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Theological Development Officer - West Midlands Racial Justice Initiative

Vacancy Reference cofe/TP/42666/6640

The job has expired.

Number of Positions:
1
Contract Type:
Employee
Contract Details:
Fixed-term, 3 years
Salary/Stipend:
£40,000.00
Working Hours:
35
Location:
Birmingham
Closing Date:
29/02/2024
Vacancy Category:
Mission
Business Unit:
Diocese of Birmingham
Organizational Unit:
Diocesan Employed Posts

Overview

Who are we and what are we about?

Are you passionate about racial justice in the Church and committed to eliminating racism?  Do you want to use your skills to challenge, encourage, enable understanding and effect change where it is needed? If you’re excited to join a team appointed to be a catalyst for the promotion of racial justice and elimination of racism in the West Midlands Church of England dioceses, read on. 

As Church of England Dioceses in the West Midlands, Church of England Birmingham alongside the dioceses of Coventry, Gloucester, Hereford, Lichfield and Worcester are excited to have funding from the Racial Justice Unit to recruit a team of 11 people.  That team will help us ensure that structures, practices and behaviours throughout our Church and churches embrace people of GMH and UKME backgrounds and enable them to flourish.  The whole team includes a Director, Programme Manager, Theologian, Communications Catalyst, six development workers each with a different focus, and a support worker.  The team has 3 years to enable us to fan into flame a movement of change within us that continues to be effective and transformative long beyond the funding.

The team will be responsible for supporting the development of activities in our widely diverse contexts.  Those activities include: sharing theological insights informed by our cultural origins; sharing worship practices; reviewing participation in our structures and activities; inviting previously unheard contributions into our governance structures; deconstructing whiteness; reimagining invitation into parish and community activities; and working in church schools and among young people.  Relationships between people in all parts of us matter as much as the composition of our committees.  The team will be accountable to a Regional Racial Justice Board made up of people from each of our dioceses committed to effecting change in these areas.

Introduction

The purpose of this role is to enable and embed an understanding of the importance of a theological understanding of racial justice across the region, and to deepen mutual spiritual experiences across our cultures and cultural practices. 

Main Responsibilities

The postholder needs to:

  • have a clear understanding of theology as integral to eliminating racism and tackling racial injustice
  • be a practical theologian alive to the wide ranging contexts within the region and the impact of those contexts on the practical living out of peoples’ racial justice journeys in and outside the Church
  • be a good communicator, able to work with and support senior leadership teams, clergy and lay members of dioceses, deaneries and parishes as they develop their own theological understanding and its impact on regional and local cultures in tackling racial injustice and racism

The role requires the postholder to:

  • Be aware of developments in theological thinking and writing in the area of racial justice and anti-racism, and work continually to deepen the team’s understanding of the impact of those developments on its work
  • To theologically reflect on the activities undertaken within this programme, to facilitate others’ reflective practice in the area of racial justice and to develop ways of enabling the experiences released to inform broader theological understanding in this area
  • Identify and work with a champion for embedding a theological understanding of racial justice within each diocese
  • Work collaboratively with the regional racial justice team to Identify and develop appropriate theological material for use across the region and, where appropriate, to provide support in increasing the accessibility of that material
  • Work within each diocese and across the region to develop biblical reading groups and to facilitate their growth, and to identify and develop appropriate materials for the use of those groups
  • Encourage churches to host prayer and worship experiences facilitated by different cultural groups, and to identify and disseminate the learning from these experiences
  • Support and encourage prayer groups across the region focussed on tackling racial injustices and racism
  • Provide theological support to the training officer, education teams and those working in a diocesan or parish context with young people, children and families
  • network with theological colleges and university or higher education institutions in the region

The Ideal Candidate

Person Specification

Due to the nature of this post, involving critical theological reflection in order to support an understanding of the flourishing of individuals of a GMH / UKME background in their Christian discipleship, mission and ministry, there is a Genuine Occupational Requirement (GOR) under the Equality Act 2010 that the post holder is a practicing, Christian.

We are looking for someone who:

  • Can reflect practically and theologically in celebrating the contributions to Church life of those from UKME/GMH backgrounds and removing the barriers to wider and deeper equity
  • Is experienced in developing and delivering teaching and materials directed towards a diverse audience at different levels
  • Is a person of mature faith who is able to work constructively, creatively and appreciatively with the theological breadth and ecclesial diversity of the Church of England 
  • Has well-developed networking skills
  • Possesses High level inter-personal and communication skills, and an ability to use a variety of media and IT
  • Is self-motivated and able to work alone but who can demonstrate strong team working and leading with a variety of different people as peers and volunteers
  • Is passionate about seeing people from UKME/GMH backgrounds realise their full potential in God’s mission and the church’s ministry
  • Is excited to work within the vision for the project
  • Has a higher level of theological education
  • Has the ability to travel the length and breadth of the six dioceses of the project

About us

Terms and Conditions

This is a fixed-term contract for the three years of funding provided for this project

Hours:  Full-time 35 hours (5 days) per week. Some weekend/evening work may be required, for which the equivalent time may be taken back from standard working hours

Salary and Pension: Salary of £40,000 plus membership of the Church Worker’s Pension Scheme with 12% employer contribution.

Holidays: 5 weeks per year plus Bank Holidays and 3 Discretionary Days between Christmas and New Year

Employer: Birmingham Diocesan Board of Finance

Responsible To: The Regional Racial Justice Director

CLOSING DATE: 29 FEBRUAURY 2024

INTERVIEWS WILL BE HELD IN BIRMINGHAM ON THURSDAY 21 MARCH

This post is supported by funding from the Church of England Racial Justice Unit

Attached documents: