Assistant Student Secretary
Alex Bunn has joined the staff in mid February to strengthen our student work, working alongside Mark Pickering for the next two years – this is a very exciting new development as it enables more effort to be put into strengthening our student ministry. Many will know Alex and remember that he has already served CMF as a London regional staff worker in the late 90's. Since then he has gained his MRCP, done a year at All Nations Christian College, worked in sexual health and palliative care, and is also in the middle of an MA in Medical Ethics.
We are in the midst of a regular turnover of Regional staffworkers; Roxy Whelan joined the regional staff team in mid March, working in Nottingham, Leicester, and Derby medical schools for two years. By the time you read this we hope to have interviewed in Scotland, after several years with no staff worker since Lorna Nunn finished. There are preliminary discussions with one or two others, but there are always more vacancies than posts filled; if this is something you would like to consider, please contact Peter Saunders in the office in the first instance.
Scotland really is on the move! Calum Mackellar pioneered this role during 2005, and covered more than is humanly possible in one day a week! His own involvement with both the Scottish Council of Human Bioethics, and the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland mean that has stepped down, and we hope to interview a successor before Easter.
I have just reviewed my last four finance reports of 2005, and they make interesting reading! The smile has definitely returned, as we have now caught up completely with the day-to-day financial transactions of the Fellowship, and many members have responded very generously to the request to pay both their current subscription but also any arrears, along with generous contributions in addition. This has made a very significant impact upon CMF's current finances.
However we are finishing the 2005 audit before Easter, and I expect the final 2005 accounts to show a deficit well in excess of £100,000. The Executive has also considered a 2006 budget with a deficit close to £100,000. In the short term we can consider living beyond our means in this way because we have financial resources in the bank. However it is not sustainable in the medium to long term.
There are two ways you might consider helping redress this: As of mid March 2006 there are over 800 graduate members and 600 student members who still need to pay their subscription for both the current year and past years, and we will be in contact by email and phone to help you do this in the simplest way possible for you. This will have a massive impact upon our ongoing finances. Do please help us by digging out a copy of a subscription letter from me, and sending in your subscription, and any additional support you are able to give.
Secondly, the graduate CMF membership has remained static at between 4,500 and 5,000 members for at least the last 6 years despite 200 students qualifying each year. Promotion to glory, and losing contact are probably the two largest reasons for members not continuing to support the Fellowship, along with an awareness of being too busy, and being overwhelmed with CMF material along with everything else.We remain very keen to honour every member of the Fellowship, even when membership only means paying a subscription and little more.
But are you aware of any colleagues or medical friends whom you could encourage to join the Fellowship, and help share the financial load? 1,000 new members would transform our finances, but also represent a massive additional coordinated force for good in the medical profession, and in society. Would you consider inviting one or more colleagues to join CMF in 2006? We can check the membership database to let you know if your colleagues and friends are already members, and we would be delighted to send you further copies of the Introducing CMF booklet we circulated in the summer of 2005.
I need to say thank you to every member who has filled in a new or increased Bankers Order over the last year. Many have committed to make a regular monthly, quarterly, or annual financial commitment to the Fellowship, and this is immensely helpful, and we are continuing to process these, and also to acknowledge them as they are set up, for the first time in at least three years.
The back page would not be complete without reference to direct debit! The decision to launch direct debit was taken by the Executive in principle in 2002, but delivering it has been inextricably linked to all the membership database problems of the last two years. Now that we have caught up, we are planning how to move forward, and the first beneficiary of such a move will be the ability to pay subscriptions and additional donations by direct debit, which we believe will be much simpler for every member, and administratively. Roll on the day!