The 2005-2006 academic year has been one of massive change for CMF and the next twelve months may be the most challenging ever. Looking back there is a huge amount to thank God for. The fellowship's day to- day ministry has continued to bear great fruit due to God's grace and the hard work of staff and volunteers. I was immensely encouraged this year by the CMF national students' conference in February, Radical King, Radical Kingdom, and by the national doctors' conference in April, Choosing God's Way, with Hugh Thomson's Bible Readings on Joshua and Michael Varnam's unforgettable Rendle Short Lecture – two of the best conferences yet and evidence of the new life and growth that is occurring at both student and graduate levels (If you missed them CDs of main talks are available from the office). And in addition to the ongoing fruit through our conferences and other events, publications, student work, overseas mission work, evangelism and public policy work there have been many new developments in the last twelve months.
Looking back some of the greatest highlights for me have been:
- The establishment of the Care Not Killing Alliance and the defeat of Lord's Joffe's Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill on 12 May
- Growth in the student work with the appointment of Alex Bunn as Assistant Student Secretary and the establishment of a national students' committee
- CMF's rebranding exercise and the redesign of our quarterly publications Triple Helix, Nucleus, CMF News and CMF Files
- The publication of Introducing CMF highlighting all that God is doing in and through the fellowship
- Raising £100,000 to support the Kashmir earthquake relief effort through two Christian hospitals in Pakistan
- The new life and vitality brought through the Saline Solution and its extension abroad now into the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and very shortly India
- The export of the Developing World Health Course to Nigeria in partnership with our Indian sister organisation
- The maturing and developing of ICMDA Eurasia with the appointment of Jonny Thiessen as international coordinator, new blood on the regional committee and the increasing involvement of other European movements in providing Area Student Reps and sending summer Teams
- CMF's increasing partnership with other Christian and non-Christian organisations especially through alliances like Care Not Killing, Alive and Kicking and CHAA
- Our increasing media profile with now over 160 members trained in basic television and radio skills
- The launch of the PLAB doctors and Surgeons' day conferences
- The catch up on all our financial administrative backlogs incurred through the difficulties with the database and the loss of our accountant and office manager
- The new opportunities for IT communications brought by new GivenGain software.
In the next twelve months some of the major tasks that face us include:
- Completing the organisational review of our staffing, systems and structures with Mee Yan Judge and her team from Quality and Equality
- Raising £2 million to buy new premises in London
- Buying and moving into a new building probably by April 2007
- Phasing out our overly complex Oracle database and introducing a new system that meets our requirements
- Introducing direct debit for donations and subscriptions
- Developing a fully integrated accounting system – we are still running off excel spreadsheets!
- Balancing our books – despite having £800,000 in the bank we cannot go on with annual deficits – we need either to decrease expenditure or increase income
- Revamping our communications systems
- Developing the student staff worker training and support programmes
- Planning for the next step in public policy the loss of our media advisor Iain Taylor
- Revamping our regional structure in order to get grassroots members more involved at every level
- Getting our non-quarterly publications moving again.
Throughout the organisational review I have been asked what the core ministry of CMF is. I have found this a very difficult question to answer because I remain hugely enthusiastic and excited about all we do across our ministries in student work, publications, conferences and events, medical mission, outreach and public policy.
However I think that the core ministry of CMF is actually first to help all Christian doctors to know who they are in Christ and second to enable and equip them to fulfil God's calling for their lives as we serve Him and build His Kingdom together. How well are we doing that as a fellowship? That I believe is the ultimate test of our effectiveness. Are we building up one another to become mature in Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13) and to do the good works that God has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10)?