Full Time Area Deans

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Now more than ever, Church of England, Birmingham, is shaping ministry for a changing church and world. As part of the vision for our future mission we have created six new deaneries, each with a full-time stipendiary Area Dean and other paid support. Three are now in post and we are looking for the next three.

These new roles aim to enable the mission and ministry of our churches serving the city region through our Transforming Church vision and People and Places programme. Deans help bring change through proactive oversight, leadership, and service to lay and clergy and leaders. Our aim is to see growth in all its forms through collaboration, that we are better formed to God’s kingdom.

Bishop David is seeking three priests to share his strategic oversight of our next three deaneries:

  • Yardley and Solihull
  • Warley and Edgbaston
  • Kings Norton, Moseley & Shirley

Birmingham is the UK’s second city with the youngest urban population in one of the most lively and diverse regions. The Church of England - Birmingham, founded in 1905, is one of the 41 dioceses of the Church of England. It covers an area of nearly 300 square miles and includes parishes in Birmingham and parts of Solihull, Sandwell, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Right at the heart of what we do there are over 187 worshipping communities with an average weekly attendance of 17,000. In these churches are clergy and churchgoers representing a wide scope of tradition, ethnicity, age and background.

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, supported by our ambitious People & Places framework. As part of People & Places, we are creating six new deaneries, each having a full-time stipendiary post of Area Dean.

More information about the diocesan vision and people and places programme can be found on our website here: http://www.cofebirmingham.com/hub/diocesan-vision-strategy/people-places/

One of the primary focuses of the role will be to bring the collaborative, transformational leadership we need to support parishes in growing a culture of local mission and the resourcing and deployment needed for flourishing and growth. Each Area Dean shares the Bishop’s leadership in mission and pastoral care in their deanery. The Dean will be supported by a half time Deanery Support Officer providing organisational and administrative support for the Dean and Deanery. This considerable resourcing gives them the gift of time and attention wholly for this task.

A.           KEY AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY (for all Stipendiary Area Deans)

All the areas of responsibility will require a collaborative style of working, using a range of developmental skills to support, encourage and facilitate others.

The post holder will play an active role in the ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Deanery, ministering in particular parishes as required. It may be appropriate for the Area Dean to be linked with a particular setting.

  1. Working with the Oversight Ministers and in partnership with the elected Lay Chair and Local Leaders in the Deanery and diocesan teams including the Transforming Church Action Planning Team to develop and support the implementation of a vision for mission in the Deanery.
  2. Within the People & Places framework, establish, equip and support Oversight Ministers, Local Ministers and Lay Leaders for the worshipping communities in the Deanery. Be willing to coach, support and develop the gifts of emerging leaders. All of this will involve significant collaboration with others throughout the Diocese.
  3. Encourage parishes to work towards financial stability and to meet the costs of ministry identified through People & Places.
  4. Ensure Transforming Church is embedded across the Deanery, with each parish having clear and regularly reviewed Transforming Church goals.
  5. Support and encourage those undertaking training such as Curates, Readers, Lay Leaders and others.
  6. Ensure that good practices for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults are understood and embedded in every parish.
  7. Take the role of Chair of Chapter and Joint Chair of Deanery Synod, developing such local groupings and patterns as agreed appropriate with lay and ordained colleagues.
  8. Promote and enable collaboration in ministry and mission, including the sharing of resources across the Deanery and wider.
  9. Encourage the study of theology and pastoral ministry within the Deanery.
  10. Encourage Deanery-wide collaboration and communication around common interests (for example context specific ministry, administration, finance, buildings etc).
  11. Encourage ecumenical and inter-faith relationships across the Deanery.
  12. Encourage strategic engagement across the Deanery with schools and especially church.
  1. Enable worshipping communities to look wider and build further links with their communities.

2. Ministerial development and well-being

  1. Ensure that all those in ministry and leadership have appropriate pastoral support provided for themselves and their families.
  2. Raise matters of concern regarding wellbeing of leaders (clergy and lay) with the Bishops, Archdeacons or others as appropriate, especially in cases of significant illness.
  3. Support new clergy and other leaders taking up posts in the Deanery.
  4. Help to support retired clergy as they integrate into the mission and ministry of the Deanery.
  5. Promote and model good practice in ministry.
  6. Provide signposting to resources and facilities to help clergy and other leaders to develop resilience and self-care.
  7. Provide regular support for Oversight Ministers (through a culture of reflective practice, peer accountability and other suitable methods) and ensure their full participation in Ministerial Development Review (MDR) process for Licensed Ministers in their Deanery.

3. This role will only be possible with significant collaboration and sharing resources with many across the Deanery and wider Diocese including (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • The Bishops & Archdeacons
  • Deanery Lay Chair(s)
  • Other Area Deans
  • Deanery Support Officer
  • Clergy, Lay Leaders, Lay Ministers,
  • Directors of Parish Mission Support, Ministry, Learning & Development
  • Those leading the People & Places Programme

In particular, Area Deans should:

  1. Be an enabler of communication between those in their Deanery and the Bishops, Archdeacons and Diocesan staff. This will include attending regular meetings with other Area Deans and the Bishops, Archdeacons and other senior staff.
  2. Liaise with the Archdeacons for advice and support on day to day matters concerning the running of a parish. 

a. When a vacancy arises to collaborate with Archdeacon and relevant parties to agree the     deployment strategy regarding the parish and oversight area including attending and contributing to the Archdeacon’s Preliminary Meeting with the PCC, and any meeting called under Section 12 of the Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986

  1. During a vacancy:
  • Act as a Sequestrator along with the Churchwardens and any other person the Bishop may appoint.
  • Assist and support the Churchwardens as they provide for public worship and pastoral cover.
  • If there is no other person in the parish with the necessary authority (such as a Parish Identity Verifier or a Parish Safeguarding Co-Ordinator), hold securely the parish’s Confidential Declarations and other sensitive Safeguarding documents, and handle DBS administration. Support and encourage Curates, Readers and others undertaking training.
  • Provide coaching and support for PCCs as required during the vacancy. Help the PCC to identify the potential gifts within their church and how to encourage them.
  • Share in the recruitment process for new incumbents by agreement with the patron.
  • Work with Assistant Wardens of Readers in supporting Lay Readers.
  • Be responsible for co-ordinating arrangements for new stipendiary parish priests’ Collation, Institution, Induction or Licensing.
  • Ensure that calendar of Confirmation services for the Deanery is co-ordinated in accordance with the Bishop’s current practice
  • Act as Returning Officer for elections when required.  (This could be delegated to the Chapter clerk.)
  • If a parish fails to keep an electoral roll, maintain a parochial church council or hold an annual parochial church meeting, verify the facts and then report the cause to the Bishop.
  • Ensure those officiating in the Deanery have the necessary licence or permission.
  • Have an understanding of the Canons, especially those which refer to Area Deans.
  • Work with the Archdeacons on arrangements for annual visitations and admission of Churchwardens.

Deal with any other tasks required by the relevant Canons

We’d love to hear from candidates with significant leadership and ministry experience

and a vision for transforming growth across both urban and suburban contexts.

The discernment process for these roles will focus initially on the fit for the role and then consideration of specific locations at a later stage.

We welcome applications from any qualified persons, particularly those currently under-represented such as Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic groups & women.

Closing Date: 11 September 2020.

Applicants are asked to be available for 9 and 24 October 2020.

To arrange a confidential conversation about any of these roles please contact Jenny Harris, Support Officer to the Archdeacons of Aston and Birmingham on 0121 426 0437 or jennyh@cofebirmingham.com