Parish Assistant, St Barnabas, Clapham Common
St Barnabas’ Church is a diverse, intergenerational and growing church community in SW4/SW11 (overlooking Clapham Common, five minutes from Clapham Junction). Situated in a parish of recently increasing affluence and now largely populated by young, professional families, its congregation still retains something of old Battersea with a prominent, older West Indian presence. Evangelical by tradition and inclusive in outlook, worship retains an underlying liturgical structure structured but with a contemporary and informal approach.
Typical numbers at a main Sunday service are 85 adults and 30 children for whom we presently offer age appropriate groups during the service - from crèche to year 8. During the week the building is extensively used by a variety of outside user groups including, for example, support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, pilates and yoga classes and a children’s singing group. It is also used for regular church meetings and activities such as Daily Prayer, a weekly bible study, Barney’s Toddler group, the Thursday Fellowship and the recently started X-stream Fridays youth club.
The role of the Parish Assistant has been conceived in order to help meet the demands of the growing parish church of St Barnabas’, working 35 hours a week. Offering a broad range of opportunities and responsibilities, it would suit someone who is interested in exploring the various dimensions of full time parish ministry, particularly but not necessarily with a view to considering a future of full time Christian ministry (ordained, youth work or otherwise). It is a great way of gaining experience and testing vocation.
In order to gain the most from the position, the Parish Assistant will be encouraged to use and develop their gifts for the benefit of the church and be expected to undertake a range of tasks - some of them up front and public, some of them menial and often unseen - in an attitude of service. An ability to work well in a small team of full time vicar, assistant vicar, part time youth worker, part time curate, part time administrator, part time finance co-ordinator and wardens is essential, as is the willingness to relate to the range of people, young and old, who are part of, or who use, St Barnabas’ Church. Being in a home-group for friendship and support is also considered an important element of your time at St Barnabas.
Time will be set aside to allow for personal study and reading and for any preparation as required. Priority will also be given to any vocational process with our full support.
You will be housed in a two bedroom flat in Stockwell, about two miles from the church or 10 minutes on a bike! Although it isn’t in the parish, it has the advantages of being 10 minutes from Stockwell Tube (Northern and Victoria lines) and on a main bus route straight to church in one direction and Westminster in the other. One of the two bedrooms is let to a pastor (Michelle Sowerby) at Fresh Ground Nazarene Church (www.freshgroundlondon.com) for income. As Parish Assistant, you have the other bedroom and small lounge for your own use. The kitchen and bathroom are shared.
In keeping with our safeguarding policy, A Safe Church, this position requires a DBS check. The contract is for one year (with the possibility of extending it to two if appropriate). The post would start on Monday 9 October 2017(or as close to this as possible).
As the Parish Assistant, we want to offer you an experience of ministry that will most benefit your own formation and allow you to develop your gifts and calling (eg preaching, leading services) whilst also expecting you to be involved in our own areas of need too (eg youth work, general caretaking duties). The precise blend of activities is negotiable but a willingness to get involved wherever you are needed is very much appreciated and a good way to get the most out of the role. The previous three Parish Assistants have found the role to be excellent preparation for their selection conferences for ordination.
Sundays: opportunities to gain experience in public worship including leading services and preaching; also leading intercessions, assisting at communion working with stewards before/after service and assisting back of house duties such as operating a simple PA system.
Midweek: attending daily prayers, Monday to Thursday 12.30-12.55pm a monthly, midweek evening communion and any other occasional services.
Other: there is also scope to try out your own ideas for worship. For example, previous Parish Assistants have planned and led a Harvest service with live instrumentalists playing creation-themed music, and a Maundy Thursday service of Stations of the Cross.
2. GENERAL CARETAKING
Cleaning: cleaning and tidying, especially for Sunday mornings, and looking after the various upkeep needs of the building throughout the week (toilets, kitchen, church, hall and office) and keeping an eye on the grounds too. Use of a hoover, carpet cleaner and mop can be guaranteed (although the church is also cleaned using professional cleaning services each Friday).
Verging: opening up/setting up/clearing up/locking up for Sunday services and occasional offices (weddings and funerals) as appropriate, and sometimes being around to let other user groups in
Various: assisting the Church Administrator as required; examples of tasks may include counting or banking the collection, photocopying, ordering necessary supplies, managing website updates.
Visiting: visiting elderly members of the congregation for conversation and company.
Barneys: setting up for the Toddler Group session (Monday and Wednesday mornings), serving the coffee, conversing with the parents and minding children where needed.
Sundays: leading The Grid or X-stream group session (30-40 mins during Sunday services, school years 6-8 or 3-5) once a month on Sunday mornings in term time with other volunteer leaders
Fridays: setting up and helping to lead the X-stream Fridays youth club (90 minutes, school years 6-8) in term time, with other volunteer leaders
Macaulay School: getting involved with the local C or E school if desired; for example, reading with the KS1children, leading Collective Worship, supporting an after school club.
Wandsworth Foodbank: acting as a volunteer at the local foodbank (in neighbouring church, St Mark’s Battersea Rise).
Alpha: joining in, leading a group, giving a talk on an Alpha course
Nightshelter: volunteering at our Winter Shelter one night a week, (November-April)
Care for the Family: helping lead a course such as Drug Proof Your Kids
7. STUDY TIME
Preparation: time for X-stream sessions, preaching, homegroup, interviews etc
Reading: one session a week to be devoted to theological reading or personal study
As a church we will commit to:
- Providing a living allowance of £410.00 month
- Providing rent-free accommodation with all bills paid
- Meeting the full cost of any legitimate work related expenses
- Creating opportunities for serving, learning and training
- Offering regular supervision with the vicar or other suitable mentor
- Helping to discern vocation and supporting you as a church
- Providing a weekly rhythm of prayer, worship and fellowship
- Ensuring you can enjoy two days and (at least) three evenings off in a week
Please apply writing to Rev Richard Taylor (at the address or email below) by the closing date of Friday 19 August 2016.
Please send your current CV which should include the names of two referees (one of which, if relevant, should be from your previous church if you have moved on from there within the last 3 years). Along with your CV, please also include a personal statement in which you should outline any relevant experience you may have with reference to the job description and your reasons for applying.
Finally, please send a copy of your passport (with, if relevant copies of any relevant Visa documentation and permissions to work in the UK).
Interviews will take place on Wednesday 13 September 2016