Rector of St Aldates, Oxford

This job has now expired

Revised dates for this post have now been agreed:

Closing date, midnight 31 August with interviews 9 October.

St Aldates is a vibrant city-centre church, with an online reach of more than 2,000 a week during the last few months - previously with three services welcoming over 1,000 people every Sunday during University term-time and a diverse mid-week programme of events, groups and courses. We are an all-age community with a heart to minister to people from all walks of life, equipping our members to be ministers of the gospel in their homes, streets, schools, universities and workplaces. Our current vision is to build a community of believers who are true to Christ, seeking to live out the qualities embodied in the Beatitudes, and instrumental in taking the gospel to neighbours and nations. Everyone is welcome to worship with us – we hope that people of all nationalities and backgrounds can find friendship here and accompany each other on their journey towards a more Christ-like way.

St Aldates is a Church of England parish church in the Deanery and Diocese of Oxford. Situated in the city centre, on the street named St Aldate’s, opposite Christ Church and next door to Pembroke College, the site of the church has been a place of Christian worship since Saxon times, for more than 1,000 years.

The geographic parish is small: approximately 0.1 square miles. According to the data from the last census, the parish comprises 240 households and a population of 727 (which includes a significant number of students). However, our reputation as a church that holds the Word, Spirit and Sacraments in balance, with excellent preaching and contemporary worship, attracts large numbers of people from a much wider catchment - students from Oxford’s two universities, single people and families from across the city and surrounding area, together with many international visitors.

Over the centuries, successive Rectors and congregations have faithfully sought to worship in spirit and in truth, as Jesus encouraged in John’s Gospel chapter 4. As we move forward in the first half of the 21st century, this finds its expression in our current vision, which is drawn from the old Moravian Rule, and inspired by the Beatitudes: Be true to Christ, Be kind to people, Take the Gospel to the nations. Our current values are unpacked more fully on our website:

  • Prayerfully seek God, help the church discern together His leading, so as to develop the future strategy needed to build on our rich and ancient heritage, respond to the challenges of the time and place in which we are situated, and cast fresh vision for our future.
  • Act as incumbent priest, co-operating with the Bishop, Archdeacon, Church Wardens and PCC to lead the spiritual work and ministries of St Aldates under the overall Common Vision for the Diocese: A more Christ-like Church for the sake of God’s World – whose values are to be contemplative, compassionate and courageous.
  • Working with and through the staff team and volunteers, ensure that all the ministries and activities of St Aldates are informed by clear vision, with proper oversight, leadership and direction, so that they flourish, reflect Christ and are fruitful.
  • Lead the staff. Encourage teamwork and a sense of community. Line manage the senior leadership team and other key leaders. Oversee systems and processes to ensure that all staff are appropriately line managed, appraised and developed.
  • Allocate responsibility for leading all ministries and services; determine in consultation with the Senior Leadership Team the preaching themes and rotas for all services; uphold high standards across all services.
  • Ensure that a suitable structure for pastoral care of the congregation is in place, recognising the crucial role of small groups, including prayer ministry, safeguarding and signposting to relevant external agencies.
  • Own the vision for improving and developing our buildings, facilities and infrastructure.
  • Play a key role in raising funds - for existing ministries through casting vision, building faith and leading the messaging associated with specific gift days, as well as in raising funds for new ventures.
  • Hold several other important roles to facilitate the close working and co-operation of related organisations: Trustee and Chair of the Parochial Church Charity, Trustee of Aldates Community Transformation Initiatives ('ACT'), Committee Member of Commonwealth House and Council Member of the Oxford Pastorate. These carry their own legal and regulatory responsibilities, to be discharged alongside/as an integral part of the role of Rector.

Whilst we recognise that no candidate will display every attribute for which we might wish, the successful candidate will embody many of the following qualities:

  • A spiritually mature leader walking with God, who loves worship, is Spirit-filled, spends time in prayer and knows the scriptures intimately.
  • A ‘humble visionary’ who looks to God for vision and gives Him the glory for it rather than building their own legacy. A good listener who is open to feedback and challenge, builds trust, and is confident without being arrogant.
  • An ability to juggle many balls at once, knowing how to delegate well, empowering others, getting hands on when necessary, influencing multiple stakeholders and handling complexity comfortably.
  • A credible communicator who is at ease engaging with people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Able to speak with unchurched people in our 21st century culture and convey the love of God to them.
  • A heart for people, caring for the emotional health of the church, with a deep love and empathy towards those who are poor or facing other life challenges.
  • An encourager of gifts and talents who can spot potential, help develop and disciple people, equipping and empowering them and raising up future leaders.
  • A joyful spirit, someone who enjoys life in Christ to the full and can bring a lightness, warmth and conviviality to counterbalance all these serious and weighty matters.

Simeon's Trustees and Hyndman's Trustees are leading and long-standing Church of England patronage trusts, with patronage interests in nearly 200 parishes in over 40 dioceses. For more information see or contact Ann Brown

If you wish to have an information conversation with either the Acting Archdeacon or the Simeon's Trustee directly involved please read the Information Letter for contact details.

Closing date: 31 August (midnight)

Interviews: 9 October. The aspects of the discernment process that would normally form part of the visit day will take place remotely during 5 and/or 6 October. In addition those short listed will need on-line access during the weeks of either 14th, 21st or 28th October. Full details will be provided to those short listed but do contact Ann Brown if you need more information at this stage.