The Words of the Franklin Family
On Easter Sunday 8th April, a gathering of 80 family members gathered in Lancaster Gate HQ to participate in a moving ceremony of handing over the role of UK National Leader.
Simon and Chieko Cooper were inaugurated into the role in January 2008 and now after 4 years of devoted and innovative leadership are stepping down to invest more time to develop Simon's other role as HQ Church Pastor.
A commemorative plaque, flowers and a gift were presented to Simon and Chieko, followed by moving and humorous personal testimonies to Simon's family from Tim Read, Mitty Tohma and Patricia Hartley.
The new National Leader, Jack Corley was introduced through his biography detailing his wide international missionary experience, education and leadership roles especially in Russia and China.
Jack expressed his gratitude to Simon and previous National Leaders, who all played their part in developing the foundation of the movement in the UK and his own determination to encourage our nation to play a greater role in the European providence.
Simon handed on the "shepherd's staff" originating from Masatoshi Abe and presented to him by Tim Read back in 2008.
The great significance of holding this ceremony on Easter Sunday was made clear by Tim Miller, European Vice President in his concluding talk. He explained that this day was the day 77 years ago that True Father received his mission from Jesus, was the start of Jesus 40 day course for spiritual salvation, and in the year 2012 – the final year before Foundation Day, the holding of the Olympic Games in the UK and the Queen's diamond jubilee year.