Town Centre Chaplaincy Co-ordinator – an exciting opportunity and a first for Love Southend!

Town Centre Chaplaincy Co-ordinator – an exciting opportunity and a first for Love Southend!

Love Southend has never employed anyone before, but we are planning to! We are working with the Methodist Circuit to provide chaplaincy services to the town centre. Seafront leisure settings and HARP are covered by the Circuit, Love Southend provides chaplaincy for the Royals, the High Sreet and for The Y. The Co-ordinator will add strength and develop the excellent work of all the chaplains and the hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds they serve each year. For the full story and ways you can be part of the adventure read on.

Town Centre Chaplaincy Co-ordinator – a very exciting development!

• a new post for Southend!
• a first for Love Southend – our first ever employed person!
• a partnership between Love Southend and the Methodist Circuit – another example of churches coming together to serve Southend!

We are excited about what God is doing! Can you tell?

The background
The Town Centre Chaplaincy was started in September 2013 by Rev. Hannah Bucke (uniquely, a local Methodist Minister appointed with no building or congregational leadership responsibilities). Her vision was to provide pastoral care to people working in the retail sector, the public sector, businesses, and charities in Southend Town Centre, and to the marginalised community who frequented the High Street.

Starting with a blank piece of paper and no manual God opened door after door of opportunity for Hannah to the point that she could no longer carry the role alone. The Southend and District Methodist Circuit appointed Heather Simmons (who had specific responsibility for Adventure Island and, later, HARP); and then Clive Baggallay from Love Southend (LS) volunteered to take specific responsibility for the Royals Shopping Centre.

Hannah was called by God to become an Army Chaplain and left the post in 2019. In the light of her departure discussions took place between LS and the Methodist Circuit Superintendent, Pete Moorhouse. It was agreed that the Circuit would continue to provide chaplaincy services to the sea-front and HARP whilst LS would take responsibility for chaplaincy services to the retail sector and appoint a Co-ordinator for all those areas of chaplaincy.

The Methodist Church have recently appointed Sarah McDowall who started work as a chaplain in September 2020.

The Co-ordinator role comes at a significant time for chaplaincy work in Southend
• There is scope for increasing the range of chaplaincy work e.g. at the Civic Centre, the Victoria Shopping Centre, Garons.
• As a result of Covid-19 we are well aware that the retail sector (and maybe other sectors) will change, possibly quite dramatically,

We are looking to recruit a highly motivated Christian to take this ministry to its next level, inspired and led by God and His heart for our town centre. Before Covid-19 we planned to coincide the appointment with the appointment of Sarah by the Methodist Circuit in September 2020, but our appointment will now have to be delayed.

The financial adventure
The full cost of employing the successful applicant will be approximately £15,500 per annum. We currently have £5.5k to offset this cost for the first year. £10k of the annual costs looked to be secured but the source of that funding is not currently available, and may not be in the future. We have taken the decision not to advertise the role until we have a minimum of one year’s full funding in place. We are looking to God for that to be in place by January 2021 so that we can appoint by Easter 2021.

We are exploring a variety of funding possibilities. If you would like to contribute financially to this exciting opportunity we would be very grateful, but please consider your financial commitment to your own church first. We value the work and ministry of local churches highly and promote the priority of having the first call on their members’ giving.

If you would like to give please use the ‘donate’ button on the Love Southend website and make it clear that your gift is for Town Centre Chaplaincy. Alternatively you can send a cheque payable to Love Southend to LS Treasurer, c/o 600 Southchurch Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS1 2PT. Please write Town Centre Chaplaincy on the back of the cheque. Thank you so much.

Whether or not you are able to contribute financially we would value your willingness to join us in celebration and thanksgiving, and to pray about the issues we are looking to God for. Again, thank you very much.

• the pioneering work of Hannah
• existing paid and volunteer chaplains, and those shadowing Clive currently
• the very positive response to chaplaincy work in all settings
• the people who have been encouraged, strengthened, supported, prayed for, healed and inspired to consider faith in God

… and prayer issues
• God’s appointment of the right person for the job
• £15.5k p.a. for 3 years for salary costs – we have some funds to put towards that cost for the first year, but not enough for a full first year cost or anything for years 2 and 3.
• the right time to advertise and make an appointment

If you would like any further information, or if you are interested in volunteering for chaplaincy ministry please be in touch with us.

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