Birmingham is the UK’s second city with the youngest urban population in one of the most lively and diverse regions. The Church of England - Birmingham, founded in 1905, is one of the 41 dioceses of the Church of England. It covers an area of nearly 300 square miles and includes parishes in Birmingham and parts of Solihull, Sandwell, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.
Right at the heart of what we do there are over 187 worshipping communities with an average weekly attendance of 17,000. In these churches are clergy and churchgoers representing a wide scope of tradition, ethnicity, age and background.
It is a time of new opportunities and potential in the Church of England - Birmingham as we seek to shape ministry for a changing church and world as part of our ‘Transforming Church’ vision, supported by our ambitious People & Places framework. As part of People & Places, we are creating six new deaneries, each having a full-time stipendiary post of Area Dean.
More information about the diocesan vision and people and places programme can be found on our website here: http://www.cofebirmingham.com/hub/diocesan-vision-strategy/people-places/
One of the primary focuses of the role will be to bring the collaborative, transformational leadership we need to support parishes in growing a culture of local mission and the resourcing and deployment needed for flourishing and growth. Each Area Dean shares the Bishop’s leadership in mission and pastoral care in their deanery. The Dean will be supported by a half time Deanery Support Officer providing organisational and administrative support for the Dean and Deanery. This considerable resourcing gives them the gift of time and attention wholly for this task.
INFORMATION RELATING TO THE DEANERY OF COLESHILL & POLESWORTH
From 1 November 2019 the new Deanery of Coleshill and Polesworth came into formal being through a Bishop’s order. This followed considerable diocesan and local consultation. The aim is to make a larger unit which will have more resources to share and bring our diversity closer together in Christian unity, ministry and mission. Under the People and Places Framework the new full time Area Dean will work alongside access to enhanced resources for parish supporting bookkeeping, buildings and HR functions. This is the third new Deanery in Church of England Birmingham, created by joining two existing deaneries together. We hope that by the end of 2020 we will have moved from our 13 Deaneries to 6 new ones.
The western edge of Coleshill and Polesworth Deanery is approx. 5 miles due East of Birmingham city centre, and then stretches further East through a combination of low-income outer estates and more affluent suburban neighbourhoods, moving out to the far North East where some of the most rural parts of the diocese are found. The vast majority of the land covered in this newly created Deanery is rural, however the more urban parts of the Deanery are much more densely populated. This makes the geographic and socio-economic context of Coleshill and Polesworth Deanery extremely diverse. Indeed, the Deanery includes 4 Councils: Birmingham, Solihull, North Warwickshire and Tamworth Borough Council in Staffordshire.
The Deanery is crossed by the M42 (North-South from North Warwickshire to Coleshill and Marston Green) and the M6 (West to East from Hodge Hill to Coleshill).. There are large areas of green space, including the popular Kingsbury Waterpark. The villages range from affluent areas with gated properties to ex-mining communities where there are pockets of poverty. There is a large community of farmers across the areas in North Warwickshire and Staffordshire.
Many of the rural parishes have been developed into multi-parish benefices, or multi-church parishes. Each benefice has its own identity and looks to differing areas for shopping and socialising. Those in North Warwickshire tend to look towards Coventry or Nuneaton, whereas those in Staffordshire look to Tamworth town centre. Many of the villages in the North of the Deanery have poor access to public transport and local services.
Within the more densely populated areas there is also a great deal of diversity. There are a number of suburban towns and villages where there are new housing estates and a growing number of families and young professionals. Equally there are large estates with high levels of poverty and social housing. Parts of the urban West end of the Deanery are seeing significant growth in the number of people with Asian and African heritage, many of whom are Muslim. There are also small but growing numbers of refugees and asylum seekers finding temporary or permanent accommodation in these areas.
Across the Deanery there are considerable medical, educational and recreational institutions. These includes 9 Church of England Primary Schools.
The deanery has 24 parishes / multi-parish benefices with 35 churches. There is a variety of ministry provision including full-time and part-time stipendiary, full-time and part-time SSM, Readers and a variety of local lay ministers, all collaborating with a large number of voluntary officers and ministry leaders in the churches. There is a celebrated diversity of worship style and tradition across the Deanery.
Recently, the parish of Coleshill has been the chosen venue for “The Wall”, a giant sculpture dedicated to displaying the answered prayers of the present time and throughout history. This will be a huge area of land which will incorporate an interactive area, prayer spaces and chaplains. (www.thewall.org.uk). North Warwickshire has a rapidly expanding population. 27000 new homes are planned mainly along the A5 corridor around Dordon and Polesworth and can be seen as an extension of Amington.
The chapter and Synod of the new deanery will be developing their arrangements for meeting and support under the new Area Dean. However, both former deaneries have traditionally had a strong ethos of clergy and lay support and both are keen to extend that to each other in their new arrangement. They have both been very willing to embrace the deanery developments and are keen to further grow their culture of mutual appreciation and support of their different contexts.
A. KEY AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY (for all Stipendiary Area Deans)
All the areas of responsibility will require a collaborative style of working, using a range of developmental skills to support, encourage and facilitate others.
The post holder will play an active role in the ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Deanery, ministering in particular parishes as required. It may be appropriate for the Area Dean to be linked with a particular setting.
2. Ministerial development and well-being
This role will only be possible with significant collaboration and sharing resources with many across the Deanery and wider Diocese including (this is not an exhaustive list):
In particular, Area Deans should:
b. During a vacancy
1. Act as a Sequestrator along with the Churchwardens and any other person the Bishop may appoint.
2.Assist and support the Churchwardens as they provide for public worship and pastoral cover.
3. If there is no other person in the parish with the necessary authority (such as a Parish Identity Verifier or a Parish Safeguarding Co-Ordinator), hold securely the parish’s Confidential Declarations and other sensitive Safeguarding documents, and handle DBS administration. Support and encourage Curates, Readers and others undertaking training.
4. Provide coaching and support for PCCs as required during the vacancy. Help the PCC to identify the potential gifts within their church and how to encourage them.
5.Share in the recruitment process for new incumbents by agreement with the patron.
6.Work with Assistant Wardens of Readers in supporting Lay Readers.
Deal with any other tasks required by the relevant Canons (see the summary in Appendix 1).
C. PERSON SPECIFICATION
We are looking for someone who:
and due to the diverse nature of this deanery:
Previous experience should include:
Personal qualities should include:
Must be able to commit to efficient and effective travel across the region by car or other suitable means as appropriate (please note that the rural parts of this deanery have very limited public transport).
D. TERMS AND CONDITION
Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed in line with the Church of England Birmingham’s Expenses Policy. Business car mileage is reimbursed at the prevailing diocesan rate, currently 45p per mile within Birmingham diocese and 30p per mile outside the diocese.
Reference & Checks
This office is subject to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check and Barred List check and an unconditional commendation from the individual’s current diocesan bishop.
You are encouraged to contact the Archdeacon of Aston, Ven. Simon Heathfield for informal conversation prior to application on 07769187435 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Discernment Process (all shortlisted candidates required for both days): 6-7 February 2020 (overnight accommodation will be provided if needed)
Following the discernment process preferred candidate(s) will be invited to meet with the diocesan Bishop for further detailed, personalised discussion on 25 February 2020
We welcome applications from any qualified persons, particularly those currently under-represented such as Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic groups & women.