We are blessed as a diocese with over 560 open church buildings, which provide wonderful, creative opportunities for our parishes to connect with their communities.
This role will enable you to engage with people locally, walking alongside them, to enable and empower them with the tools, resources and skills to secure the long-term sustainable future of their buildings as places of mission and welcome. You will combine great signposting skills as well as an ability to offer bespoke support – no two parishes are the same but seeing the bigger picture of churches across the diocese, alongside your own expertise, is invaluable for supporting and resourcing people locally.
Engaging in conversation about creative use of churches is exciting and future focused: exploring their faith, cultural and social value, which goes beyond the boundaries of a particular locality. The day-today reality of being custodians of an ancient building being can be daunting for our parishes and therefore it is not just guidance for the care of the fabric which is essential, but also supporting them to find ways to share the responsibility, exploring all the possibilities and opportunities
The role is pivotal, particularly due to the current challenges of the cost-of-living crisis, rising fuel costs and supporting churches in becoming net zero carbon buildings. We know from experience, that parishes particularly value the input of a Church Buildings Adviser and so you have the opportunity to gain genuine satisfaction and feel rewarded in this role by making a true impact on the front line.
It is desirable but not essential to have a developed understanding and experience of building conservation, churches and their history. To have an understanding of net zero solutions and keen interest in sustainability would also be beneficial.
You will be supported by the Deanery and Parish Support Team, the wider diocesan team, and the Archdeacons. You will also work closely with the Diocesan Advisory Committee, drawing on their expertise.
Supporting and inspiring churches in the creative development of their buildings – including exploring greater community use and change of use:
Supporting churches with maintenance and repair issues – including advice/support on obtaining funding
The Diocese of Bath & Wells is seeking someone to support people in our parishes to develop their buildings as living places of mission for their communities.
In this role you will be responsible for:
Our churches want to make the best use of their buildings and have good ideas but often don’t have the practical expertise to put their vision into practice. Your support, and signposting to resources, will give them the confidence to ensure that their buildings are properly maintained in the short-term and help them to imagine how their buildings might be adapted for the church of the future.
The Diocese of Bath and Wells is one of 41 Church of England dioceses in the country. The diocese stretches from Portishead in the north to Crewkerne in the south, Minehead in the west to Frome in the east.
The diocese loves and serves the 940,000 people who live here through its family of 466 parishes . This family works for the good of local communities in a range of practical as well as pastoral ways; caring for the vulnerable in our societies, supporting local families and encouraging children and young people.
Everything the diocese does is underpinned by prayer and worship and is driven by our vision:
“In response to God’s immense love for us, we seek to be God’s people, living and telling the story of Jesus.”
If you are the person called to this role, you will be arriving in the diocese at a time of significant change and you will have a unique role to play in the diocesan strategy, which has these three strategic priorities: