New directors for Vineyard UK, John and Ele Mumford to focus on international

John and Debby Wright

Vineyard Churches announced yesterday that John and Debby Wright will be taking over from John and Eleanor Mumford as national directors of the movement in the UK and Ireland in September.

The Wrights are currently the senior pastors at Trent Vineyard in Nottingham, the church they planted in 1996. They will continue to split their time between their home church and working nationally for the church planting movement.

"We feel very honoured to have been asked to serve the movement as the next National Directors. The Vineyard in the UK & Ireland is in a very strong position and we have much to thank John & Eleanor for," the Wrights said in a statement.

"We are excited for this next chapter in the life of the Vineyard, as we pursue all that God has for us," they added.

The Mumfords, who have led the movement in the UK and Ireland since 1987, said: "We are both deeply thrilled at the prospect of John & Debby taking on a 'charge' that is so precious, and very conscious that this development is so clearly at the God's direction.

They will continue to work for Vineyard and said they intend to focus on the continued development and momentum of the international Vineyard family.

"Leading the Vineyard family in the UK and Ireland for nigh-on 20 years has been an enormous privilege, has afforded us the greatest joy, and leaves our hearts 'replete with thankfulness'. Of course we will miss all that – not to would be unnatural, after all."

John and Eleanor Mumford started the first British Vineyard church in South West London, having spent time working with John Wimber in the US. Under their leadership, the movement has grown to include 116 Vineyard churches in the UK and Ireland, with more than 15,000 people attending on a Sunday.

John and Debby Wright were also involved with the Vineyard Movement in Anaheim, California in the 1980s. They helped set up the first UK plant with the Mumfords, and continued working there for nine years before moving to Nottingham.

The Mumfords said: "We have known John & Debby for almost 30 years, and consider them to be godly servants of the Lord. Not only do they have a proven track record of leadership, but they also embody and understand the Vineyard's vision and values inside out."

The new leaders will be commissioned on 19 September this year.