Lead Officer, Chaplaincy to Survivors

Posted 6 days agoExpires in 14 days
Church House, St John's Terrace, North Shields
Grade 5 - £12,013 pro rata per annum (full-time equivalent is £30,033 per annum).

The Bishop of Newcastle is seeking a practising, prayerful and committed Christian to be the Lead Officer to the Chaplaincy to Survivors. The Lead Officer will have a proven track record of working with children, young people and vulnerable adults in a parish and/or educational context.

Newcastle Dioceseaims to be a church which is Jesus Christ centred and outward facing. We seek to align our work with the national church’s strategic priorities: to become a church of missionary disciples; to foster a mixed ecology of church, which includes establishing new worshipping communities; and to be a church that is growing younger and more diverse.

Role Context: Following the IICSA report of 2020, and the response from the House of Bishops, victims and survivors of church-based abuse have been working with the Diocese and the National Church to improve the Church’s understanding of the needs of survivors, and the response that is made to them.

The Diocese of Newcastle is committed to learning from victims and survivors of abuse, and has established a number of initiatives to support them, and to educate others.

A Chaplaincy to Survivors seems a logical next step and the Diocese has committed funds to the development of this pilot initiative. The post of Lead Officer for the Chaplaincy will be fifteen hours per week, hours to be worked flexibly, for a two-year initial period.

Role Purpose: Based in the Diocesan Safeguarding Team, the Lead officer will be a main point of contact for survivors from across the Diocese, and those affected by abuse, providing pastoral care and advocacy, and a bridge to the Church/Diocese, and to external partners.

The Lead Officer will also have a role in raising awareness within the Diocese about the needs of survivors, and contribute to the training of lay and ordained ministers on issues of trauma and church-based abuse.

Evaluation: The Lead Officer will lead the evaluation of this initiative which will begin at the start of the pilot. They will develop relationships internally (National Safeguarding Team Research and Evaluation Officers) and externally with key stakeholders, for example Durham University where there is an interest and expertise in practical theology.

Ethos: It is essential for prospective candidates to be able to communicate the Christian faith effectively and for the candidate to be fully committed to the ethos and practice of the Christian faith and to understand Parish ministry. The Lead Officer will need to be able to work closely with local priests, to develop their understanding of trauma and increase their confidence in working with survivors. The Lead Officer will have an understanding of the impact of trauma and experience of working with survivors of church-based abuse.

  • Complete appropriate training provided by the Diocese of Newcastle, the National Church, and partners concerning survivors and abuse.
  • Assist the Diocese in the successful implementation of the Responding Well to Victims and Survivors of Abuse and the four ‘offers’ to Survivors (Support Person/ Support Group; an Apology; Therapeutic Support; Spiritual and Pastoral Support)
  • Co-facilitate the Peer Support Groups (alongside Survivors) which will run as a legacy of ‘If I Told You What Would You Do?’ project.
  • Develop accessible materials for survivors that explain the chaplaincy and church safeguarding processes in the Diocese of Newcastle (material to be co-created and co-produced with survivors)
  • Lead on the development of creative projects that enable survivors to have a voice and contribute to culture change in the Diocese of Newcastle.
  • In consultation with the Bishop’s Office, recruit, train, coordinate, and support, Church of England clergy and licensed lay colleagues to provide spiritual support to Survivors.
  • Provide pastoral support to survivors and those affected by issues of abuse and trauma.
  • Develop a safe online presence to provide information, signposting, and contact details.
  • Gather, develop, and make available, survivor, theological, and liturgical, resources which voice and address issues of abuse/trauma and its long-term life changing consequences.
  • Contribute to Lay and Ordained training programmes in the Diocese of Newcastle.
  • Assist in embedding the diocesan survivor strategy, and be an advocate for survivors’ needs within the Diocese of Newcastle.
  • Liaise with external partners and the Diocesan Safeguarding Team to ensure, as needed, risk and safety are appropriately investigated and managed.
  • Consider how the Diocese of Newcastle can work effectively and safely with children and young people who are survivors.
  • Work with Newcastle Cathedral to provide an annual service and/or event for those impacted by abuse.
  • To explore with partners the development of an accredited training programme and qualification in the pastoral care of survivors.

Please see the person specification within the job description attached at the foot of this advert.

We are currently underrepresented by people of global majority heritage and therefore welcome candidates who will strengthen the diversity of our team.

The Diocese of Newcastle is the Church of England’s most northerly diocese. Formed in 1882 the Diocese covered an area almost equivalent to the then County of Northumberland. With 169 parishes across 2,110 square miles the Diocese covers the local authorities of Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside and also small parts of County Durham and Cumbria. The 12 deaneries within 2 archdeaconries (Lindisfarne and Northumberland) serve a population of 831,600 people across a variety of communities ranging from sparse rural to market towns, suburban and larger inner-city areas.

A current cohort of 107 stipendiary, 26 self-supporting clergy and 43 Readers under the episcopal leadership of our diocesan bishop, the Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley and the suffragan Bishop of Berwick, the Rt Revd Mark Wroe are resourced by a team of lay and ordained officers who support the development of mission and ministry across the Diocese of Newcastle. A small administration team is based at Church House, North Shields. Church House is also the base for the Joint Education Team and Joint Communications Team (both serving the Dioceses of Durham and Newcastle), the Lindisfarne College of Theology and a well-stocked Religious Resources Centre.

Connectivity & transport

The Diocese is served by the A1, A19 and A69 trunk roads. Longstanding plans to upgrade the A1 North of Alnwick are actively being considered. Travel by rail on the East Coast Main Line from Newcastle to London (3 hours) and Edinburgh (90 minutes) is fast and frequent. The light rail Metro system [link] serving Tyneside and Newcastle carries 37 million passengers a year.

Newcastle International Airport [link] serves regional and international destinations and the Port of Tyne [link] has a daily ferry to Amsterdam.