St Laurence Church

Job Description


Vacancy: Associate Vicar

Hours Full Time

Remuneration Package Stipend - £25,600 (Based on Diocesan stipend benchmark)

Plus pension, housing, council tax, water rates, building insurance, maintenance & external decoration  

Contract 5 Years Fixed-Term (3 month probationary period)

Starting Date: 17th September 2017

Location: St Laurence Church, Friar St, Reading, RG1 1DA

Reports to: Vicar


Background to the Post


The time has come in the life of St Laurence to invite another ordained member to join us during an

exciting season to put her/ his shoulder to the wheel. 16 years into the adventure of “living to

see young people come to faith and building new forms of church with them”, the church has been

through a thorough review process as we continue to explore our calling. We are now at a vital stage

of change and development and there is a need for an ordained Anglican to come and join the team in



The post-holder will work with and in support of the Vicar, Chris, in holding responsibility before God

for the community; its life, its witness and its effectiveness, and alongside the newly formed

Leadership Team, in setting the direction and fruitfulness of the church. The past 18 months has been

a particular time of change at St Laurence, during which there has been a discernment by the whole

church of four key priorities which we have committed to. These will be lived out across every aspect

of church life.


These are:


  1. We commit to being the inclusive family of Jesus Christ where lives are transformed by love

  2. We commit to create spaces where people meet Jesus Christ and thrive as disciples

  3. We commit to love and serve young people in Reading and with them to love and serve others

  4. We commit to share what we learn so that the wider church may be effective in mission with young people


Job Purpose/Summary

There are five key aspects to this post.


1. To shape, inform, instruct and release the community in its life before the face of God

The community respond to the vibrant goodness of God by gathering around Jesus Christ to praise, listen, receive, confess, share and feast. The Associate Vicar will be called to enable this life in:

  • Leading public worship and prayer

  • Teaching and proclaiming the word of God

  • Celebrating the mystery of salvation at the table and

  • Enabling the body to minister to each other


As this necessarily involves children, young people and adults, some with many years of involvement in the life of a Christian community and some with no previous knowledge, we see a vital part of the role of the ordained minister to serve the people in facilitating a faithful, authentic and orthodox corporate response to God. This will include offering preparation for baptism candidates, presiding at the Eucharist and marking and celebrating the church year.


2. To care for the people of God at St Laurence

The Vicar is currently seconded to Lambeth Palace for two days a week where he also works Part Time as the Archbishop’s Advisor for Evangelism & Witness. For the remainder of the week he continues to serve the community of St Laurence. As a result, there is a great need for an experienced, gifted and caring pastor to work alongside Chris to:


  • Provide care, nurture and pastoral support to all at St Laurence.

  • Bring wisdom and discernment in enabling each member of the church to bring their unique giftings for the benefit of the whole church

  • Deepen the prayer life of each member of the community

  • Possess an awareness of and commitment to exceptional safeguarding practice, the offering of skilled love and extreme kindness particularly for some of our young people who come with a range of complex needs


3. To enable the best working of the St Laurence staff team

The Staff Team exists to serve the church, its vision and priorities and currently comprises of:

Vicar Rev Canon Chris Russell

Youth Work Director - Chris West

Vicar’s PA & Office Manager - Claire Brown

Lead Youth Worker - Lois Archer

Lead Children’s Worker - Connor Heath

Finance Administrator - John Sykes

*Youth Counsellor - Zanele Brackin (self-employed)


  • The Associate Vicar will have responsibility for line management of some of the staff, care for all and an oversight with the Vicar of the high functioning of the staff team.


4. To work with the Leadership Team to see the implementation of the four priorities across the life of the church.

The Leadership Team works diligently in joy and trust, committed to releasing every member of the church in their God given gifts and passions in the service of the Kingdom through the church. They offer strategic direction for the whole life of the church and manage the implementation of priorities through oversight and support of collectives made up of actively serving members of the church community.  


The Leadership Team currently comprises of:

Priority Lead (Inclusive Family)  - Juliette Ward

Priority Co-Lead (Creating Spaces) - Lee Smith

Priority Co-Lead (Creating Spaces) - Nett Smith

(Temp) Priority Lead (Loving & Serving Young People) - Rev Canon Chris Russell

Priority Lead (Share What We Learn) - Ben Blackledge

LT Member - Belinda Russell

LT Member - Chris West


The next step in rolling out the corporately discerned priorities of the church is enabling the high functioning of the Leadership Team and the delivery of all aspects of the church's ministry in service to Christ and each other. An integral part of this will be actively supporting the church’s commitment to see young people wholeheartedly integrated within the family of St Laurence at all stages and exploring how we embrace diversity, inclusion and growth in a multi-generational context.


  • The Associate Vicar will work as an essential member of the Leadership Team to help the church community participate in all that God has called us to in the most fruitful way possible.

  • S/he will be involved in the teams tasked with key aspects of church life, known as Collectives and in both leading and serving the members of the church in their gifts.

  • Through participation in specific regular activities, s/he will actively support and commend the particular calling of St Laurence of “living to see young people come to faith and building new forms of church with them”


5. To enable St Laurence to extends its existing reach and take its place within a wider context.

  • The Associate Vicar will support Chris in building and developing relationships locally and participate in any relevant events or initiatives that endorse the priorities of the church.

  • S/he will assist Chris in his various responsibilities as trustee of local charities connected to St Laurence.

Person Specification

Applicants will need to be:


  • An ordained priest within the Church of England who has satisfactorily completed (or is shortly to complete) Initial Ministerial Education

  • Willing to continue in ongoing ministerial development.

  • This post is subject to a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check & proof of eligibility to work in the UK


The following characteristics are of particular importance:


Spiritual Life

  • A disciple of Jesus Christ, passionate about God and continually growing in your relationship with Jesus through a deep commitment to the Bible, worship and prayer, and an on-going experience of the renewing work of the Holy Spirit.

  • Passionate about evangelism particularly amongst young people, whose deep love of Jesus will inspire you to work with others to make Him known in relevant ways in our world today.


Theological Persuasion

  • Convinced charismatic.

  • Strong commitment to the local and global church.

  • Willingness to work cheerfully within the Church of England, a denomination that has a reformed basis of faith but which accommodates a wide range of theological persuasions.



  • Compassionate and pastoral

  • Energetic and enthusiastic

  • Good sense of fun and humour

  • A great team player

  • Willing to serve & support

  • Eager to learn new skills

  • Have an appreciation for good coffee


Gifts & Skills

  • Gifted and wise relationally and committed to healthy, vibrant honest relationships.

  • Gifted teacher and leader who can passionately communicate their love of God in culturally accessible ways to a diverse demographic (including those with no, little or new faith) through a deep knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures.

  • Ability to discern the appropriate selection of relevant themes and subjects for the church community to explore within services

  • Skilled in enabling creative and imaginative interactions with the traditions of the church.

  • Possess a great love and vision for corporate worship and a commitment to discerning, empowering and releasing the gifts of the body in the service of all.

  • Ability to train and shape others to release them to play their part.

  • Joyful in commitment to welcoming new members to the community.

  • Insightful in discerning particular needs of the community and constructive in imagining how we might address them.

  • Effective, insightful and able in line management and people skills.

  • Committed to enabling the flourishing of each staff role.

  • Committed to pray for and support each person in the service of the church.

  • A team builder: able to lead, serve and release the members of the church in their gifts and in working together.

  • Committed to active participation in every aspect of church life, particularly in ministering amongst young people.

  • Experienced in ministering to individuals at their place of need.

  • An able administrator - to organise, recruit, delegate and coordinate.

  • Competent IT skills.


Training & Support

A developmental review will take place with the Incumbent after the first six months and, thereafter, annually. The Associate Vicar will participate in the Diocese of Oxford’s ministerial review scheme and undertake the compulsory CME courses. A personal support network will be established within the parish. Personal spiritual growth and development will be encouraged and there will be an opportunity to attend relevant conferences and courses as part of this. There will also be a range of opportunities to undertake more specialist safeguarding training as appropriate. Administrative support will be provided for this post.


Working Relationships

The Associate Vicar will be licensed by the Bishop to St Laurence and will work under the supervision of the Incumbent. The Associate Vicar will join the parish’s staff team and will attend regular team meetings.


Church Membership & Current Activities

A separate parish profile is available and provides further details regarding the life of St Laurence.

To Apply

If you would like further details, please contact the Vicar’s PA & Office Manager, Claire Brown, on 01189 571293 or


To Apply: Please e-mail Claire with a copy of your CV along with a supporting letter detailing why you would like to join St Laurence in this capacity and why you are suited to this position.  

Closing date for applications: noon Fri 12th May

Short listing: Sat 13th May

Interview date:  Thurs 18th May