The UK GBC National Office has 3 primary functions:
1. It represents, serves and offers support to the whole of the UK yatra
2. It is an outreach and development centre, particularly as it relates to those parts of the UK that are not currently served by devotee presence
3. It is the administrative, legal and accountancy hub for the UK yatra
As the office of the GBC, there are many other functions that don’t directly relate to the UK, which again are not so easy to categorise or quantify, indeed Srila Prabhupada’s reference that a GBC can appoint thousands of secretaries makes perfect sense, as even without trying there seems to be an unending amount of service to take care of.
Number 1 above is something that as a yatra is very important because it provides a sense of neutral authority for all devotees in the UK. Srila Prabhupada of course wanted a unique balance between independent autonomous centres and an oversight or check and balance mechanism, the GBC National Office offers that check and balance to the UK yatra.
Number 2 above is very much a work in progress and the recent UK Convention was a step toward expanding the role of the GBC National Office as far as its outreach responsibilities are concerned. The GBC resolved the following sometime ago and this is a project that the GBC National Office wants to gradually realise:
“For those geographic areas which fall beyond the capacity or desire of ISKCON temples to supervise, promote, and expand the congregational preaching, the local GBC Zonal Secretary can appoint a responsible devotee in good standing to be a “Director” of a “Congregational Preaching Directorate” or “Branch” of ISKCON who can lead a team of preachers to systematically cultivate, preach to, and expand the congregational preaching in a specified area.”
Number 3 above is very much the nuts and bolts of the GBC National Office and is quite a task to ensure all ISKCON mandates are carried out and even more of a challenge to make sure that all UK statutory obligations are properly executed and up to date.