Compassionate Communities Development Worker: Parish Responding
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The Church of England Diocese of London comprises of 402 parishes within some 450 church buildings located north of the River Thames and within the M25 motorway. The Diocese conducts its financial affairs through different corporate bodies. The main body is the London Diocesan Fund (LDF).
The LDF have set out ambitious vision plans to 2030, including the Compassionate Communities ambition that churches would seek to serve their local community’s needs, as a demonstration of the Love of God in Christ.
Compassionate Communities, part of the LDF, work with local churches and diocesan teams to deliver this work, in partnership with external charities, other denominations and diocese, and with other para church organisations.
The role will contribute fully to the work of the Compassionate Communities Team, who exist to deliver one of one of the 3 key ambitions for the Diocese for our vision to 2030 of “inspiring and equipping Diocese of London’s parishes to reach out compassionately to the communities they serve”.
Compassionate Communities has six key themes of work we aim to intentionally support churches around responding:
-Caring for God’s Creation
-Mental Health & Isolation
-Modern Slavery, Refugees & Asylum Seekers
-Debt and Financial Wellbeing
-Serious Youth Violence
-Housing & Homelessness
Compassionate Communities aims to raise in our churches both awareness and participation in responding to these themes of work. Our team act as a broker, equipper and supporter of the local church who are doing this extraordinary work of showing the love of God in action.
We aim to recruit separately a development worker specifically to focus on Modern Slavery, Refugees & Asylum Seekers and Housing and Homelessness separately.
This role, therefore is more generalist, seeking to respond to parishes and church communities on the other four themes of work, alongside any other queries or support they may request around their compassionate & social action work generally.
The role involves being a generalist rather than a specialist- knowing where to signpost people and forming relationships, rather than having a detailed knowledge of any one of the themes of work. However expertise in any of these themes of work listed would be valuable and bring depth and richness to the work.
The role is a dual role: to lead on the co-ordination and implementation of the Diocese of London’s support offer to parishes around these themes of work, and to help us co-ordinate telling stories and celebrating what parishes are already doing to the wider diocese.
The Ideal Candidate Will:
- Understand the overarching narratives and opportunities to engage.
- Add encouragement and co-ordination to churches as they seek to respond.
- Raise the confidence and competence levels of parishes who wish to engage but feel unable or are unaware as to what can be done.
- connect key partners to parishes who can enhance their delivery, building trust and strong working relationships.
- Organise events and commission trainings where needed.
- Manage their own work time flexibly.
- Ensure that we are prayerful and theologically reflective in all we do: bringing the hopes, dreams and fears of those we serve to God.
- Understand and engage with our churches and how they are responding to the needs in their communities across the broad themes of work.
- Liaise with Episcopal Area teams to help deliver their aims around these themes of work.
- Be responsive and willing to engage prophetically with issues as they arise, focussing on needs and areas of “energy” where more can be done, being led by church response; including where needed forming alliances and partnership with other organisations.
- Respond to specific requests from parishes for advice, consultancy or connection.
- Draw together those churches that currently.
- Organise other events and meetings, and commission training where necessary.
- Form strong partnerships with other agencies & external charities to deliver these aims.
- Ensure work is rooted theologically, in prayer, and lead churches in reflection on this.
- Share responsibility for communications & social media presence relating to these themes of work.
- The post-holder may be required to undertake any other duties that are commensurate with the role.
The Ideal Candidate
- Ability to take initiative and to demonstrate energy and determination.
- Ability to work across church traditions and integrate faith and statutory bodies.
- Ability to build effective relationships at all levels with key partners and then deliver outcomes.
- Organisational skills to deliver events both online and in person.
- Ability to communicate in a way which draws people together and builds confidence.
- Understanding of the political landscape and theological roots of faith-based social action.
- Ability to ground all the work theologically, and encourage others in that.
- Ability to work as a team that operates flexibly, and be confident to work independently.
- Christian faith.
- Community organising skills.
- Social Media experience.
- Confidence in public speaking.
Experience of working within Church of England structures.
The LDF exists to support the mission of the Church of England in London. The principal activity of the London Diocesan Fund is to operationally and practically serve and support the parishes and people within the Diocese of London, enabling the vision that every Londoner will encounter the love of God in Jesus Christ.