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Vicar of the Benefice of Bradford St Augustine & St Clement

Overview

Our vision as the Diocese is about confident clergy equipping confident Christians to live and tell the good news of Jesus Christ. In appointing to this post, we are looking for someone who has a joyful and confident faith which can inspire church growth in multicultural communities with significant other faith presence.  (S)he will be an energetic, resilient and confident leader who can work with the congregations of these two churches to widen and deepen their positive engagement with the local communities and their needs, grow their confidence in their own faith in Christ, and enable them to share Christ’s love with winsome grace and love.  (S)he will enjoy cultural diversity, and offering a positive welcome for Christians from other cultures.  It is important to make the most of the multicultural worshipping communities that these churches have become in worship and mission, and deepen the relationships between the two congregations.

St Augustine’s and St Clement’s Bradford are important parishes within the Bradford Episcopal Area and the Diocese of Leeds, and the two churches are significant focal points in their local communities.  These two inner city parishes are amongst the top 2% most deprived in the country.  They have large numbers of young people (over half are under the age of 30 and one third are under 16), and significant Muslim populations (especially St Clement’s), mainly from Bangladesh and the Mirpur area of Pakistan, though there is also a large Ahmadiyya mosque in the benefice.  Older people in the parishes are amongst the neediest nationally, with pensioner poverty being particularly acute, and life expectancy well below the national averages.

There is a long history of excellent locally-led community ministries, as reflected in the parish’s brochure.  There has also been good work done with the many local schools, and in making both church buildings fit for purpose.  The congregations have grown as Christians from other countries and cultures have moved into the area, many of whom are asylum seekers or refugees.  They are now two of the most ethnically diverse, multicultural congregations in the Bradford Episcopal Area.  Moreover, St Augustine’s in particular has produced a steady stream of ordinands over many years.

Post Introduction

These two multicultural churches are seeking an encouraging and enabling leader who can work with their congregations to take their discipleship, worship, community ministries and mission to the next level. (S)he will:

  • Be joyfully confident in their own identity in Christ and have a track record of growing confident disciples.
  • Have wide cultural literacy to act as a bridge-builder between cultures and an enabler of generous welcome to people of many backgrounds.
  • Be able to develop the capacity of existing leaders and grow new ones.

The 2  role purposes are:

General

  • To build up the Kingdom of God in the parishes of St Augustine and St Clement by helping to lead the congregations into growth in depth of discipleship, in numbers and in service to their local communities.
  • Undertaking parish priest duties including conducting funerals, weddings, baptisms and other occasional offices.
  • Discovering opportunities to work with the people of Bradford St Augustine and St Clement, of any faith and none for the ‘common good’ of the local neighbourhood as a whole.
  • Exploring new informal styles of worship and communication, making use of modern media techniques.
Specific
  • Be the priest who will facilitate with other leaders the identification of God’s vision for ministry and mission in the parishes of St Augustine and St Clement, building upon the experience and achievements so far.
  • Develop and build on the existing work with children and young people, both within the church buildings and also through the local schools.
  • Take the existing strong community ministries and links to the next level, working with the congregations of the two churches to widen and deepen their positive engagement with the local communities and their needs, grow their confidence in their own faith in Christ, and enable them to share Christ’s love with winsome grace and love.
  • Be the Training Incumbent for any curate deployed to the parish.

Role Responsibility

The person appointed will:

  • Be the priest who will facilitate with other leaders the identification of God’s vision for ministry and mission in the parishes of St Augustine and St Clement, building upon the current ministries, and experience and achievements so far.
  • Develop and build on the existing work with children and young people, both within the church buildings and also through the local schools.
  • Take the existing strong community ministries and links to the next level, working with the congregations of the two churches to widen and deepen their positive engagement with the local communities and their needs, grow their confidence in their own faith in Christ, and enable them to share Christ’s love with winsome grace and love.
  • Offer a positive welcome for Christians from other cultures.
  • Support and develop renewed patterns of worship which reflect the rich variety of cultures in the congregations, and make the most of the multicultural worshipping communities that these churches have become in worship and mission.
  • Develop lay leadership to the next level, building enabling teams, and developing and utilising the skills and talents within the ministry team and the wider church fellowships.
  • Develop ways to deepen the relationships between the congregations of the two churches, and also between the people of different cultures within each congregation through shared initiatives in mission and worship, and opportunities for fellowship.
  • Working with others, keep the bigger horizon in view, and see the churches in the parishes of St Augustine and St Clement as instruments of the Kingdom of God, led by the Holy Spirit to be both servants of the community alongside other agencies whilst also bringing a prophetic voice to the church and community.
  • Be the senior Anglican priest in the parishes of St Augustine and St Clement who will lead the ministerial team which comprises a self-supporting associate priest and a readers and a part-time administrator.

The Ideal Candidate

This is an exciting post with unique challenges. It is also a fantastic opportunity to discover what God can do in places like this parish.

We are looking for someone:

  • With experience of working in/with a multi-faith community, who feels called to an urban area and who is able to communicate God's love for all through word and action.
  • Who is passionate about welcoming people of many different backgrounds to the church.
  • Is able to support and encourage members of the congregation as they serve God.
  • Excited about the community work going on in both churches.
  • Interested in building bridges in the community, and can lead us out into that community to continue to grow the churches.
  • Has a desire to share gospel in ways which are relevant to the local people.
  • Can bring bible based preaching relevant to contemporary life and has a desire to help us as a church to find ways to grow in discipleship and mature spiritually.
  • Is able to help us see where we should be going as churches and how we can relate to those in our community.
  • Who has good communication skills and can work as part of a team, being a proactive enabler.

About Us

The Parish

St Augustine’s church is situated in the centre of the parish which has about 10,200 residents according to the last census in 2011.

The parish has changed over the last 30 years from being predominantly white British to now being made up of over 50% with origins in South Asia and more recently families from Eastern Europe. This has resulted in the parish having a young population, 34% are aged 0-14 years and is the reason we would like to recruit a youth worker again, the funding for which is available.

Only 26% described themselves as Christian in the last census with 54% describing themselves as Muslim.

Housing is 47% owner occupied with the remaining 53% rented from the private sector or from social housing organisations.

There are no large employers in the parish but there are small businesses, including a variety of shops, small supermarkets and takeaways and there are three large health centres and local pharmacies.

In the last census there were 12,800 people in the parish of St Clements, with only 6% of people described themselves as Christian, and 84% describing themselves as Muslim.

Housing is 55% owner occupied with the remaining 45% rented from the private sector or from social housing organisations.

There are no large employers in the parish but there are small businesses, including a variety of shops, a small supermarket, takeaways, a health centre, pharmacies and a Marie Curie hospice.

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