Salvation Army.

Dear Friends,

Greetings to you from Territorial Headquarters!

I am pleased to be able to share with you an important update on the work of the Structure Co-ordination and Design Project setting out proposals to help us achieve our vision of ‘Fullness of life for all with Jesus’. This message is particularly relevant to employees and officers who work at DHQs, but it will be of interest to everyone who is part of The Salvation Army family in this territory.

First, I must thank you for your patience as this has been a long process. I know many of you have had to live with a lot of uncertainty, but I hope the information I share with you now will be helpful, encouraging and reassuring.

Over the past year, the Structure Co-ordination and Design Project has asked: ‘What is needed for local mission to flourish?’ People have shared their views, including many of you who are reading this letter. We’ve received many excellent ideas on how to improve our structures and processes and how we can improve the support and oversight THQ and DHQ provide to local mission units.

We have not used management consultants in this review. Instead, we have asked our own people to come up with the solutions. We have heard clearly and we have all been reminded that our Army is motivated by loving God and loving others; that The Salvation Army longs to see people and communities flourishing; that we want everyone to experience fullness of life in Jesus; and that we want to live out our values and be people of integrity.

Having listened, we are now announcing some proposals. We will be consulting with divisional headquarters employees on these proposals, and we are also keen to hear from officers, Salvationists and friends.

The front cover of the report

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Throughout this review we have tried to listen and learn from everyone. That must not stop now. We are embarking on a journey of continuous improvement, and we still need your input. Any questions, feedback or comments should be directed to transformation@salvationarmy.org.uk and you will receive a reply.

The key proposals

We propose to further move from the 22 divisions of 2020 to 14 divisions by July 2023. The new divisional lines generally follow county and local authority boundaries, although we are proposing some exceptions following input from the 13 Divisional Design Groups.

Seven of the 14 divisions are almost the same as they are now. If you are in North Scotland, Ireland, Wales, North West and Isle of Man, North East, South East, and West Midlands you are unlikely to notice significant changes.

Establishing the remaining seven divisions will be more complex. These divisions will be the South West, Central Southern and Channel Islands, London, an enlarged East of England Division, an expanded East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, and uniting East and West Scotland to form a new Central and Southern Scotland Division.

For the most part these new divisions will be formed by one division merging with one other division. The exception is the current Central East Division which will be incorporated into three divisions. We are working closely with those individuals who are impacted the most by these proposals and will be having conversations with affected employees and officers about these changes and providing details of where to access support and further information.

More information is available from salvationist.org.uk and OurHub and I include an informative four-page feature that will appear in the 17 September issue of Salvationist:

Why are we doing this?

We are doing this because we must prioritise local mission flourishing. This is God’s mission, and we know our loving heavenly Father wants people, communities and The Salvation Army to flourish.

We want to help people flourish and we need to focus on our five mission priorities: to make disciples of Jesus; to share the good news of Jesus; to serve without discrimination; to seek justice and reconciliation; and to care for creation.

We have been told by the people delivering The Salvation Army’s mission that many of our current processes and structures are a burden and therefore we must integrate and streamline the way we work.

Finally, our costs for support and oversight must be realistic, prudent and effective so that we can release more money on local mission delivery. We must ensure we have the data to prove that donations from the public, as well as Salvation Army people, are always being used effectively.

The territory is determined to learn from previous structural reviews by not making ‘big bang’ changes. Therefore, we are taking a phased approach and adjusting plans as we constantly listen, learning as we go.

THQ Service Design Groups are working through the territory’s feedback about structures and processes that are hindering local mission. We will not arrive in July with a perfectly structured system and processes, but we have a commitment to continuous learning, development, feedback and improvement.

We all know that change is never easy. Thank you for your patience in recent months as we took time to listen to our territory and now as we move into the next phase of this project. May God give us wisdom and grace and, as a result of our efforts, may Jesus Christ be uplifted and local mission flourish.

In addition to thanking you, for your interest and prayers, I express a sincere word of gratitude to all who have been guiding us along this journey, especially members past and present of the Structure, Co-ordination and Design Group and the members of the Divisional Design Groups.

God bless you.


Anthony Cotterill

Commissioner Anthony Cotterill

Territorial Commander

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