Children

 

Vision for a Children’s and Family Worker

Church Context

Barley Hill Church is one of two Church of England Parish Churches in Thame, Oxfordshire.

 The church was planted around 20 years ago, with a vision to meet the spiritual needs of the people who live in and around the Lee Park housing development and obtained parish status in 2006. We currently have 120 members on the electoral role. The member s are primarily families with children at school. It meets in Barley Hill School and is currently being led by a Vicar who has additional responsibility for a smaller parish church in a local village. This currently accounts for less than 20% of his time.

We also have an evening congregation called Frequency which meets in Christchurch and whilst it is open to all it is where the young adults of our Church family tend to meet and socialise.

Our Church’s core values of being open to all - accepting and welcoming all people, of being wholehearted - doing everything in a way that truly values people and God, of being compassionate - seeking justice globally and locally, and open to the Holy Spirit and rooted in God's word the Bible, defines the kind of people we want to be. 

 Our purpose is to reach out and show Jesus' love to people, so that people come to know Jesus for themselves, leading to real and lasting personal and social change. We want to do this by working together with all of the church in Thame, in ways that make us both visible and known for expressing God's love in practical ways, and telling people the wonderful good news about Jesus Christ.

 

Thame is a traditional market town with a number of churches and three primary schools that feed into the large comprehensive school, Lord Williams. Our Church meets in one of those schools and we do have many links with the school including a member of the church who acts as a governor.

 

 We believe that work with children and young people and their families is a vital and strategic focus for our mission. 

Children Context

At present we have an established Children’s ministry and have just rebranded and re launched this work under the name “Base”. We currently have up to 70 children each week and have seen a large group of children come through our ministry and are ready to move onto the older groups.

We believe there is a strong need to develop our 0 -5 ministry and a lot of the focus of the role will be in this area.

The local Churches are very involved with the “Lighthouse” holiday club which runs for a week in July and has over 700 children attend. Another key focus for the role will be to develop strategies to keep a momentum going throughout the year with a number of events and opportunities to encourage more children to join in with church based activities. We have a strong belief that the successful candidate will take Church to where the children are and not expect the children to come to established Church.

The Children’s ministry is currently facilitated by a coordinator and she would remain in this voluntary position to assist the candidate.

Our weekly ministry is run by volunteers and we would look to encourage them and offer additional training throughout the year.

Work amongst children and young people would involve:

·         Strategic oversight, coordination of, and personal involvement in, the above current children’s programmes and teams.

·         Supporting and training our children’s workers.

·         Teaching children the Bible, upfront, in small groups and one to one discipleship.

·         Working with and supporting Christian families as they teach their children.

·         Pioneering gospel work amongst children in the community through:

·         Schools work, building relationships in the community, programmes, outreach events, after school clubs, street work, networking with other children’s workers, building ministries and creating an environment that provides a context for relationship.

·         Reaching out through children and community groups to families in the community.