We are looking for a collaborative leader for our Benefice of four parishes who will enable and encourage the Ministry Team and lay volunteers in the work of mission in our fast growing community. There are many avenues for imaginative ministry from growing youth work to establishing community cohesion.
Closing date: 15 May 2022
Interview date: 10 June 2022
Enhanced DBS disclosure required.
We wish to welcome as our new Team Rector a dynamic minister of prayer, who has a passion for the gospel and God’s word, and has an excitement to spread the love of God in our local communities. Could this be you? You will know your own strengths and weaknesses, thus you will be able to show that you can offer the characteristics listed below, either in yourself or where you have identified and enabled the gifts of others.
• Lead the Ministry Team and the parish lay teams and to encourage collaborative working across the Benefice
• To continue the development of the Ministry Team, identifying and nurturing gifts
• Encourage mission and outreach to the new estates and businesses while empowering the existing congregations
• Encourage and facilitate active engagement in worship and mission across all ages, particularly looking towards developing work among the younger generations
• To be able to use technology wisely and to encourage the development of communication channels using available social media
You will know your own strengths and weaknesses, thus you will be able to show that you can offer the characteristics listed below, either in yourself or where you have identified and enabled the gifts of others. So we would like:
• you to be a leader, developing a cohesive team:
- so that you can illustrate having strong leadership where that is needed;
- and can demonstrate that you can work collaboratively within a team identifying and using the gifts of the team and congregations.
• you to have a passion for mission and outreach:
- so you can show that you can communicate the gospel in different situations, leading people to faith;
- that you have developed and implemented plans for outreach into new areas;
- and that you have shown God’s love and missional opportunities in the careful provision of the occasional offices.
• you to have a heart for the younger generation:
- having enabled an environment where children and young people are involved in church activities;
- including demonstrating enabling work in schools;
- and by encouraging members of congregations to work in this ministry.
• you to be involved in the community:
- so that you can give evidence of Christian activity in wider communities;
- having a proven ministry among the elderly and in retirement homes.
• you to come with a good knowledge of how technology can be used in ministry:
- that you have kept abreast of the changing technology opportunities and that you can demonstrate that you are aware of potential dangers;
- and can show a vision and knowledge of how the advantages offered by social media and emerging technologies can be used for the spread of the gospel.
The Benefice of Loddon Reach comprises four parishes: Beech Hill, Shinfield, Spencers Wood and Swallowfield. Each is unique, but together form a welcoming community, open to all with God’s love visible; attractive and accessible. The congregations come from a local community which is very disparate and diverse – on the one hand the increasingly suburban nature of Shinfield and Spencers Wood, on the other the rural nature of Beech Hill and Swallowfield; from the larger populations of the former, growing apace with new estates, to the very small population of Beech Hill. This variety gives us interesting contrasts in ministry: from the challenge of how to visit the new estates as they grow, to the ‘everyone knows everyone else’ of the smaller villages within the parishes. The population of the Benefice is approaching 17,000 people with an anticipated growth to over 22,000. Housing ranges from older, often listed, buildings to modern estate buildings. The University of Reading farmed much of the area and this is often reflected in the placing of the new estates as their farming research changed.
Our worship across the Benefice offers a variety of styles, both formal and informal. Services are a combination of Eucharistic and non-Eucharistic using both Common Worship and Book of Common Prayer. There is a significant use of Celtic liturgies, both in stand-alone services and in forming part of a Common Worship service. We enjoy strong biblical preaching, largely based around the lectionary, but not being afraid to use other material from time to time. Our hymnody comes from a wide range of sources, both traditional and contemporary. In two of our churches the worship is led by a robed choir, while the family service is led by our SSM with her guitar. Laity are strongly involved in all parts of our worship, serving in many roles including leading worship and giving the talks.