Our Vision is to be an authentic community bringing hope to the heart of Barton through making Jesus known.
BCC serves the Barton housing estate, on the eastern outskirts of Oxford. It is a ‘Fresh Expression’ of church that is seeking to be a relevant worshiping community for the particular demographic mix of the locality.
Barton is a traditional white working class estate with relatively high indicators on most of the measures of social deprivation. In recent years, due to high housing costs in Oxford, young professionals and internationals have moved into the estate attracted by the relatively lower prices. The ‘traditional’ community is connected by extensive, inter-generational networks of family relationships and friendships. However, there is little interaction between the traditional community and the newer groups. The church, on the other hand, does have a good mix of traditional Barton residents and professional people, but not internationals.
The estate is set to expand by a further 850 new homes in the near future. Of these 40% will be ‘social affordable’ housing. There is a real concern in the existing Barton that ‘Barton Park’, as the developers have named it, will feel like a ‘posh’, separate estate. We, BCC/HBC, see the new housing as an area which will have a need to establish community, and identity. We will seek to be a gospel presence as the new community emerges and play our part in helping integration.
BCC was planted by HBC in 2011 with 12 individuals now having intentionally moved into the estate, mostly in their 20s and 30s. Sunday@5, BCC’s Sunday expression of church, attracts around 35 people a week. Whilst BCC’s independence is set to grow, it is planned that a strong, long term partnership is maintained with HBC, and the BCC minister would be part of the HBC staff team, supervised by James Bloice Smith, and would lead BCC’s Leadership Team (currently 3).
BCC is partnered by a ‘Thrive’ team. Thrive, which is part of Innovista, has specialised in youth work and have been invaluable in what has been achieved so far. HBC and Innovista have recently agreed a further five year partnership in this Barton church planting project.
There is an expectation that the successful candidate will live in Barton estate and commit to this long-term project for a minimum of 5 years.
The Southern Counties Baptist Association (SCBA) have been a significant support in this church planting venture. They have provided substantial ‘Home Mission’ funding to help pay the stipend of the paid worker and have recently, in partnership with SEBA, SWBA and SWeBA, renewed their commitment to contribute finances to enable the work to continue. This funding is only available if the minister appointed is accredited by the Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB) or willing to work towards that recognition, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
BCC now needs leadership to help it grow into more independence, to deepen its fellowship, to find appropriate ways of discipleship, to reach out to all segments of the Barton community, to develop the gifts of its members so that it can ‘build itself up’ and to establish its leadership structures. BCC is a very mixed church in terms of Christian experience, educational opportunities and social background. It needs to find those ways of being church for the whole mix and to do that well more of the time.
The candidate should be a man or a woman who:
- Is deeply committed to the gracious wisdom of scripture and its power to change lives;
- Has a heart for prayer;
- Is committed to the proclamation of the Christian gospel and to engaging with social needs;
- Has a heart for people often spoken of as the ‘underclass’, yet is committed to building an integrated Christian community of Barton residents, bringing together the diverse groups mentioned above;
- Has a proven aptitude for leading, enabling and empowering others;
- Is able to develop both vision and strategy, building on the foundation laid;
- Is approachable—good interpersonal skills with people from a range of backgrounds is essential;
- Has good and flexible public and small group communication skills: able to adapt to diverse needs and learning styles, able to work interactively and able to lead all age contexts, which includes children;
- Will live in the Barton community.
- It is highly desirable that the minister appointed should be a BUGB accredited minister or church planter/evangelist, working towards that recognition or willing to enter appropriate training.
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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. If you would like an informal conversation about this role, please email Robin to arrange. Share this: