Pastoral Assistant Information

Pastoral Assistant
St James the Less, Pimlico
St James the Less is a charismatic evangelical church in Westminster. It’s parish is
largely residential ranging from social housing, sheltered housing for those with
mental health problems and the elderly and 2, 3 and 4 bedroom flats, some in
private ownership; to white stucco 19th century houses designed by Thomas
Cubitt, which are privately owned and either held as flats or single dwellings.
There are several businesses within the parish and it is within walking distance of
As a church it has gone through a significant transition in the past 30 years. It was
built in the Anglo-catholic tradition to serve the slums of Pimlico in the mid1800’s. By the 1970’s it had a dwindling hard pressed congregation and was
threatened with closure. Following a plant from St Michael’s Chester Square in
1991 it became a large and successful church, mainly reaching out to young
professionals from across London. The church has recently come to terms with a
period of rapid decline during the latter 2000’s and so has been re-configuring its
vision. Much work has been done over the past 3-4 years to face up to significant
hurt and the legacy of decline, helping the congregation to acknowledge their
identity as a church based within their community with all that that means. It is
now slowly beginning to grow again and is excited by the prospect of reaching out
to the community. The congregation has a high proportion of young Christians in
need of discipling and those with mental health problems.
It is an ideal place to test a calling and to reflect on the demands of ordained
ministry. There is no large staff team and much of the work is in the very early
stages so there is a lot of strategic work to be done. This means that any Pastoral
Assistant here would be very involved in decision making and in seeing the
messiness of parish life.
We are also in the process of setting up a joint Pastoral Assistants Scheme with St
Matthew’s Westminster and St Stephen’s Rochester Row. This will enable the PA’s
to gain experience of other churchmanship’s by doing placements/visiting other
churches for key events and then having times of theological reflection together.
It will also provide a context for reflection on ordained ministry. I have
experience of teaching Ministerial Formation at Wycliffe Hall and the expectation
is that we would provide a context in which the PA’s could reflect together on
what they are learning and observing during their year. The Two Cities within
London Diocese are also setting up a Pastoral Assistants/Interns Course which will
provide structured input and a context for networking for PA’s.
Alongside this there is the unique opportunity for the PA to gain experience of the
wider church by of being part of the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs
team with special regard to the work of the Minority Ethnic Anglicans team,
addressing the challenges of developing the church’s presence and voice in the
public square and among Minority Ethnic groups in society.
St James the Less is a struggling church which has had to deal with a lot of
financial issues. We are about to re-open our Parish Centre after a long period of
fundraising and hard work to get to this point. We still have limited means. The
Pastoral Assistant is a voluntary role and therefore the terms on which a Pastoral
Assistant would come here would be:
Accommodation (Comparable value £850-£1100pcm) is provided with a
£5,000 subsistence allowance p.a. to cover other costs
The Role would start from mid-September (negotiable) with some hand-over
from the previous PA
5 days a week working voluntarily for the church, to include Sundays
1 day based in Church House Westminster with Mission and Public Affairs
facilitating the Black and Minority Ethnic Young Vocations. In exchange for
this time Mission and Public Affairs will make a donation to the church
equivalent to the London Living Wage for services provided. Which day this
will be is still to be negotiated.
One day off a week
4 weeks holiday – 20 weekdays including 4 Sundays and bank holidays – some
of which e.g. when they are Christian Festivals, may need to be saved to be
taken in lieu.
When days off are worked the PA is expected to arrange to take a different
day of that week in lieu.
An Enhanced DBS is needed for this role
The Role Description is attached to this document or is available from:
[email protected] and on the church website at
The current PA would be very happy to discuss the role, in confidence, with
anyone who might be interested please email [email protected]
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