By Acting Chairman, Michael Tedder
As Janette’s contract as Director of Epiphany House formally comes to an end on 31 January, and she takes on a new role in the parish of All Saints, Highertown, I should like to express appreciation for her accomplishments at Epiphany House. Once new appointments have been made and Covid restrictions ease, the House will host a more conventional celebration of Janette’s achievements but this auspicious transition cannot pass unmarked.
My first information about Janette came from a referee when she applied for the brand new post of Director of Epiphany House. The Revd Linda Liversedge in Cambridgeshire described someone with great administrative skills, someone who is ‘genuinely brilliant’, a ‘terrific all-rounder,’ as someone who can deliver what she promises. She begged us not to deprive her parish of such an outstanding worker! Five candidates were interviewed for Director and Janette was outstanding. She took up the post on 1 November 2013.
Janette has had to deal with all kinds of ‘challenges’ (sometimes disasters!) as Director of Epiphany House. Who could forget the winter of 2018 when the ‘beast from the East’ came calling in March, causing burst water pipes in the attic that flooded rooms and damaged ceilings, leading to months of industrial dryers around the building followed by extensive replastering and recarpeting. Then, of course, there has been the extended disruption and uncertainties caused by the Covid 19 crisis. For months on end Janette and a much-reduced team have taken care of a building that never stops needing attention and care. Resuming normal operation has been a slow and complex process.
Janette has overseen a number of transformations. She helped ensure the books balance. She has been an effective leader who could mould an enthusiastic and skilled staff team that successfully grew the business while rigorously controlling costs. At times managing change can be painful, particularly when staff contracts change, and Janette has sensitively managed some difficult but essential changes.
The most obvious transformation in the House has come from her oversight of the “Refresh and Renew” project. The addition of en suite accommodation and the shift of the focus of the building with the creation of our new reception area have transformed the prospects for the House and its mission. Building work started in October 2019 and Janette had to live with the inconvenience of her home being adjacent to a building site for nearly two years.
The Latin inscription over the fireplace in Godrevy is a quotation from the Rule of St Benedict that translates as ‘Visitors (possibly strangers or refugees?) should be welcomed as though they were Christ’. Janette’s achievement as Director has been to make this instruction operational. Janette is a deeply prayerful person whose spiritual journey is an important part of her life. She came to Epiphany House intent on living out her faith through more active involvement in Christian ministry in the community and that commitment led to her ordination as priest. I’m sure the whole Board of Trustees join me in wishing her well in the next stage of her journey.