Introduction to Communities and Partnerships
In 2010, Canterbury Diocese created five frameworks, one of which was Communities and Partnerships. This Framework was formed to address issues within the social justice issues portfolio. In addition, and uniquely to any other diocese, the Diocesan Advisory Committee and the then English Heritage Support Officer were incorporated as part of the new incarnation. This has been a fruitful inclusion as often the starting place when engaging with parishes is what the future missional opportunities for church buildings (churches, parish halls, schools) could be.
The Framework’s portfolio
Within the initial Framework portfolio were some areas of work carried over from “Church in Society” which included the rural issues, environment, fair trade, disability, visitor ministry, HIV Aids, Ecumenical, Kent Workplace Chaplaincy, and Critical Incidents Chaplaincy. The portfolio has grown and been influenced by a number of factors since 2013 which is the introduction and growth of food banks, the introduction of the Church's work with Credit Unions and subsequent Community Hubs, the development of an environment strategy for the diocese, and the work on refugees. Also, the growth of new projects such as the Green Pilgrimage partnership, Kent God’s Acre, and the wider Church partnerships that the Diocese has developed.
This post is open to lay and ordained
Aims and Objectives:
Full details of the Job and Person Specification are attached.
“I have come that you may have life in all its fullness..” (John’s Gospel 10:10)
The Communities and Partnerships Framework often is perceived as resourcing solely the third Diocesan priority which is the build sustainable communities and partnerships, though ineluctably the Framework does facilitate churches and communities to re-imagine the ministry and mission that they might offer, which then impacts on growth in spirituality and numbers.
The methodology is built upon the practice of the Framework officers through –
Context – in all of the C&P portfolio the context of any piece of work will add variables in how it, particularly communities are organised both socially and structurally in terms of key networks and partnerships. Therefore in all of our work we look first at what might be termed the DNA of a response to allow and respond to the contextual variables which are vital to the success of any intervention and or, implementation.
Social Investment (Conversations) – The critical ingredient to a successful partnership is trust. In order to build trust there needs to be social investment in getting to know the partner organisations well, to be well-briefed, to find out areas of commonality, and where our individual weaknesses will be strengthened through our mutual partnership (s). This is evinced through the various committees, project boards, organisations where the Diocese is represented by the Framework. The benefits of good social investment are a well-developed project or response to an issue, and sometimes bring considerable financial reward.
Research - in all of the C&P portfolio we begin with researching who are the experts in any field, what work has been modelled in Kent and nationally, what resources are available, what external funds and grants are available, and who might be the key partnerships, and stakeholders that need to be part of any developmental work.
Resources – the Diocese has a network of buildings (including schools, parish halls, and places of worship) and people which are often the resources that people want when an approach is made by other organisations. Also, the Framework works internally and externally to secure grants and funding to facilitate the
Advocacy – particularly with regard to social justice issues, it is not about the immediate compassionate response. If as the Church we are truly about transformation and kingdom values, we need to be able to provide evidence and briefings which will effect political change of unjust systems.
Transformation - to identify what are the ways in which any work will bring long term amelioration and positive transformation to an issue or project. Also, to be alert as to the time-frame will it be short, medium or long term to facilitate independence rather than dependence.
Resilience and independence – Through the portfolio how does the work of Communities and Partnerships enable all participants to grow and develop both as individuals and as communities.
Interviews to be held on 8th April 2019