Canon Missioner

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The Bishop of Leeds, in consultation with the Cathedral Chapter, wishes to appoint a creative and energetic priest to this senior role. As Canon Missioner, the successful candidate will have primary responsibility for developing the mission and outreach of Wakefield Cathedral and the pastoral care of its congregations.

I would be very happy to have an informal conversation about this exciting role. Please arrange a telephone appointment by contacting the cathedral office on 01924 373923 or

The closing date for application is 12.00 on Friday 4th September 2020. Interviews will take place in Wakefield on Monday 05 October 2020.

The Very Revd Simon Cowling

Dean of Wakefield

Please return your completed application form to:

Mrs Bev Howes

PA to the Dean

Cathedral Centre

8-10 Westmorland Street



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Role Overview

The successful candidate will be one of the two full-time Residentiary Canons of Wakefield Cathedral who are funded by the Church Commissioners. Working under the leadership of the Dean, the Canon Missioner will be a full member of the Cathedral Chapter with Trustee responsibility. S/he will have overall responsibility at Wakefield Cathedral for the pastoral needs, spiritual development and numerical growth of our various congregations, and be first responder for occasional offices. The Canon Missioner will also be expected to discern and establish a number of newer areas of ministry, growth and outreach. S/he will directly line manage our Community Outreach Officer and will work collaboratively with the Canon Precentor who has overall responsibility for cathedral worship.

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate exemplary team working skills, a deep commitment to daily worship and have the capacity and willingness to work flexibly. S/he will be able to demonstrate strong organisational and interpersonal skills and well-developed personal management skills; s/he will be creative, energetic, open and collaborative, helping to ensure that the Cathedral can be a place where those exploring, or wishing to grow in, the Christian faith can be most effectively supported. The successful candidate will be expected to have a strong work ethic that welcomes the challenges and demands of a busy Cathedral. As the team at Wakefield Cathedral is comparatively small, s/he will also expect to have to work in areas of the cathedral’s ministry that lie outside the primary responsibilities of the post.

This post-holder will be directly responsible to the Dean. In addition, s/he will be answerable to the governance structures of the Cathedral through the Chapter, the Council and the College of Canons.

General Role Responsibilities of a Residentiary Canon
  • Full commitment to attending the Daily Offices in the cathedral;
  • preaching and leading worship, as set out in the published rota;
  • playing a full part in the life of the diocese, episcopal area and deanery;
  • full participation in the governance of the cathedral as a member of Chapter;
  • attendance at meetings of the College of Canons of the Diocese of Leeds;
  • membership of, or attendance at, Chapter Committees, meetings of the Cathedral Council and the Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee;
  • working alongside the Dean and Chief Operating Officer in the day-to-day management of the cathedral.

Role Responsibilities: Canon Missioner

The major areas of responsibility of this post are as follows:

  • to develop a sense of ‘missionary confidence’ in the cathedral congregations;
  • to develop the spiritual and numerical growth of the cathedral congregations;
  • to explore, with colleagues, the missionary potential of digital worship and learning;
  • to have oversight of the pastoral care of the cathedral congregations;
  • to have line management responsibility for the (half-time) Community Outreach Officer, (voluntary) Volunteer Coordinator, Cathedral Reader, and the Pastoral Lay Ministers.

The following responsibilities will be integral to undertaking the role:

  • developing courses for Christian enquiry, exploration, nurture and fellowship;
  • developing the gifts and talents of the cathedral congregations through teaching and creating opportunities for lay ministry;
  • developing ministry to the children and young people in the cathedral congregations;
  • working with the Dean to Identify opportunities for mission and outreach to the city’s business, commercial, retail and FE sectors;
  • being the first responder for enquiries about all occasional offices;
  • developing and growing the work of the Pastoral Lay Ministers;
  • being the designated Chapter member for Safeguarding;
  • overseeing arrangements for hospital visits and home communions;
  • exercising a chaplaincy role with the Mothers’ Union branch at the Cathedral;
  • in collaboration with the Canon Precentor, overseeing the preparation for Communion before Confirmation and Confirmation Classes;
  • attending the Cathedral Community Committee which meets three or four times a year and acts as a link between Chapter and the cathedral congregations;

Person Specification: E = essential; D = desirable;

To be considered for the role of Canon Missioner you will need to demonstrate that you:

  • are a priest of the Church of England, of a member church of the Anglican Communion, or of a church in full communion with the Church of England, who has been in holy orders for at least 6 years; (E)
  • hold a degree or equivalent professional qualification with supporting evidence of continuing ministerial development; (E)
  • are committed to upholding the Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy; (E)
  • are a ‘mission-shaped’ person of prayer, theologically articulate, an engaging and articulate preacher and attentive to your own spiritual life; (E)
  • are a leader of people, with the ability to influence, inspire and engage; confident and secure in the additional perspectives you will bring to any discussion; willing to be held accountable and to hold others to account; and regard team-working as the norm; (E)
  • are an experienced pastor with a track- record of growing regular worshippers in faith and in numbers; (E)
  • can demonstrate an ability to line-manage colleagues and invest in their professional development; (E)
  • are alive to the potential for Cathedrals in mission, value the ethos of cathedral liturgy, are committed to corporate prayer in the Daily Offices, and are enthusiastic about the quest for excellence in every aspect of the ministry of the Cathedral; (E)
  • are numerate in Governing Body level financial decision-making and competent in the management of a budget; (E)
  • have a good working knowledge of ICT, social media, electronic diary and are entirely comfortable with digital technology; (E)
  • hold a current driving licence; (E)
  • have excellent communication skills, both written and oral; (E)
  • have an ability to manage a complex workload with competing demands; (E)
  • have exercised a significant leadership role in the Church, whether in a parish, diocese or cathedral, or in some other capacity; (D)
  • have experience of working on, or with, a Board of Trustees or Governing Body. (D)

Introduction: Wakefield Cathedral and its context

God has been worshipped at the heart of Wakefield for over a thousand years, though the present building dates from the middle of the twelfth century. When the Diocese of Wakefield was created in 1888 the Parish Church of All Saints became the Cathedral Church for the new diocese and Wakefield was elevated to city status. Following the establishment of the West Riding County Council in 1889 Wakefield became the county town. Wakefield benefits from some distinguished civic architecture as a result.

In common with other post-industrial towns and cities, Wakefield has faced considerable economic and social challenges in recent decades. Alongside these challenges new opportunities have arisen. The city and district are home to two cultural institutions of international significance - the West Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Hepworth Gallery — and there is a thriving local arts scene.

Wakefield College offers an impressive range of courses at all levels up to and including Foundation Degrees, and a new Creative and Performing Arts College is due to open at some point in the next year. The local Business Improvement District has been active in supporting retail and commercial enterprises in the city and there is an active Civic Society which has done a huge amount to raise awareness of, and pride in, local heritage. The cathedral has developed excellent relationships with all these institutions and organisations and we are well respected for our commitment to developing the common good in partnership with all sectors of society. This commitment is beginning to bear particular fruit in discussions about plans for the regeneration of Wakefield City Centre in which the cathedral is seen as a key asset and with which we will have a significant involvement.

Wakefield Cathedral is one of three mother churches for the Diocese of Leeds, the other two being at Bradford and Ripon. Although each cathedral sits within one of the five episcopal areas of the diocese, we all serve the mission of the diocese as a whole, working closely and collegially. All three Deans are members of the Bishop’s Senior Staff Team and of Diocesan Synod and each cathedral has its own honorary canons who are all members of the College of Canons of the whole diocese. Because of the contrasting but complementary nature of our contexts we are able to respond to the remarkable diversity of the diocese in a way that allows cathedral ministry to be owned and valued by parishes in urban, suburban, estate, rural and market town settings. Our spread of geographical location has also enabled the three cathedrals to play a major part in enabling and sustaining the momentum and enthusiasm for mission that has characterised the Diocese of Leeds since its creation in 2014.

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