Read our latest statement regarding Oakes Camps and COVID-19

The Truscott Review

Written by Paul German


Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 15:22

Who is John Truscott?

John Truscott

John, who is based in St Albans, has a Maths degree from Cambridge and describes himself as “a passionate behind-the-scenes administrator who loves ‘sorting things out’ and ‘tidying things up’”.

Through his ministry as a trainer, speaker, adviser and writer he helps churches and Christian mission agencies become healthy and effective for Christ in all they do. See for more information and many free resources!

Why did he visit The Oakes?

After nearly 20 years in action, the trustees agreed that it was time to review our governance and management structures, and John was asked for his advice so that these are fit for the next decade. He sent out questionnaires to over 20 key personnel here, interviewed teachers from schools who use The Oakes, and spent three full days on-site meeting with a number of individuals.

What did he recommend?

Having expressed his admiration “for this mighty work of God and the vision and faith that allowed it to get off the ground” and listing 21 points for praise to God, John considered several problems uncovered by his work, and the structural and team issues that lie behind these. This led him to make a series of recommendations covering:

  • Structure: sharpening the role of the Trustee Board, setting up a Senior Team, and appointing an Operations Team Leader.
  • Team: ensuring good care for the Oakes community, working in disciplined teams, and investing in each individual so that they become “the best disciple and the best worker that they can be”.

John also recommended that, as this work has so much potential, we should look to grow the evangelistic ministry beyond Sheffield – both by using the base here as a spring board and also by developing the brand by encouraging others to set up similar enterprises.

When will we see any changes?

Since receiving the report the trustees have

  • appointed a new trustee, Steve Wilkinson, with extensive experience in education management
  • invited me (Paul German) to act as Interim Operations Team Leader, stepping down as a trustee whilst a permanent candidate is recruited
  • set up a Senior Leadership Team
  • started work on a Volunteer Agreement and Handbook

Watch this space for further developments!

  • Praise for John’s expertise and wisdom in producing a clear and thorough report.
  • Praise for his diary unexpectedly becoming clear just when we asked him to come!
  • Pray for the trustees as they prioritise and work through John’s recommendations.
  • Pray for the team in managing changes whilst maintaining the ongoing ministry.

Oakes News (July 2019)

PDF version | All news