Upton-cum-Chalvey is a single urban parish which seeks to ‘serve Christ across central Slough’. The parish comprises three church communities in the Anglo-Catholic tradition: St Laurence’s Upton, St Mary’s Slough, and St Peter’s, Chalvey, and covers a multi-cultural area of significant need.
The focus of the Team Rector role will be to bring strong leadership experience and a strategic approach to unlock the potential of the churches in a dynamic context. The post calls for a priest who can help the parish face its challenges in terms of finance, and who can inspire and equip the laity to step up into mission, ministry and leadership. The new Rector will need to focus on enabling the parish to move towards both financial and missional sustainability in a challenging climate.
The parish vision is to be a welcoming, inclusive Christian presence in this dynamic multi-cultural town, by meeting people where they are, and offering them what they need.
To achieve this vision, the churches aim to:
• enable as many people as possible to worship and flourish within the parish.
• ensure that worship and witness meet the needs of as many of the communities living within the parish as possible.
• ensure that their pastoral concern and community outreach fully address the needs of our multi-faith, multi-ethnic locality.
• be inclusive, supportive, and welcoming to all in the communities based at each of our three churches.
• encourage people to live out their individual faith journeys as part of our parish community through:
o Worship and Prayer, including Daily Offices
o Provision of pastoral care for the people of the parish
o Working in and with schools and the local SACRE
o Working ecumenically with other churches in the town
o Engaging with those of other faiths and none
o Fostering community understanding and cohesion
The role of Team Rector will:
• be focussed on mission and how it can be lived out in Slough
• encourage the parish to be flexible to different approaches to worship
• work collaboratively with teams, both professional and volunteers
• foster talents, gifts and ministries in the Parish
• guide the Parish towards stability in finance and other resources
• inspire people to act confidently to overcome challenges
• treat the needs of the three churches with equity
• encourage younger people and families to church
• develop existing links with our schools
• engage with the diverse communities in the Parish
The key priorities for the Parish and the new Team Rector for the next three years are to:
• re-examine and re-evaluate our Parish perspective to ensure a unity of purpose and direction
• create a parish strategy to identify and maximise the financial, personnel and skills resources we have and need
• develop the complementary strands of mission in our three churches to maximise their impact
• discern the way forward for the Parish in the post-Covid environment
The ideal candidate will be:
• rooted in the sacramental tradition but comfortable with the needs of a broad church, and actively seek to welcome people of all worship traditions through both Eucharistic and non Eucharistic services
• truly interested in, and able to relate to, a wide range of people of all ages, backgrounds and experience
• approachable and patient, with a sense of humour
• confident and decisive in action
• organised and confident in dealing with their administration
• able to thrive in a multicultural setting
• sensitive to different worship traditions
• keen to develop interfaith relationships and dialogue
The person taking on the role will need these skills and experience:
• previous experience in a position of leadership
• some experience of working in community (not necessarily similar to Slough)
• experience of working in and with schools and young people
The churches offer:
• an inclusive, welcoming and friendly church community
• a town and surrounding area with unique opportunities
• an area with excellent opportunities for rest and relaxation
• committed co-workers with diverse skills and perspectives
• support and encouragement establish a good work/life balance
• a substantial Rectory (more details here)
• Parish life that is never dull
Slough is a large town close to Heathrow Airport and just outside the M25. It has long been a first port of call for people new to this country. Many people arrive at our churches from all over the world and a positive ministry of welcome ensures that there are regularly new people in the congregations. All are made to feel welcome, safe, valued and at home.
The churches are all eucharistic communities open for worship each Sunday, in normal times. St Mary’s in the centre of the parish aims to open whenever possible for offices and private prayer or for those of any faith or none wanting to find a quiet space in the day. During lockdown, the churches have continued with some services as regulations allow, and have met for worship on Zoom at other times.
The churches are all active in supporting charities and voluntary groups, including local food banks, soup runs and homeless shelters. There is good contact with both Church schools in the parish and children from the schools regularly visit the churches for educational visits, acts of worship, carol services and concerts. There is a small ministry team which works well together and across the parish. Members of the Ministry team, in addition to the Rector, are a full-time Team Vicar, NSM Associate Priest and a Licenced Lay Minister. The clergy are active participants in Slough Town Centre churches and the local Interfaith Partnership.
The parish is part of the deanery of Burnham and Slough within the Oxford diocese. These are exciting times for the deanery. Several new appointments have been, or will soon be, made in neighbouring benefices and the post of full time Interim Area Dean is also currently being advertised. So there is an opportunity here to be involved in reshaping mission and ministry in both a parish and a deanery.
The new Team Rector will be committed to furthering the diocesan vision through which we seek to become a more Christ-like Church for the sake of God’s World – contemplative, compassionate and courageous – and to developing the life and missional opportunities of the parish.
For further information, please download the Parish Profile or for an informal discussion please call the Associate Archdeacon of Buckingham, the Revd Canon Chris Bull on 01865 208266.
Closing date for applications: Wednesday 17 March 2021
Interview: Wednesday 14 April 2021
Enhanced DBS Disclosure required.