Church Planting Enabler
The post-holder will be part of an exciting new team, under the direction of Dr Paula Gooder, and part of the wider Mission and Ministry Stream overseen by the Bishop of Aston, the Rt Revd Anne Hollinghurst. Others in the immediate team will include a Fresh Expressions Enabler, an Intercultural Mission Enabler, a Growing Leaders Facilitator, a Mentor Facilitator and an Urban Estates Mission Enabler, all working closely with our Training and Development Support Team.
Birmingham is the UK’s second city with the youngest urban population in Europe and one of the most lively and diverse regions. The Church of England Birmingham covers an area of nearly 300 square miles and includes parishes in the West Midlands including Birmingham and parts of Solihull, Sandwell, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.
Right at the heart of what we do there are over 187 Church of England places of worship with an average weekly attendance of 17,000 from a population of 1.5 million. These churches represent a wide scope of Church tradition and breadth of ethnicity.
It is a time of new opportunities and potential in the Church of England Birmingham as we seek to shape ministry for a changing church and world as part of our “Transforming Church - Shaping the Future” vision. We are looking for individuals who will bring imagination and strategic thinking, and who will relish the challenge of exploring new opportunities in response to the particular needs of the Birmingham context.
The primary role of the Church Planting Enabler will be to inspire, train and support individuals and churches throughout the diocese both as they find teams of people to join them in setting up new plants and as they get involved in revitalisation projects. They will be expected to be involved in a church plant themselves (though not in overall leadership because of the time commitment of this).
The key responsibilities of this post include:
1. The Development of Church Planting across the Diocese
- Develop a greater appetite for church planting in Church of England Birmingham across all traditions, ethnicities and geographical areas
- Develop clear and consistent policies on issues such as staffing, buildings, houses, financial support and common fund which will encourage best practice in areas such as recruitment, induction and annual review systems
- Ensure there is proper sacramental provision across all church plants
- Help clergy, key lay leaders and the Bishop’s staff to identify potential leaders of church plants and create a supportive network for them
2. Training and Support
- Provide leadership training, where necessary, for those beginning new church plants or revitalisation.
- Establish good quality team training for teams engaging in Church planting
- Support Church plants across the diocese, offering additional training as specific issues arise
3. The Fostering of Good Communication and Relationships
- Facilitate good communications between the various interested parties when a new church is planted or a revitalisation takes place
- Work with the Archdeacons to pave the way for the smooth planting of churches bringing wisdom and practical experience to the following areas: relationships with neighbouring churches, finances, and legal matters among others
- Network closely with other church planting bodies, both around the city and nationally, and to have a local, regional and national role promoting church planting as time allows
- Work across different demographics and Church traditions within Church of England Birmingham to encourage the greatest variety possible among Church plants
- Work closely with the wider Mission Learning and Development team to ensure that church planting fits coherently with the other work in the team (especially that of Fresh Expressions), and to provide appropriate levels of training and support for each of the leaders of our new Christian communities
4. Evaluation and Monitoring
- Work with the Project Analyst to oversee the evaluation and monitoring of the effectiveness of our church planting strategy.
The Ideal Candidate
We are looking for someone with a strong Christian faith and a love for God’s Church, who has the following qualities and experience:
- Passionate about church planting
- Able to inspire and influence others
- Approachable and adaptable – being able to work well with a wide and diverse range of people
- Experience of building and leading successful teams, with a track record of working collaboratively
- A willingness to contribute to and work with the other teams in the Church of England, Birmingham
- An appreciation for, and a commitment to work positively within, the breadth of the Church of England. Experience and a good understanding of the Church of England would be desirable
- Significant knowledge and understanding of current theory and practice in church planting
- Experience of successful church planting
- Experience of developing and providing training, preferably in a church context
- Experience of developing policies and frameworks for others to follow
- Excellent communication skills (written and verbal)
- Able to facilitate conversations with and between different groups
- Great networking skills
- A valid driving licence and access to a vehicle
This post is open to lay or ordained applicants. There is a Genuine Occupational Requirement that the post holder is a practising Christian.
Right at the heart of what we do there are 188 Church of England churches and worship centres with an average Sunday attendance of 14,000 from a population of 1.5 million. In these churches are clergy and church-goers representing a wide scope of Church tradition and breadth of ethnicity.
Around 165 paid priests, together with additional self-supporting ministers, offer spiritual and pastoral care in the parishes, together with retired clergy, readers, local ministry teams & other non-ordained ministers.
The ninth Bishop of Birmingham, The Rt Revd David Urquhart, was welcomed to Birmingham in November 2006. He leads the Church of England across the Diocese and has formed a team of senior staff. The Bishop shares his Episcopal oversight with the Suffragan Bishop of Aston.
In the heart of the city, Birmingham Cathedral, dedicated to St Philip, is led by the Dean, The Very Revd Catherine Ogle. It has been a place of Christian worship since 1715 and was designed by the English Baroque architect, Thomas Archer.
The Diocese is divided into two pastoral administrative areas led by the Archdeacon of Aston (The Ven Simon Heathfield) and the Archdeacon of Birmingham (The Ven Hayward Osborne). Each of these areas contains a number of Deaneries, or groups of parishes.
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