The Bradford City Centre Resource Church is a new venture for the Bradford Episcopal Area of the Diocese of Leeds made possible through Strategic Development Funding from the Church Commissioners and support from the Diocese of Leeds.
The Leeds Diocesan Strategy identifies three key vision areas: confident Christians, growing churches and transforming communities. This imaginative new venture will aim to engage with young people, business people and those who make the City Centre their home. It will seek to resource and invest in the inner city area of Bradford and to reflect the multi-cultural make-up of the City in order to fulfil our mission of “Loving God, living as family, being fountains of living water to bless Bradford”.
This is an exciting role with responsibility for overseeing the operational management of the city centre resource church, ensuring structures and systems are in place to meet the needs of the church’s ministries and social enterprises, and mobilising resources within the church, both human and physical, to help realise the church’s vision.
This post requires an enhanced DBS disclosure
This particular role is an exciting opportunity to come in at the beginning of a new development that is at the heart of the strategy for the Diocese of Leeds and its outworking in the Bradford Episcopal Area. It will be enabled by Strategic Development Funding from the Church Commissioners, as one of three strands of an overall bid for church planting appropriate to Bradford. Following stage 2 approval of the proposals for the City Centre Resource Church, we are now moving to implementation of the plans to establish this new church.
We are therefore seeking to identify the individual now who will work with the identified leader who will help establish the City Centre Resource Church. This will enable her / him to play a part in preparing the detailed plans.
The projected time line is that the new Bradford Resource Church would launch in September 2019 at the earliest. A start date for the Church’s Operations Director Leader will be negotiated to enable adequate preparation for launching the new church, and a phased start may be possible if that would help the identified candidate to make an orderly move from their existing responsibilities.
This is an exciting role with responsibility for overseeing the operational management of the city centre resource church, ensuring structures and systems are in place to meet the needs of the church’s ministries and social enterprises, and mobilising resources within the church, both human and physical, to help realise the church’s vision. The post-holder will ensure that the building is used effectively and creatively, safely and legally, and have overall responsibility for the smooth running of the organisation, including HR, Finance, Governance, Building maintenance and Admin.
We are looking for a candidate who has:
The City of Bradford
A fifth of the diocese’s population (550,500 out of 2.72m) live in the Bradford Episcopal Area, which covers the city of Bradford, the significant towns of Keighley, Bingley, Shipley and Ilkley and their surrounding areas. Bradford is the 5th largest metropolitan district in England.
Bradford is working hard to re-profile its city centre. Significant redevelopment has taken place in the centre over recent years, with the opening of the new Broadway shopping centre, the creation of City Park, with a “mirror pool”, surrounded by the City Hall, National Science and Media Museum, and the Alhambra Theatre. More remains to be done, in particular with the former Odeon building now owned by the Council, and there are also plans for a great deal of new housing in the central area.
The Church of England in Bradford
The attendance per capita of the Bradford Episcopal Area is 1.0%, below the diocesan average of 1.4% and the national average 1.7%. In the city of Bradford it is only 0.6%. This reflects a relative lack of investment in ministry in Bradford. The Bishop of Bradford (who has oversight of the episcopal area) has been working with colleagues on a growth plan for the city. This has identified the following key challenges:
· The need to develop leadership and deepen discipleship;
· A general lack of engagement with young people;
· Addressing the significant disparity in investment between the poorer inner city and outer estate parishes and those in more affluent areas;
· Developing appropriate and sustainable models of Anglican ministry in majority-Muslim contexts
· Socio-economic problems including multiple deprivation, counter extremism and social cohesion (as highlighted by the Casey review)
Nevertheless, in the midst of this there are some really encouraging signs. More churches are growing, we are seeing significant numbers of adult baptisms and we are seen as an important partner by the local authority.
Out of this analysis, and seeking to fulfil the diocese’s vision, the following priorities have been agreed:
· Strategic resource allocation in order to invest in:
- under-resourced areas
- areas of potential strength to resource mission in weaker parishes
· Greater engagement with young people and the development of more young church leaders (creating a leadership pipeline for the future).
These priorities are informing day-to-day activity, eg seeking to make good appointments. Some encouraging initiatives are bearing fruit and we have been encouraging our largest churches to resource mission beyond their immediate context. However, we want to make a step change in this activity and a new City Centre Resource Church, enabled by Strategic Development Funding, will enable us to realise greater ambition and scale.
We have good relationships with the Bradford Metropolitan District Council, the police and with civic, business and education leaders. We are building on these to work with the city, at a time when property prices and rentals are under pressure, to invest in a Resource Church in the city centre designed from the outset to re-plant.
The City Centre Resource Church
Negitations about the acquisition of a key central site are well advanced, and significant funds are designated for extensive refurbishment of the building. Consultation about a new City Centre Resource Church with leaders of existing churches (Anglican and ecumenical partners) in the city centre area, parishes in the Inner and Outer Bradford Deaneries (both directly and through Deanery Synods) as well as key staff in the local authority has met with a positive response. We are inviting Anglican churches to send groups of people to join a Resource Church plant in the city centre. Further consultation will involve agreeing the potential sites for subsequent plants from the Resource Church. Our plan would be that a first group could go out from the Resource Church to either plant a new church or revitalise an existing one after 2-3 years. We expect subsequent groups would continue this pattern every 2-3 years. As a city centre church, in a central location, we expect the Resource Church to become a 7-day a week operation, with appropriate midweek ministries, including social enterprise as well as evangelistic and disciple-making activities