Greetings from us all at ICS. I write to you from my makeshift office in the spare room at home as I, like the rest of the ICS team, am working in very different ways. 

I suspect that because many of our chaplains were already so used to Zoom, Skype and the like, the transition to online ministry was easier. One chaplain, Ben Harding in Lyon, had converted his garden shed into his ‘Shedquarters’, beaming services, coordinating Alpha groups and leading worship. Amusingly all seemed to work well until he disappeared on a call to me. We reconnected about ten minutes later, it turned out his son had unplugged the shed to use his PlayStation!

So, in the midst of all that is different in 2020, I would like to highlight three successes.

Firstly, we are still deploying. When the odds were against us, when every door we pushed seem to close, this summer we have been able to place our new mission partners, Nicky and Andy Smith and their family in Bangkok. This is a new location for us and one that I have been in discussion with for many years. It has been a rollercoaster of visits to embassies for Nicky and Andy, selling all their belongings, cancelled flights, and not knowing if it would happen until they were on the plane. But they are there and adapting to life in Thailand, taking up a post serving in Christ Church. An amazing answer to prayer.

Secondly, we are still recruiting.We have just recruited a new chaplain for The Hague. Six candidates were interviewed for ninety minutes each on Zoom. It was a gruelling week for all involved, but it worked! We were able to discern who God was calling to this role and then, after face-to-face interviews in the UK and in The Netherlands move to a point where we could appoint. Hopefully, he will be in post before the end of the year.

Thirdly, we are still seeing people respond to the message of Christ. Many of our chaplains have adapted to new ways of doing ministry. Running Alpha courses online and gathering groups to explore faith in Christ during lockdown. ICS organised Zoom training and shared resources, and now stories are emerging of people who have come to faith and have been baptised. We rejoice at this.

Good things are happening in bad times. I can be guilty of only speaking about the successes, of course in the midst of this good news there have been agonising challenges. We have had to cancel all our Resort Mission in Corfu and Switzerland. Many of our mission partners have been very isolated, separated from family and friends. ICS has been running ‘lockdown workshops’, bringing people together online, sharing experiences, good and bad and supporting each other.

In some countries we have had to put a hold on recruitment, Chile, Brazil, Egypt are amongst the places that we cannot place people into at this time. For ICS, in what was already going to be a challenging year financially, Covid-19 has hit us hard. Churches are not physically meeting, deputation is not happening, donations are down on what we had hoped for. As ICS exists through the most generous support of those people who stand alongside us and give financially, in prayer and by volunteering, this is a challenge.

I would ask you to stand with us at this time, to make a gift to the ministry and life of ICS. It may be £50, £500, £1000 or whatever sum God lays on your heart. We are only able to carry on doing what we do because of the loyal, sacrificial support from our members and friends.

Secondly, if regular giving is something you find convenient, could I ask you to consider starting a new standing order or increasing your existing regular gift to ICS? You may not notice it going out, but we will certainly notice it coming in!

In ‘Good Times and Bad’ captures where we are today. We are not discouraged, we press on. Thank you for standing with us as we continue to fulfil this Gospel ministry. Your partnership and friendship are essential to us.


Richard Bromley, Mission Director at ICS