St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol is an iconic building of European significance, a diverse parish at the heart of the city and a thriving inclusive Christian community that is growing.
The Head of Operational Development will ensure that the organisational structures and procedures that enable the church to flourish in its vision are maintained, developed and enhanced. To that end, we are looking for someone who thrives when enabling growth and development of systems and processes. We do some things well, but we know that there is a journey to travel before we can say we are a church where everything runs smoothly, where projects are delivered on time, and where we communicate well across a complex structure.
This post might suit an experienced Parish Administrator ready for a new challenge.
St Mary Redcliffe is an iconic building of European significance, offering thousands of visitors a friendly welcome, some interpretation and a part-time café: our plans will substantially increase the numbers of visitors, transform the experience on offer, and provide level access to the vast majority of the site. However, St Mary Redcliffe is also an inclusive church with a growing and diverse congregation: our plans (“Project 450”) will answer the need we have for more space for Sunday School, provide a new song school for our choir, and facilities that meet best safeguarding standards. More than that, St Mary Redcliffe is a parish church serving a highly diverse area where urban deprivation sits alongside warehouse conversions and regional offices of international companies: our plans will substantially increase income from visitors and events, transforming our funding model so that we can be more strategic in our engagement with the parish.
Over the last few years SMR has developed an understanding of our mission and purpose as “Singing the song of faith and justice”. We see this rolling out in four key themes: “as a thriving inclusive Christian community; as a recognised, welcoming heritage destination; as a church that makes a difference in the parish and beyond; all animated by a progressive and sustainable organisation.” We acknowledge that these themes are both ‘now’ and ‘not yet’: both accurate in what we are today and a challenge that we can do better tomorrow. Thus we are currently writing our first Church Development Plan, which will encompass
and sit alongside the planning for Project 450 ensuring, first, that the major buildings project and the development of the church go hand-in-hand, and secondly that the infrastructure of the church as an organisation is ready to take over the new buildings as and when they are delivered.
Church of England governance is built around the concept of ‘co-operation’: the church council co-operates with the vicar “in promoting in the parish the whole mission of the church”; the churchwardens are “foremost in representing the laity and in co-operating with the vicar”. Thus, we are looking for people who will, primarily, co-operate with the vicar, one another and other colleagues, with the wardens and the church council, with others, both lay and ordained, paid and voluntary, as we seek to sing the song of faith and justice together. We are looking for people who ‘get’ the journey we are on as a parish church and who are enthusiastic about having a significant part to play. This is about more than being in sympathy with the ethos and values of St Mary Redcliffe (though that is essential in itself): this is about having knowledge and understanding of how faith communities ‘work’. These roles may appeal particularly to people with experience of a liturgical / Anglican church and who may even have some knowledge of Major Churches within the Church of England, but this is not essential.
The Head of Operational Development, Parish Administrator and Executive Assistant to the Vicar will each have their own key roles. They will join a skilled and committed team of paid and volunteer leaders delivering on the broad range of responsibilities that fall to Church of England parish churches. Together they will encourage a working model based on digital platforms, making the most of ChurchDesk (cloud-based church management software) that we have at our disposal and creating new collaborations which will benefit us all in the long run. This kind of change will meet some resistance and so these postholders will need tenacity, tact and resilience. For those for whom this is the right kind of challenge, we are sure that the next few years at SMR will be stimulating, challenging and demanding: however you will become part of the team delivering the once-in-a-hundred years development of what Queen Elizabeth 1 called “the fairest, goodliest and most famous church in all England” !
For more information about all three roles click here www.stmaryredcliffe.co.uk/vacancies.html.
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