Parish Renewal Lead

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This is a significant opportunity for a Christian leader, lay or ordained, with demonstrable experience of leading parish renewal to play a key role in the delivery of Blackburn Diocese’s Vision 2026 - "Healthy Churches Transforming Communities”.

The purpose of the Parish Renewal Lead is:

  • To lead the Parish Renewal Programme, prayerfully working with parishes facing long-term and deep-seated challenges to support them in taking whatever steps are necessary for renewal. The postholder will be supported by and report progress to the Parish Renewal Group which will be Chaired by the Bishop of Burnley.
  • To train, support and lead a team of Partners who can support parishes across the Diocese with visionary planning.

The main responsibilities are;

Get to know the Parishes

Spend time visiting and getting to know the parishes in question, their incumbents and lay leadership, seeking to understand fully the challenges being faced locally and the individual history and story of each parish.

Development and Implementation of Parish Renewal Plans

The below activities may be done directly by the Parish Renewal Lead or a Partner under the oversight of the Renewal Lead (see number 3).

Work with the Incumbent and lay leaders to discern key obstacles and opportunities for growth

Work with each parish to develop a renewal plan or MAP, setting clear and reasonable targets for turnaround, bringing together Vision and Finance

Establish, Equip and Oversee a team of Partners

Train, support and lead a team of volunteer Partners who can provide support to parishes from across the diocese who wish to access support in relation to visionary planning. This team will serve all parishes not just those on the Renewal Programme. Partners will be a mixture of clergy and lay people from a range of backgrounds and traditions, and stages in ministry.

Allocate Partners to parishes and oversee their conversations and work.

Reporting and Evaluation

Report on progress to the Parish Renewal Group.

Help to shape the agenda for the Parish Renewal Group, working closely with the Chair.

Diocesan Missional and Financial Flourishing Exercise

The Parish Renewal Lead will support the Director of Vision Delivery with the Missional and Financial Flourishing Exercise particularly aspects which relate to renewal parishes.

We are looking for somebody who is:

A person of prayer, sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit

Demonstrable experience of leading a parish through turnaround into growth

Someone who takes real delight in the breadth of the Church of England with a genuine appreciation of the Five Guiding Principles and the willingness to work sensitively in diverse cultural and theological contexts

Exceptional interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence

Proven ability to lead, inspire and motivate a team of volunteers, comfortable working with a wide-range of people lay and ordained

Experience of developing and conveying a strategic vision in a parish context, with the sensitivity to recognise that even such language could be a barrier to struggling parishes

Blackburn Diocese is approaching its 100th anniversary having been founded on the 12 December 1926 and serves almost the whole of the county of Lancashire with a population of 1.3 million. It is divided into 14 Deaneries and two Archdeaconries (Blackburn and Lancaster). The Diocese covers an area of extraordinary variety, from the stunning countryside of the Trough of Bowland to the former mill towns of East Lancashire, from the University cities of Preston and Lancaster to the seaside towns of Blackpool and Morecambe. We have Parishes of all traditions and are strongly committed to the principle of mutual flourishing.

Vision 2026 is an agenda for growth and change. It challenges our parishes to be healthy churches which can transform the communities in which they are set. It also lays out four ways in which this over-arching goal can be achieved: Making Disciples, Being Witnesses, Growing Leaders and Inspiring Children and Young People for Jesus Christ. Since the launch of the Vision in 2016, a culture of faith, hope and growth has taken root across our diocese. We are so thankful to God for what we have already witnessed. It has been exciting to see a remarkable increase in the number of people exploring lay and ordained vocations. The new local congregations that have been started across the diocese have been inspirational in number and creativity. Funding from the Church Commissioners has enabled us to strategically invest in pioneering church in our urban estates and in raising up new urban leaders, as well as planting new Resourcing Churches into Preston, Blackpool and Blackburn with ambitions to plant out across the diocese. And even in pandemic, the agility and Gospel passion of so many of our leaders and congregations has been demonstrated.

Interview date Wednesday 1 December

For an informal conversation about the role please contact: Director of Vision Delivery, Carolyn Barton

All interviews to take place at the Diocesan Offices, Clayton House, Blackburn, BB1 2QE

Diversity - The Board of Finance believes that diversity enables us to thrive and develop and is committed to race equality, welcoming applications from UK Minority Ethnic backgrounds

There is an occupation requirement for the post-holder to be a practising Christian, in accordance with Schedule 9 to the Equality Act 2010.