On 18 January the Bible Society announced changes to its leadership team, one of which was the appointment of Stuart Rivers as Executive Director of Enterprises. He previously worked for Ericsson and, for the past four years, as an officer in the Salvation Army.
The Bible Society’s newly-created Enterprises Division subsumes its trading arm, Bible Society Resources Ltd., together with Christian Research and Christian Resources Exhibitions. It also manages the Society’s interest in the Theos public theology think tank, of which the Society is a major sponsor.
Christian Research, best known for its publication of the UK Christian Resources Handbook and Religious Trends, has its roots in the Bible Society during Dr Peter Brierley’s time as the Society’s programme director.
It was then established as a separate entity, led by Peter, first as MARC Europe (1982-93) and then as Christian Research. On Peter’s retirement in 2007 it was merged into the Bible Society. In retirement, Peter runs Brierley Consultancy.
Now under the direction of Benita Hewitt, Christian Research provides a range of services to its members and undertakes quantitative and qualitative research, both for the Bible Society and other Christian clients.
Two of Christian Research’s current initiatives are ChurchCheck, a mystery visitor service provided in association with Retail Maxim; and Faith Journeys, the first detailed quantitative investigation of faith development among UK Christians since John Finney’s Finding Faith Today (1992).
Further information about Faith Journeys, including interim statistical findings, may be found at http://www.faith-journeys.com. A substantial feature article about the project by Jenny Williams also appeared in the Baptist Times for 3 December 2009.