Passing on the baton

Rob Ainsworth, co-ordinator of the Besom in York, completes our three-part series looking at the change of leadership the movement is going through nationally.

Last week in the blog we told you that James Odgers, founder of the Besom, was stepping back from leading the work.

James was the man that God spoke to first about starting the Besom. The vision of being an organisation that would equip the church to serve the poor was formed first in his heart.

James has spoken in countless numbers of churches about the Besom – sharing story after story of how the lives of givers have been changed through giving. He’s personally invested 30 years of his life into it – his money, his career as a lawyer and his prayer.

He’s driven thousands of miles and moved his family house several times in order for the Besom to grow. All of this was in obedience to what God was asking him and his family to do. He’s never received a salary in his role at the Besom, but trusted God to provide for his needs.

So where did this leave the Besom? Well like the rest of the Besom’s life under James’s lead – he said it was a matter to pray about and then act in obedience. It was very clear that he should pass on this “map reading” role to Gilly Simmonds, who leads the Besom in Witney. Alongside her husband Chris, they will prayerfully lead the Besom vision – helping to steer those who head up individual Besoms across the country.

Gilly Simmonds
Gilly Simmonds

So why are we telling you this in York? In terms of the day-to-day running of a Besom, there will be very little difference! The vision will be the same, our God who faithfully provides is the same and none of us are moving to the farm to work with James.

Gilly recently wrote to all the UK Besoms after James asked her take the reigns. Here are three things about Gilly that will help us in York:

Gilly undoubtedly has a passion for God and his Kingdom. The way Gilly prays, the things she prays for and the decisions that she and her family makes all show her passion to see God’s Kingdom come on the earth.

Gilly is an encourager.  She has the gift of encouragement. No matter who you are or what you’re doing, Gilly will encourage you because her encouragement is from God in prayer.

Gilly loves to pray. She loves to pray because she knows the living God. She prays with faith because she’s seen how big and strong God is! And I know she’s come through hard times in life as a result of persevering in prayer.

So can we ask you to pray for Gilly and Chris? For wisdom and discernment in every decision, for protection on them as a family as they invest so much in to the Besom and for specific faith in this new role.



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