3 February 2021
An interview with Richard Cartlidge
The time has come to meet another one of the wonderful people who make up the WorldShare board of trustees. Today, say hello to Richard Cartlidge and hear how he went from flying helicopters to becoming a trustee!
Can you sum up your role at WorldShare in less than 100 words?
I am one of the trustees who make up the board for WorldShare. This involves meeting formally four times per year, along with other meetings that may occur as required e.g. to manage WorldShare’s response to COVID-19 and occasional sub-committees. The role is to provide governance, guidance and encouragement to the CEO and his team.
What motivated you to volunteer to become a trustee?
I used to be a navigator in the Royal Air Force and I completed my Basic Navigator Course at RAF Finningley in Doncaster, South Yorkshire in 1994. That was also our first home as newlyweds for my wife Sarah and I. Fast forward 18 years and I was wondering how I could give some of my time to serve God. A friend approached me who said he knew of an organisation that would benefit from the skills I had. I made enquiries and found out that the organisation was WorldShare and it was based in Armstrong House at Robin Hood Airport… which used to be the Navigation School at RAF Finningley! In fact, I’m pretty sure that WorldShare’s actual offices used to be the commandant’s office – a place junior navigators only visited when they were in trouble! Needless to say I felt that God was getting my attention.
What does a typical board of trustees meeting look like?
There is a schedule of items that get reviewed and discussed quarterly and annually e.g. finances, ministry partners updates, strategy, fundraising matters etc. The board meetings always begin with a short devotional and there are plenty of pauses when we pray together over the issues and the people we are discussing. Additionally, I cannot think of a meeting when we haven’t had some laughter. In 2020 our meetings were via zoom which worked well.
What has been your biggest WorldShare highlight this year?
“More people will die from poverty than coronavirus” were the words of Finney Thomas from JKPS in India earlier in 2020. Over the past 12 months we have been almost pre-occupied with how COVID-19 affects us. It’s perhaps peculiar to consider this quote a highlight, but one of the things that WorldShare always gives me is perspective. As Christians who live in the comfort and safety and prosperity of the West, we need to be stirred and reminded of the global need that we have the opportunity to respond to - through prayer and giving. So the highlight for me is the reminder that we are doing Kingdom business.
If you could visit one of WorldShare’s ministry partners, which one would it be?
I have had the privilege of visiting JKPS in India (2015) and Hope for Africa Mission in South Africa (2014). I was told at the time by a former trustee that these visits would change me – and they did.
To see the faith and action of our partners at work in often desperate situations is humbling. It is also inspiring to see the change that can be made with the Gospel in action.
Seeing Hector Rivas and the team from Potter’s House in Guatemala present to us through a Ministry Meet Up in September 2020 was inspiring and it is a part of the world I could learn more about.
Outside of being a trustee for WorldShare, how do you spend your time?
I run my own leadership development practice, so most of my time is taken up with this. When I have the opportunity, I go fell-walking and try to spend as much time as I can outdoors.