Associate Vicar for Discipleship at Wavertree St Mary and St James in the City

This job has now expired
Toxteth and Wavertree
Office Holder

Are you passionate about making disciples and disciple-makers and seeing the Church live out its wider call for whole-life discipleship as followers of Jesus?

Would it excite you to be part of a large team of lay and ordained leaders, with particular responsibility for overseeing the growth and strengthening of discipleship at a city-centre Resource Church and a nearby parish church as a Church Revitalisation project begins?

Can you work in a highly missional context, responding to the promptings of the Spirit, with a focus on the next generation, working with Youth and Students as well as Young Families and Adults?

We are looking for someone who will relish these challenges and enjoy working across these two churches near Liverpool city centre. Liverpool city and the suburb of Wavertree are both vibrant, popular places to live and work, with a real diversity of population. You would live near St Mary’s church in Wavertree, near shops and good schools, and with easy access to all the amenities of the city and wider region. Liverpool is regularly voted Britain’s friendliest city, and these are churches and communities in good heart.

Closing Date: Monday 23rd October 2023

Interview Dates: Friday 17th November 2023

For more information please contact: The Ven Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, Archdeacon of Liverpool

Phone: 0151 705 2159 / 07565 521309 or email:

St Mary’s is located in the Wavertree area of the Toxteth and Wavertree Deanery, whilst St James Church is an extra-parochial place bordering on the Cathedral precinct, the Baltic Triangle and the Toxteth area. The two churches are about 2 miles/15 minutes drive apart.

The deanery is in Cohort 2 of Fit For Mission, the diocesan strategy, and is moving towards voting around Easter 2024 on proposals to move closer together as a larger single parish. The next step for these two churches is to forge a close working relationship as they engage in a joint revitalisation plan for the St Mary’s. The vicar of St James in the City has been appointed as interim Priest in Charge of St Mary’s to facilitate this closer working, and the deanery has invested in this post of Associate Vicar for an experimental period of three years, working across the two churches. This post is therefore an intentional interim post, held on Common Tenure for a three year period. The post holder will work closely with the Vicar of St James in the City and with the lay and ordained teams of both churches, with a strong change-management ethos, to develop discipleship, aiming both to achieve growth in the short term, and to lay good groundwork to ensure a sustainable future for St Mary’s.

  • Leading on developing whole life discipleship across both churches, including oversight of midweek discipleship groups, developing leaders, facilitating multiplication, and helping create and identify discipleship content.
  • Oversee baptism and confirmation as well as events and courses for newcomers. You will have a key role in shaping the missional pathways for the 4 key demographics of Families, Adults, Youth and Students.
  • Mentor/line manage some of the staff team, helping them to grow and strengthen the ministries they lead; oversee the development of new preachers; and play a key part in the development of Sunday teaching.
  • Have oversight of at least one Sunday congregation.

As well as your local responsibilities, as a leader in the Diocese of Liverpool you will be expected to:-

  • Advocate for and be a vocal supporter of the diocesan strategy
  • Nurture existing leaders and identify new ones
  • Identify and commission teams
  • Create a positive culture of accountability
  • Establish connections between worshipping communities
  • Attend to the financial health of your worshipping communities

Our ideal candidate will be:

  • A gifted minister with a track record of helping people grow in faith in Jesus
  • Prayerful and full of faith, committed to Scripture and open to the work of the Holy Spirit
  • An effective communicator and leader, able to preach and teach to a high standard
  • Someone who will flourish in a team setting; a good team leader and encouraging colleague
  • Experienced in launching, leading and multiplying small discipleship groups

We don’t expect the perfect person! We trust that God is preparing us to be a context where the right person can flourish, and that God is preparing the right person to help us flourish too.

If you feel that might be you, then we very much look forward to hearing from you.

Being part of the Clergy Team in Liverpool Diocese

For many years we have been working to achieve growth in our diocese. We have used different ways to express this but the aim and direction of travel has remained the same – consistent with the whole of the Church of England. We have articulated a vision for this growth by saying

we are asking God for a bigger church so that we can make a bigger difference:

more people knowing Jesus and more justice in the world.

In our diocesan vision we have identified four priority areas for our work in mission in this season:

Introducing people to God through Jesus Christ

Deepening discipleship, especially by means of our Rule of Life

Developing Christian leaders in every place

Working for justice

Like everyone entering a new role in the Diocese, you will accept the priority of these areas, and will measure your ministry by effectiveness in these areas. You will be supported and expected to be accountable (through the Ministerial Development Review as well as through regular meetings with your colleagues) for how they are being implemented within your area of responsibility.

In common with all clergy in the diocese, you will work together with others to:-

  1. Establish a culture of invitation in evangelism within the local church.
  2. Start new worshipping communities and maintain existing healthy worshipping communities that are accessible to all.
  3. Establish a culture in the local church of expecting a deepening of discipleship and putting into practice the 6 disciplines of the Diocesan Rule of Life.
  4. Develop prayerfully a strategy for mission and church growth and aligning it with the Diocesan strategy Fit for Mission.
  5. Identify, train, release and support new Christian leaders and teams.
  6. Encourage vocations by identifying the gifts of others and assisting people to seek God’s calling for their lives.
  7. Develop the distinctive ministry of the local Church within the wider context of the Diocese, Deanery and local ecumenical setting by establishing and maintaining good collaborative working relationships with clergy and lay colleagues.
  8. Lead your congregations both to pray for justice in the Church and the world and to recognize how, working with others, your congregations can work for more justice in the Church, your local communities, and the world.
  9. Ensure that safeguarding, financial and other governance disciplines are followed.