Birmingham is the UK’s second city with the youngest urban population in Europe and one of the most lively and diverse regions. Church of England Birmingham has worshipping communities across the region representing 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” vision. For the past ten years, Transforming Church has informed our strategy for mission, with our seven areas of transformation and ten transforming church goals widely established.
Our Growing Younger initiative which flowed out from this has been reaching and impacting many new children, young adults and families over the last three years. We have also been working on building capacity, sustaining momentum, increasing growth, reimagining ministry and embedding our commitment to mission and transformation within the culture of our church at a deeper level, releasing the gifts of many more lay and ordained. This has included an exciting programme of planting new worshipping communities under the banner of ‘Shaping the Future’, and within our strategic framework for mission and ministry - ‘People and Places’.
The primary focus of the new Director will be to develop a greater vision for and commitment to new Christian communities in Church of England Birmingham across all traditions and contexts. They will inspire individuals, churches and deaneries to put church planting, revitalisations and fresh expressions of Church on their agenda and to nurture the vocations of potential church planters and pioneer ministers, lay and ordained.
We are seeking an individual who will bring imagination, strategicthinking and implementation skills, and who will relish the challenge of exploring new opportunities in response to the particular needs of our Birmingham context.
The key responsibilities of this post include:
1. The Development of Church Planting / establishing of New Christian Communities across the Diocese through:
· Developing a greater vision for and commitment to church planting and fresh expressions of Church (fxC) in Church of England Birmingham across all traditions and contexts.
· Leading a New Christian Communities Team to share in this work, increase capacity, and bring together expertise in different models of church planting and fxC within the one team.
· Working through the Church Planting Steering Group, (currently chaired by the Bishop of Aston), on strategy for the overall church planting / new Christian communities programme.
· Consulting with Bishop Ric Thorpe, the Bishop of Islington and Church Planting Bishop for the wider Church of England, to further support both strategy and implementation.
· Inspiring and supporting individuals, churches and deaneries to encourage them to put church planting, revitalisations and fxC on their agenda and to nurture the vocations of potential church planters and pioneer ministers, lay and ordained.
· Exploiting opportunities for establishing / embedding church plants, fxC and revitalisations within reimagined missional strategies as the new deaneries are formed, working with new full-time Area Deans, the Director of Parish Mission Support, and Transforming Church Action Planning tools.
· Encouraging ecumenical partnerships in church planting where there are LEPs or other possibilities in partnership, and where these make good mission and strategic sense.
· Supporting churches in finding teams of people who will join church planters and pioneers in setting up new plants and fxC, and in leading revitalisation projects.
· Developing clear and consistent policies on issues such as staffing, buildings, houses, governance, reference groups, financial support and common fund which will encourage best practice in areas such as recruitment, induction and annual review systems.
· Working with others on funding proposals for future applications to the Church Commissioners to further church planting and new Christian communities across the deaneries.
· Ensuring there is attention to sacramental provision across all new Christian communities.
· Acting as line-manager for some of our church planters / pioneer ministers in the early phases of their plants, especially where a Bishop’s Mission Order, (BMO), and accountability to the Diocesan Board of Finance is required
· Line-manage a small hands-on team to work with Bishops / Archdeacons in taking forward strategic momentum :
- Fresh Expressions Enabler (f/t)
- Church Planting & Revitalisations Enablers (2 x p/t roles)
- Lead Church Army Evangelist (f/t) (NB. Subject to a shared Centre of Mission Project going ahead)
2. Training and Support
· Ensuring appropriate leadership formation and training for those beginning new church plants, fxC, or leading revitalisations.
· Overseeing co-ordination of the existing church planting learning community and programme, (the current membership is around 30), delegating where appropriate to the Church Planting Enabler for Vocations / Learning Communities.
· Supporting the Fresh Expressions Enabler in running the current fxc learning community and considering where there is overlap and opportunity for sharing learning across different models.
· Establishing good quality support and training for teams engaging in Church planting and the establishment of new Christian communities
3. The Fostering of Good Communication and Relationships
· Facilitating good communications between the various interested parties when a new church plant / revitalisation / fxC/ BMO is being envisaged and progressed, with due attention to codes of good practice.
· Work with the Archdeacons and Area Deans to pave the way for the smooth planting of churches, bringing wisdom and practical experience to the following areas: relationships with neighbouring churches, finances, buildings, and legal matters among others.
· Network closely with other church planting bodies, both around the city and nationally (e.g. the Church Revitalisation Trust), to access resources and partnerships.
· Take part in local, regional and national groups and conferences to sustain learning and development in church planting / new Christian communities - both personally and to support the strategy of the Church of England, Birmingham.
· 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 Directors of Ministry, Learning for Discipleship and Mission, Parish Mission Support, Community Regeneration and others to ensure that church planting / new Christian communities fit coherently with the other areas of work and training.
3. Evaluation and National Church
· Work with the Shaping the Future Project Manager to oversee the evaluation and monitoring of the effectiveness of our church planting and fxC strategy.
· Contribute to the development of church planting thinking and practice nationally .
We are looking for someone with a strong Christian faith and a love for God’s Church, who has the following qualities and experience:
· A passion to see new Christian communities reaching new people in new places in new ways
· Ability to inspire and influence others
· Approachability and adaptability – being able to work well with a wide and diverse range of people
· Ability to find ways forward in complex situations
· 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 and Anglican ecclesiology
· Significant knowledge and understanding of current theory and practice in church planting, fxC, and an ability to reflect missiologically
· Experience of successful church planting / establishing of a new Christian community is desirable
· Experience of developing and providing training, preferably in a church context
· Experience of developing policies and frameworks
· Excellent communication skills (written and verbal)
· Ability to facilitate conversations with and between different groups
· Good networking skills
· Able to commit to efficient and effective travel across the region by car or other suitable means as appropriate.
This post is open to lay or ordained applicants.
There is a Genuine Occupational Requirement that the post holder is a practising Christian.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Deadline for Applications: 30 June 2019
Interviews: 18th July 2019
(To be held in our offices at 1 Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2BJ)
If having read the role description and associated documents, potential candidates would like an informal conversation about the role, please phone Nicola Booth on 0121 426 0402 to arrange a phone conversation with The Rt Revd Anne Hollinghurst, Bishop of Aston.