Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ministry Trainee Opportunity

We're looking for someone to come and join us in Gospel ministry in the beautiful Sussex Countryside. Could this be for you or someone you know? We'd love to hear from anyone who's interested.

Please give me, Marc, a call on 01435 830421 or email marc_lloyd@hotmail.com to find out more.

 Warbleton is in East Sussex. It's about a half hour drive north of the beach at Eastbourne and south of Tunbridge Wells. The smaller towns of Heathfield (10 mins), Hailsham (15 mins) and Battle (20 mins) are nearby. It's a 20 minute drive to Stonegate station from which trains to London take just over an hour.

Volunteer Ministry Training Scheme
at Warbleton Church of England Parish Church

We are seeking a suitable volunteer to participate in a Ministry Trainee Scheme. This is a bit like what some churches call an Apprenticeship, Lay Assistant or Associate role. The opportunity might be compared to an internship / gap-year. The ethos of the scheme is influenced by the 9:38 organisation.

Warbleton church shares its Rector with the parishes of Bodle Street Green and Dallington. There would probably be some scope for the volunteer to have some involvement with these churches for the sake of your training and development, if desired. Some things are in any case done jointly.

Ideally, the volunteer might start in September 2015 (although other dates would be possible). The role would be for one year with the hope of renewing for another year if all goes well and circumstances allow.

The role might suit someone who graduates from University in 2015 and perhaps is thinking of training for ordained ministry in The Church of England in the future but we’d like to hear from any Bible-believing Christian who is keen to grow, learn and serve. We hope the scheme would benefit any Christian, helping them to get to know how a church and ministry really ticks (and develop transferable skills), whatever their future job plans. Applicants from a Free Church or other background are welcome.

We can offer:
(i)                 Training and opportunities in ministry
(ii)               A means tested grant towards living expenses of participating in the scheme of up to £5000 per annum depending on circumstances
(iii)             Free accommodation in a parishioner’s home with reasonable light, heating, electricity etc. provided by the church / parishioner
(iv)              Fees and travel expenses for a training / study / correspondence course. Something like The Sussex Gospel Partnership Ministry Training Course might be suitable but other options would be considered especially if the volunteer has already completed this or a similar course such as The Cornhill Training Course.  
(v)              Agreed expenses including work-related phone and internet access and travel
(vi)            The PCC would pay for the volunteer to attend one suitable residential conference (such as the 9:38 ministry trainees’ conference) and one Christian summer camp each year (such as Danehill Venture for 11-14s, which the Rector leads) including the cost of travel

We would encourage the volunteer to seek to raise funding (e.g. from his or her[1] sending church, family, friends or trusts) either to off-set the cost to the church or to supplement her or his income if needed, depending on circumstances, (e.g. for the cost of a car and insurance etc.) but the church expects to cover the costs listed in (i) – (vi) above if necessary and participation in the scheme is not dependant on being able to secure a certain level of funding.

Because of our rural location it seems essential the volunteer would need to be able to drive and have their own transport.

We would typically expect the applicant to be in agreement with the Universities and Colleges’ Christian Fellowship statement of faith and we would need to know before the interview if you have any reservations about that. www.uccf.org.uk/about/doctrinal-basis.htm

The scheme is meant for training, to invest in the volunteer and his future ministry. We want to help him to develop his character, skills and knowledge and reflect on his future vocation.  We would seek to give him opportunities and experience in as many aspects of ministry and parish life as possible.

The volunteer would normally have a weekly meeting with the Rector. You would also see the Rector informally at other times (e.g. for Morning Prayer on Monday and Wednesday, on Sunday and at other events). You would have a review meeting at least every 3 months with the Rector and two other members of the Standing Committee. We would seek to appoint a mentor outside the parish situation who would meet with the volunteer once a term or more frequently if needed.

We will seek to tell you no later than 9 months into the scheme whether or not we can offer you a second year.
What the volunteer might do would depend on his experience, abilities, interests etc. and opportunities in the church.

The role would include 3 areas:

(1) Ministry opportunities
These might include:
Leading and planning services (including music), reading the lesson, leading the intercessions etc.
Midweek services
Leading homegroups / small groups / prayer meetings / book group(*)
A prayer triplet
One to one Bible reading
Pastoral or evangelistic visiting
Toddler Group
School assemblies in the local C of E primary school and community primary and maybe elsewhere
After school clubs (we run one called Warblers in the local community primary school)
The Club With No Name (TCWNN) Christian youth club / group for 10-15s
Christian Union at Heathfield College
Children's Sunday Club
Christianity Explored Courses and similar
Breakfasts (we run monthly men's and ladies' breakfasts)
Involvement with weddings, funerals, baptisms, confirmation preparation / follow-up
Informal opportunities through attending groups e.g. lunches for the elderly
Heathfield Street Pastors
Other new evangelistic, pastoral or discipleship initiatives

An “(*)” indicates that these groups are not currently running in the church.

(2) Practical training and experience
Examples might include:
Sound system and PowerPoint etc.
Producing / distributing publicity flyers / posters
Input to parish magazine
"Verger"ing / setting up for events / service
Churchyard clear up
Organisation of special events e.g. evangelistic dinners, pub quiz
Musical abilities would be a real advantage, as would IT skills (especially websites)

We wouldn't expect the volunteer to do everything on these lists!

(3) Study
Up to a day one week for study not directly related to preparation for immediate ministry in the parish (that is, in addition to work on talks etc.), probably through attending a course (and associated study at home) or a formal course of study or by correspondence.

We would expect the volunteer not to be available for one full day a week and for 5 weeks of the year (including 5 Sundays) and bank holidays or “time off in lieu” (e.g. for Good Friday).

The volunteer would not be employed by the PCC.

More information about the church can be found at: www.warbletonchurch.org.uk/

Participation in the scheme would be subject to a DBS disclosure.

[1] We are open to male or female applicants. Although there are a variety of views on women’s ministries in the congregation, we would not encourage a woman to preach in a Sunday service when men are present.

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