St Thomas the Apostle
Youth and Transition Worker (Years 6 and above)
Groombridge lies approximately 1.5 miles from Eridge, 3 miles from Tunbridge Wells and 4 miles from Crowborough (all of which are commuter stations to London). Groombridge has a population of about 1600 and is a very active rural community with a vast array of groups and societies. It is a kind and neighbourly community in which we look after one another. Groombridge is an odd village because it is divided by the River Grom on both diocesan and county boundaries. St Thomas’ Church, Groombridge, is in East Sussex and in the Diocese of Chichester, and just up Groombridge Hill is St John’s Church which is in Kent and in Rochester Diocese.
The Church of St Thomas
The Parish Church of St Thomas, Groombridge is an Anglican village church and we enjoy a mixture of both traditional and modern styles of worship, as we try to meet a variety of spiritual needs. Our music is usually accompanied by the organ or piano with a robed choir. We are Eucharistic-centred but allow for informality and warmth within the structure of our services. We are looking towards a more family-led monthly Family Eucharist, and monthly 5 o’clock service. We have recently moved from young Confirmations (Years 6 – 7) to First Communions from Year 5, so that Confirmation happens in later teens as our Diocesan Bishop is now suggesting.
We use a projector and screen for our main services, providing flexibility within the Liturgy. We have chairs rather than pews which can be re-arranged for more informal acts of worship and social gatherings. There is a small room at the back of the church which is a useful meeting room as it can be heated separately, and it is also hired out to some children’s groups. As part of our current Organ Project, we intend to enlarge our choir vestry in 2018, and make it secure, so that it can double as a meeting/working space for our Transition and Youth Worker.
The Church accommodates 150 comfortably, and 200 with additional chairs. Our average weekly term time attendance is 100 including children. Last academic year we had 37 on our Sunday School register, although this has dropped in 2017.
On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food.
Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month,
because the water for them flows from the sanctuary.
Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.’ Ezekiel 47 v 12.
The Ministry Team
Our Vicar is the Revd Sharon Francis. We have two Readers, and one person enrolled on the new Living Faith course with a view to pastoral authorised ministry. We have a team of nine authorised Lay Assistants at Communion and 6 pastoral visitors. We have good leadership in the Sunday School which is supported by volunteer parental help.
Pattern of Worship
8 am Said Holy Communion (BCP) first Sunday of the month
9.30 am Parish Eucharist (Family Eucharist on first Sundays)
Café Eucharist replaces this service once per term.
5 pm STYG (St Thomas’ Youth Group) – 2nd Sundays
5 pm 5 o’clock service – 4th Sundays Family Service
10. 30 am Said Holy Communion with coffee afterwards
8 am Iona-style morning prayer (informal)
St Thomas’ Church of England Primary School
The majority of Groombridge children attend St Thomas’ CE Primary School which is next door to the church. The Church has good relations with the school; the vicar and 3 church members serve as Foundation Governors. St Thomas’ School is an OFSTED ‘Outstanding’ School and is in the top ten primary schools nationwide. But more important than this is the outstanding Christian ethos of the school. Four school services a year are held in our Church and our vicar leads assembly once a month.
Uniformed Organisations for children and young people
The Church enjoys a good relationship with the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers as they are Sussex packs. Historically, Rainbows, Brownies and Guides have belonged to Kent packs and go to St John’s church in Kent (just up Groombridge Hill) for Remembrance Day. The Scouts organisations join us for Remembrance Sunday and in the past 3 years we have held a St George’s Day parade. The vicar also visits to help with their Community and Faith badge sessions.
Other activities for Children
There is an active pre-school in Groombridge which is independent of the Church and School, and well supported.
Our Church children’s groups are explained further on the parish website www.stthomasgroombridge.org.uk.
Junior Choir Club
Our Junior Choir has dwindled in the past year. We will be recruiting for the choir club in the new year.
We wish to make our church life and worship more relevant and appealing to our young people so that they know themselves to be as much a part of this body of Christ as our older folk and the younger children. We need to link up our thinking and development with Withyham Parish Council youth project and our School, contributing towards a more holistic youth ministry in the village.
What’s important to us and our young people is that we get the right person for this post. If that means
that you can only offer 10 hours a week, then please still apply, and we will discuss what you can offer.
Job Title: Youth and Transition worker (Years 6 and above)
Employed by: The PCC of St Thomas the Apostle, Groombridge
Responsible to: Rev Sharon Francis who is the ‘line manager’, but also responsible to the PCC (especially the Church Wardens and Treasurer).
Hours: The role is based on 18 hours per week worked on a flexible basis. The Youth and Transition Worker is required to work most Sunday mornings, Christmas and Easter Services, some evenings and also attend occasional Saturday events and weekends away.
Holidays: Holidays will be based on a full-time equivalent (5 days, 35 hours per week) entitlement to 25 days (by agreement and preferably during the school holidays) PLUS the 8 public holidays (with time off in lieu at Easter and Christmas) – which amounts to 231 hours. As this is a part time post, the equivalent number of hours’ holiday will be 18/35 of that – which is 119 hours.
Base: St Thomas the Apostle, Groombridge
Contract: Three years initially, with a 3-month probationary period.
Salary: £14,000 per annum for 18 hours per week, or pro rata.
Accommodation: There is no accommodation provided with this post.
Travel: Reasonable travel expenses will be paid at 0.45p per mile.
OTHER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
OTHER SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. As a member of the staff team you will be expected to meet with the Vicar on a regular basis, take an active part in Sunday services (0930 and one evening service per month) and participate in an annual appraisal.
2. Some attendance at PCC meetings will be required.
3. There is a genuine occupational requirement that the post holder is a committed and active Christian.
4. A driver/motorcycle rider (full clean driving licence) with own transport.
5. Own laptop and mobile phone.
6. Please note that we can only consider applicants who are already resident and permitted to work in the United Kingdom and for the entire duration of employment.
7. The contract is initially 3 years, however please note that a three-month probationary period will need to be successfully completed before the candidate is formally contracted for the 3 years.
8. Satisfactory DBS ‘Enhanced’ clearance for the entire duration of the employment.
We are excited by the prospect of employing someone who has ideas and skills that we may have not even considered. Our Transition and Youth Worker will be given the freedom to use their specific gifts in carrying out the job.
Work Experience and Qualifications:
1. Experience of working with youth (aged 10-18).
2. Experience of planning and delivering youth projects or events
3. Educated to A Level or Degree standard (or equivalents)
4. A qualification in an appropriate discipline is desirable (eg teaching, music, children’s work or youth work, theology, social work, etc).
Knowledge and Understanding
Skills and Abilities
If you have any further queries, please phone Rev Sharon on 01892 864265, or you may like to look at our website at www.stthomasgroombridge.org.uk. Any initial, informal, enquiries will be treated as confidential.
Applicants are required to attach a covering letter explaining why you are the best person for this newly-created post.
If you wish, you may attach a fuller CV when sending in the application form. Please note that your referees may be contacted by Rev Sharon without permission unless you indicate otherwise.
Applications may be received via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to:
The Revd Sharon Francis
E Sussex TN3 9SE
Applications to be submitted by Friday, 29 December 2017.
Interviews for this post are scheduled to take place on Friday 12 and/or 13 January 2018.