Vicar - Emmanuel Church Woodley, Reading

This job has now expired
Woodley, Reading
Office Holder

Emmanuel Church Woodley wants you to…

Come just as you are.

A vibrant, informal, welcoming church is seeking a new vicar who is passionate about community, an enthusiastic enabler, able to lead and inspire a wonderfully varied church family of all ages and bring God’s message alive.

Please read our parish profile or have a chat with us at

Closing date: 2 July 2023

Interviews: 20 July 2023

All appointments are subject to acceptable pre-appointment checks, including a satisfactory Enhanced DBS Check.

Emmanuel Church is a modern, informal, welcoming community for all ages and all walks of life. Our people are diverse, coming from many backgrounds, countries, and experiences of faith. We are blessed with a high proportion of children and young adults and have devoted resources over many years to building discipleship through all ages.

We come together to worship in vibrant and spirit-filled ways, and also cultivate more reflective and contemplative practice. We embrace and forgive the imperfect in each of us to find community and fellowship, and to draw closer to God.

There is a lot going on, a lot of people with a heart for the community, for reaching out, for accepting people as they walk through the door, and we share a compelling vision of Emmanuel as the heart and light of our local area. Empowering each other to step out in faith and encouraging one another to lead in the areas we feel called into by God has been a real strength of our church and we are looking for someone to step into this vision, to expand it and make it your own.

Now is a great time to come and join Emmanuel. We recently completed a community hub building project, which created more space and updated facilities that house essential services like the Woodley foodbank, space for local people to use as a community centre, and where we are finding innovative ways to help people encounter Jesus and grow our family.

We are truly excited to see who God has in store for us and hope you will get a sense of what drives our people and what we’re passionate about from this parish profile.

1. Be welcoming and friendly, ready to embrace our ethos of ‘come just as you are’, valuing our differences.

2. Be an enthusiastic enabler confident enough to empower and encourage people and release their giftings.

3. Be passionate about community and the positive role that our church can play in it.

4. A good communicator and listener, able to relate to and connect with both young and old, and people from a variety of backgrounds.

5. Able to lead and inspire a church family towards God’s vision for them, valuing the contributions of people who hold a range of beliefs.

6. Values modern spirit-filled worship as a core part of meeting with God, and is a gifted Bible teacher, able to bring God’s message alive.

7. Be an encouraging and able organiser, skilled in overseeing teams, with an ability to work collaboratively or delegate.

At the heart of our vision, are the words; Come Just As You Are. This means the ideal individual to lead our warm and welcoming church, should be happy preaching in jeans and t-shirt, as there are no formal cassocks in sight, and comfortable transitioning from an informal joke into a Christ-centred and spirit-filled approach to worship. We are a diverse church which covers all ages and backgrounds. We are looking for someone who is authentic, open-minded, friendly and caring, who can continue to evolve and bring to life our vision of being the heart and soul of our local community.

The ideal person would be the rare mix of being, pragmatic, forward thinking and relational; someone who likes the ‘hurly burly’ of a real community with all of its experiences; someone who can be strategic and proactive; someone who enjoys building relationships with people and developing leadership skills and empowering others to support and encourage them to also take an active part within both the spiritual and secular communities.

We would love to appoint someone who has gifts in evangelism, who is able to communicate effectively across a wide age range, can bring discernment and energy to the strategic plans for our church and the wider Woodley community, who is passionate about community transformation, and who has gifts in equipping, releasing and empowering others into leadership, ministry (including discipleship and pastoral care) and mission. We are looking for someone who enjoys working collaboratively as they will be working very closely with our youth and children ministers, our team of volunteers, as well as members of the PCC.

The parish of Emmanuel Woodley stands on the eastern boundary of Reading Deanery and is one of three Woodley parishes. The Christian churches in Woodley are an active group who meet regularly and work together on common issues of ministry and mission. Emmanuel is a vibrant church that seeks to serve its local community, particularly through their church premises which they have recently extended. The congregation have a real passion to serve their community and to help build the Kingdom as they discern God’s call. There is much to do in the parish, and a new Vicar is needed who has energy and vision for their next stage of ministry.

With its 29 parishes covering 24 benefices, the Deanery has one of the largest Synods in the country, despite covering a relatively small geographical area focused largely on the town of Reading itself. We have an active and well-attended Chapter, which meets regularly throughout the year. We work closely with churches from all denominations, particularly through the "Transform Reading" and "Churches Together" networks. The concentrated nature of Reading provides many opportunities to work together to bring God into the day-to-day lives of the town and the 250,000 people for whom it is home. The Deanery’s Mission Action Plan (MAP) seeks to enable its parishes to deliver the underlying missional aim of making a difference in the world, by improving capacity for confident, collaborative leadership, creating vibrant Christian communities, and making disciples.

Recognising the size and variation in the deanery, we operate a dispersed leadership model, diving the deanery into four operational zones (north, west, central, east/south). The Area Dean and Deanery Lay Chair have assistants to help resource these zones. Each pair of Area Dean and Lay Chair provides frontline support to clergy and parishes and oversee vacancies in their zone. They also take their share of cross-deanery work. Emmanuel Woodley is in the eastern zone of the deanery.

Our priorities as a deanery currently are to support parishes as they rebuild after the Covid pandemic and discover new opportunities for mission and ministry. The Deanery is served by an effective and enthusiastic Synod, whose meetings are structured to balance governance and administrative duties with opportunities to share good news and good practice, and to engage with a range of topics affecting the whole Church. We look forward to welcoming the new incumbent of Emmanuel Woodley and working alongside him or her within this forum.