Church Leader (Estate Church Plant)
We’re looking for a woman or man to move into Barton to lead our 10-year-old church plant and help our experienced team make the most of the mission opportunities ahead. Good character and proven leadership skills are essential, being an accredited minister is not.
Download our job pack to find out more.
Barton is a council estate at the edge of Oxford ranking in the bottom 20% on the indices of deprivation, and ranking in the bottom 10% for Children and Young People’s education. But to simply judge this community based on the indices of deprivation or on its reputation is inadequate. This is a beautiful community brimming with talent and kindness, made up of loyal, caring, resilient folk. It’s a community full of potential.
Whilst the estate is being extended by 900 houses (40% of which is affordable housing), there remains a village mentality - most residents feel that Barton is a separate community from Oxford, bringing a true community feel to it: people know and support each other. This mentality makes it unlikely that unchurched folk will travel off the estate to engage with a Christian community.
Poverty, family breakdown, poor educational attainment and a lack of positive role models are issues which are compounded by people not getting credible opportunities to hear the gospel from someone they trust in a way which is relevant to them. The opportunity for mission is huge.
Barton Community Church (BCC) was planted by Headington Baptist Church (HBC) in 2010 with strong support from Innovista’s Thrive Teams, to be an authentic community bringing hope to the heart of Barton through making Jesus known. Watch videos of our history here and here.
Incarnational ministry has been key as we’ve sought to be a faithful presence in the community: 90% of the church either already lived on the estate or intentionally moved here to be a part of this ministry. The Minister is expected to live in Barton.
We have four values:
- We welcome you: Whatever your story, there is space for you. We want you to feel welcomed, included and to know that you belong here.
- We care for each other: If you need a lift, jump in; if you need help, we’re there; if it’s your birthday, here’s a cake
- We are family: We don’t wait until Sunday to see each other. Each of us has something to contribute. We’re sticking together.
- We eat together: If we’re meeting together, we’re normally eating together
Current church activities include:
- Sunday@4, BCC’s Sunday expression of church, which is hosted in the Barton Neighbourhood Centre and attracts around 40 people a week to a 4pm gathering that includes a meal and groups for youth and children. Of the 33 adults we saw at Sunday@4 in the first 3 months of 2020, half are mature Christians, 6 are new Christians and 10 are not yet Christians. Ten of the 13 young people (secondary school age) connected with the church have not yet made a profession of faith.
- A foodbank which has provided volunteering opportunities, releasing the gifts of locals.
- A monthly community lunch, in place of Sunday@4 on the first Sunday of each month.
- 2 x small groups, 1 x weekly prayer meeting, core team meetings and training days
- An annual weekend away: for many in our church, it’s their only holiday of the year.
- Ongoing mentoring and discipleship as part of living life locally.
We opened ‘The Hub’ in 2019. This is a space at the base of the Community Centre in the heart of the estate with access to a kitchen and garden area. The Hub has allowed us to be more incarnational and provide people with an entry point to church that isn’t Sundays.
Recently, we took a big step towards funding a church house on the estate, when supporters of BCC pledged over £400k in donations and loans to fund a manse. A property search has now begun.
Our first ever minister is moving on after 3 years and leaves behind a leadership team which consists of four volunteers, each overseeing Discipleship, Justice/Care, Evangelism and Administration. The diverse core team (20 adults) consists of a mix of young professionals who have moved into the estate to be a part of the team, over 60s serving their local church and born and bred locals.
10 years in the estate brings credibility - we have good relationships with St Mary’s Church, Barton Community Association and local police support community officers, and are known in the community for being the people who will answer your distress call.
Looking ahead, we long to build on the success of the 10-year youth work partnership with Thrive that is coming to an end, to add staffing capacity to the church’s ministry in the form of community outreach to children, youth and families. We see potential to better support parents of children who are at risk of going into care, to launch a listening service that uses the counselling skills we have in our church, and to grow the core team as we see more people move into the estate to join in with what God is doing here.
Aims and Key Tasks of the Role:
- Leads the leadership team towards a clear vision of what BCC could be.
- Strengthens the core team, discipling and developing them and creating space for their gifts to be released.
- Builds relationships with those in the community and those on the fringe of church, meeting practical needs and sharing life and the gospel in relevant ways.
- Demonstrates incarnational mission through living in Barton, making it your home, being part of the community and displaying hospitality at home, whilst maintaining healthy boundaries and modelling a sustainable pace of mission.
- Strengthens key relationships in the community and in the city of Oxford through alliances that benefit the people of Barton.
- Oversees The Hub and the missional activities that take place from there.
- Is one of the key people leading Sunday gatherings through service leading and teaching
- Promotes and represents BCC at HBC, through involvement with the HBC staff team, preaching at HBC, and as one of HBC’s Trustees, the charity which BCC is a part of.
- And other duties as required.
Who we're looking for:
The candidate for this full-time role should be a woman or a man who is:
- Of good character: mature, secure, humble.
- Deeply committed to the gracious wisdom of Scripture and its power to change lives.
- Convinced of the importance of prayer.
- Committed to the proclamation of the Christian gospel and to engaging with social needs.
- Proven in their leadership skills either inside or outside the Church, and has experience of leading in some capacity within the church.
- Experienced in discipling others.
- Experienced in living and/or working amongst a disadvantaged community.
- Able to get on with just about everyone: the ability to relate to people from a wide range of backgrounds is essential.
- Able to be the point leader who leads a team of leaders; someone who can build, motivate and release a team.
- Able to develop both vision and strategy, working with the leadership team in the process.
- Able to organise themselves, and the team.
- A skilled communicator and a competent teacher, though teaching is usually shared amongst the team.
- Committed to incarnational mission.
- Able and willing to listen the Holy Spirit, and to listen to Barton’s context, recognising that church models built for middle class environments may not work here.
- There is a genuine occupational requirement for the holder of this post to be a practising Christian. We are a part of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.
- The successful postholder is expected to abide by Headington Baptist Church’s Beliefs, Values and Code of Conduct – a copy of which is available upon request.
- This post requires an enhanced DBS check.
- There is an expectation that the minister will live in Barton. A housing allowance is included in the salary to allow for this, although significant progress is being made towards having a manse.
- A driving licence and access to a car may be useful, but is not necessary.
- Though we are a Baptist church, you don’t need to be a Baptist Minister. It’s desirable that you have a theological education, and that you show a willingness to working towards Baptist Union accreditation or entering appropriate training.
£35,500 pa (including £11,000 housing allowance in lieu of a manse)
10% pension contribution
Location, Barton Estate Oxford
How to apply
To register your interest in this position, email Robin Peake on the BCC Leadership Team via firstname.lastname@example.org with a letter stating how you meet the person specification along with your CV. Names will be redacted from applications before being sent to the team for review to combat unconscious bias. If you would like an informal conversation about this role, please email Robin to arrange this.
We are looking at candidates on a rolling basis.