Global Generation Church members have been told it is to shut its Thanet operation, including the Pipeline activities for youngsters, the annual Lark in the Park family event and the Hang 10 mobile activity scheme for youngsters.
Members of the church, based at Westwood Industrial Estate, were told of the decision in a meeting yesterday (July 21). It will close down wat the end of this month. Glo Gen staff are facing redundancy.
The church and its activities have been running in Thanet for more than two decades.
But it has emerged that a member of the eldership at Glo has stepped down and the church is dealing with financial issues.
This comes on the heels of an investigation launched last year over complaints made against Thanet’s Global Generation Church founders and former leaders Mike and Stella Andrea.
A total of 36 individuals contacted an independent investigator raising concerns about some of their experiences of Glo Gen.
The independent investigation, carried out by employment law and HR specialists Loch Associates, was prompted after an initial complaint from a former member. Her allegations consisted of claims of coercion, unethical employment practices, gaining control with ‘love bombing’ through gifts and trips, verbal aggression, inappropriate comments and an alleged ‘exorcism’ incident. The claims related to Mike Andrea and wife Stella.
Following the investigation, the couple stepped down from their roles within the church with Mike resigning on February 22 and Stella leaving on March 16.
Investigators made a number of recommendations. These included reviews of policies to make sure there is a clear process for making complaints, reviewing cultural practices and boundaries; reviewing financial procedures; reviewing and providing training on data protection; regular mandatory training for all staff for discrimination issues; ensuring up to date work contracts and proper support for staff’ regular safeguarding training in relation to both children and vulnerable adults’ training to look out for staff who may be struggling with physical or mental health issues and also ensuring proper health and safety training.
However, the latest issues appear to be the death knell for the church in Thanet.
Glo Gen was founded by Mike Andrea when he began with The Pipeline Youth Initiative some 25 years ago.
The church was originally based in Newington Junior School before moving to King’s Church in the town and, in 2009, to its current site at Westwood.
The church projects included a clothes bank, Aspirations educational programme, health services, help for those who are homeless, community pastors, healing rooms and the 10-day Lark in the Park every Summer at Government Acre providing free activities for people of all ages.
A statement from the Elders and Trustee of Glo Gen says: “It is with the deepest sadness that we wish to inform you that Global Generation Church will be closing on 31st July, 2022.
“Over the past two decades it has seen its members dedicate their time and passion to the people of Thanet and beyond. Out of the heart of Glo came projects such as Lark in the Park Ramsgate, Pipeline youth initiative and Hang 10 which wanted to bring hope, joy and help to the community of Thanet.
“This decision has by no means been taken lightly but comes after a very long and difficult season. Regrettably, it is now clear that it is impossible for Global Generation Church to continue to exist. This is due to many reasons; some of which are financial but more than this we have a deep conviction that we need to let the structures of Glo come to end.
“We would like to thank all who have partnered with Global Generation Church over the years and had a part to play in so much good. We thank the staff who have been so gracious and committed to serve the area and to all the many volunteers who have served over the years committed to making a difference in Thanet.
“Our love for all our members is deep and we want to bless them in their onward journeys. We continue to believe there is good to come in Thanet and we thank God for his faithfulness and love that never ceases. We remember that the church is never a building but the people within.”