Review Roadmap

The independent review and consultation process

We exist to transform cities with the truth and love of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the head of the Church and we desire to reflect His love and acceptance to everyone, everywhere. This is the heart of our church. However, we now acknowledge that some people have experienced deep hurt and rejection through the way they were treated by our church.

It became our mission as a church and leadership team to go on a journey with the people of Arise. We ensured that we allowed time and space for people to safely share and feel heard, acknowledged any hurt caused, and sought forgiveness. Today, we continue to work to bring health and reconciliation, by committing to genuine change.

Review Timeline

Given the nature of reviews and amount of consultation require, these dates are subject to change, however, the below are our estimates around timelines.

Pathfinding recommendations released publicly. Released
Review Advisory Committee (RAC) representatives announced Released
Duncan Cotterill findings released to the Arise Board and RAC Released
Arise Board and RAC to workshop vision, strategy and action plan Completed
Interim recommendations begin implementation Completed
Staff and Members Hui held across key campus locations Completed
RAC consider all information from reviews and hui Completed
RAC prepare and finalise final recommendations Completed
Final recommendations made to the Arise Board by the RAC Completed
Implementation of final recommendations begins April 2023 onwards
Current Board terms end and new Board appointed 30 April 2023
Appointment of permanent Lead Pastors July - August 2023
First review of recommendations progress Hui held, and report released March 2024
Second review of recommendations progress Hui held, and report released March 2025

The Process

Arise undertook reviews with external experts to assess the following:

  1. Board and governance structures.
  2. Spiritual oversight and eldership.
  3. Privacy & Financial management of the church.

The outcome of the entire review process is designed to guide our church towards honouring its mandate. This means ensuring that it moves forward to become a place that is safe, and that loves and values all people.

The scope of the review was wide. It was important to recognise that aspects of the review structure, process, scope, and timing may change and may have to be adjusted as it progressed. We expected that regular ongoing updates would be needed, to ensure that transparency and accountability were maintained. The Arise Board acknowledged the significant cost of time and resources necessary to undertake this level of review and reiterated its commitment to the journey and the investment it warranted.

The Reviews in Detail

The Pathfinding Review

Pathfinding was created as a safe and trusted place for people to share their experiences about Arise. The priority was to ensure people felt their voices and experiences were heard while keeping their confidentiality. Over 545 current and former members of Arise engaged with this process, with many sharing their stories for the first time with counsellors and psychologists. We recognise that for many, this was a difficult process. We are thankful for every person who participated in this review.

Pathfinding examined the submissions and provided a range of key findings, themes, and recommendations to the Arise Board.

The report was not immediately available for release due to a non-publication order filed by individuals who did not represent Arise. We understand that this delay was frustrating and apologise for any inconvenience that this caused. After the report was published elsewhere and the holdings were officially withdrawn, Arise released the report in full.

The report can now be accessed here.

The Duncan Cotterill Review

The Duncan Cotterill Review looked into Arise' employment practices, handling of complaints, and board structure.

The Arise Board then expanded the scope and increased the independence of this review to include:

  • Workplace culture
  • Employment policies, processes and practices
  • Management of volunteers and interns
  • Ministry School culture, policies, and procedures
  • Handling of complaints
  • Compliance with workplace health and safety

Any serious allegations or complaints coming out of any of this review process were to be reported directly to the Arise Board for further consideration and , where appropriate, investigation. Depending on their nature they may also be reported directly to the Police by the reviewers at their sole descretion. Alledgations against individuals cannot be shared publicly for legal and privacy reasons.

Other Areas Under Review

Arise also obtained third-party specialist advice regarding several areas within the church. The additional specialist advice included:

  • Charities governance and privacy obligations — Parry Field Lawyers
  • Financial management and control, transparency and disclosure — BDO

We are also under review by MBIE and the Charities Commission. We are fully complying with these reviews and we look forward to working with them on their findings.

The Review Advisory Committee

The Review Advisory Committee (RAC) was created to precess each review, make recommendations to the board, and provide accountability over the changes being implemented. The RAC was comprised of congregation, staff, and board representatives.

On May 10th, 2023, we held a Church Update Night, where we outlined procedural changes and offered more details on the future of Arise. These changes have come as a result of the recommendations from the RAC. You can read the summary here or watch the full recording of the Update Night here.

We welcome your feedback. You can submit any feedback below.

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