For the past six weeks the Arise Board and Leadership has sought to remain silent to allow those who have experienced hurt to feel safe to come forward and share their experiences. On behalf of the Arise Board, I want to apologise unreservedly to past and present members of Arise Church. It is deeply regrettable that a place intended for refuge, safety and security, became a place of deep hurt for some.
We want to acknowledge all individuals who have come forward during this time and bravely shared their stories and experiences. We thank you for your courage. We are committed to the review and change process.
While the reviews are ongoing, continued changes must be made. To allow this to happen, the Board is announcing today the resignation of John and Gillian Cameron and Brent Cameron. Brent Cameron’s resignation will be effective immediately, and John and Gillian Cameron will have an involvement of at least three months, to allow for a complete and thorough handover.
At this time the Board recognises that significant change is needed to rebuild trust, transparency and accountability to those that call Arise home, and those who have experienced hurt while at our house. Our hope is that continued changes will lead to Arise Church being a trusted, safe place to worship and a culture where all people are welcomed, loved, and accepted.
Over the coming weeks the Board will be providing a roadmap and timeline of next steps on the Arise website, including the timings of when the review will be made public.
While this work is underway and until the review processes are complete and have been received, the Arise Board’s focus will be on supporting you, our congregation, and staff through this significant change.
We recognise this news will be processed differently for everyone, the Board has agreed to share the following statements from John & Gillian Cameron and Brent Cameron to the congregation of Arise Church.
Naaku iti nei, naa
— Kylie Fletcher on behalf of the Arise Board.
"It is with a great sadness that we formally resign from Arise Church. We founded Arise to help people. That it has also hurt people has been devastating to hear. We are saddened and truly sorry.
This last period of time has been a season of lament as we have sat in the stories of those who have experienced pain in our church. We have listened and are repentant.
We wish to apologise to all those who have been hurt, either by our actions or the actions of others, both past and present. You are precious. You are loved by God. You deserve to be treated well, especially by the household of faith. There have been wrong cultures and wrong actions and people have been hurt. We are truly and deeply sorry.
We are resigning to allow for real change to take place. We believe that our resignation ensures the best future for both the staff and the congregation of Arise. Arise needs change both structurally and culturally and by stepping aside we are seeking to enable that change to quickly take place. We are confident in the board to ensure that change will happen.
Arise is an amazing church because the people of Arise are truly wonderful people. Their collective love for God and for others has led to thousands of people who have had positive experiences and whose lives have been changed for the better. We continue to believe in the church, the body of Christ. We believe God has a new day for Arise and our prayer is that the good work and community of the church will flourish even more in the days ahead."
— John & Gillian Cameron
"It is with a heavy heart that I formally tender my resignation from the staff of Arise Church. It has been the greatest privilege to serve at Arise, however over the last period of time the attention I have attracted in the public domain has been detrimental for the church and my family. Therefore, I believe it is in the best interests of all involved for me to step away from employment at Arise.
I continue to be committed to my Christian faith and the Church. I am deeply sorry to God, and all members, both past and present, of Arise where my behaviour has not met the values of a Christian minister, or honoured the name of Jesus. I continue to reflect on who I am, and how I can become the man God has made me to be.
I want to express my deep love for the church and I am praying that Arise will be known as a place of reconciliation and life change in the days ahead. I am praying that the review process will help the board and leadership of Arise create a pathway forward for all who have shared in this journey. I support the Church’s handling of the allegations and will take part in those processes. I will not make any public comment on the allegations that have been made against me.
I have known the support and friendship of the people of Arise Church in many seasons. I want to acknowledge and thank our church community for their continued love and kindness."
— Brent Cameron