Interview with IC treasurer, David Hancock

David has been a trustee and the treasurer of Inclusive Church for a good number of years now. He will be stepping down next year and IC will be actively looking for a replacement. He has been such a constant presence on the board and looking after IC’s finances over the years and will be greatly missed.

Ruth Wilde, National Coordinator of IC, decided to interview David in his final year…

Hi David. Thank you so much for being an Inclusive Church trustee and the IC treasurer for such a long period of time! You are now in your final year of being a trustee and treasurer and IC are looking for a replacement. How long have you been treasurer and trustee, and what have you enjoyed most in that time?

David: I’ve been doing it for ten years now, and it really is time for me to move on, although I have found it a very interesting and rewarding role. As a lay person with a background in public service it has been a great privilege to be close to the debates and anguish in enabling the church to grapple with issues of diversity and social justice. I have really enjoyed working in a team with the other trustees and the co-ordinators: ordained and lay people working together for a single purpose. Highlights have been our lectures, conferences, Greenbelt and helping to host the visit by the Swedish Lutherans

What is involved in your role and what advice would you give to anyone thinking of becoming IC treasurer?

David: The role of treasurer is similar to being the bookkeeper for any small charitable organisation. Thanking donors, making the gift aid claim, paying the bills, monitoring income and expenditure, keeping the trustees informed of the financial position, that sort of thing. I’ve been doing it as a retirement pastime, and including the days for trustee meetings in London, I reckon it has taken me about a day a week to do it. The other thing I’ve been quite heavily involved in is working with the trustees to develop and improve their policies.

I have encouraged the trustees to set a budget each Spring – and then worked with the co-ordinator to keep to it. The other aspect of the job is preparing the accounts and steering them through the audit process with the independent examiner. I’m not a qualified accountant or anything like that – but it is essential to have a clear grasp of the difference between income and expenditure!

I think it is a great role, and I’d encourage anyone with the time and interest to take it on.

What is the funniest thing you have ever experienced as a trustee or as treasurer?

David: I wouldn’t say there is a bundle of laughs in the church’s approach to diversity and social justice. The most inspiring experience was to be with the Lutheran visitors from Sweden last year as we visited some wonderful examples of inclusive practice in schools and churches in Liverpool and Manchester. It was both humbling and exhilarating.

Perhaps one of the most curious things I’ve had to do was to ask our insurer whether our public liability insurance covered a couple of our volunteers who were going to act as chaplains to a Pride event. This was not a question our insurer had met before, and the response was pleasingly positive.

What will you miss about the role?

David: I’ll miss the people I’ve been working with, and the sense of connection to important agendas.

What will you do in the extra time you have once you have stepped down?

David: I’m getting on a bit now and slowing down, so I need a bit more time to do the basics. I’m sure I’ll have plenty to do.

Well thank you so much for letting me do this short interview with you, David. All of us at IC appreciate the job you have done and are very grateful for your long service!