|Line Management and Accountability||Senior Leadership Team (SLT)|
|Hours of Work||Full time|
|Salary||£40,000 – £45,000 yearly|
|Deadline for applications||17th November, 2023|
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Pastor to join a well-established community church.
Mowbray Community Church (MCC) is a grace-based community church in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, seeking to freely worship God, love one another and serve our neighbours both locally and globally. MCC has been established for over 100 years. Presently we meet in person and online with a combined attendance of @300 regular attendees.
MCC is an active community church of all ages with a vibrant children’s, youth and young adult’s ministry, outreach to toddlers and parents, over 55’s group, host to CAP debt centre, Foodbank and other community outreach activities.
We are looking for an engaging teacher who is grounded in God’s word and able to communicate effectively to all ages. In addition to having comprehensive experience of Bible teaching and application, the person will also be experienced in listening to God’s voice and being open to the work of the Holy Spirit within the life and ministry of MCC.
We are looking for someone with a pastoral / servant heart who is able to co-ordinate a team of pastoral carers.
We are looking for someone who has a heart for world mission as we seek to fulfil the Great Commission.
We are looking for someone who is passionate about growing disciples and leaders.
We are looking for someone to engage with, motivate and work alongside our staff team and who has the relevant administrative and operational skills to achieve this.
Does this sound like you? If so, we would love to hear from you!
Purpose of the job
The Pastor is to serve Mowbray Community Church as a teacher and member of the Senior Leadership Team, and co-ordinate and integrate all aspects of the work of MCC. The Pastor will be accountable to the Senior Leadership Team under God.
- Work with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), staff and congregation to help define and implement the vision and strategy for MCC;
- In conjunction with the SLT, oversee, co-ordinate and integrate all aspects of the work of MCC;
- Propose, develop and lead the introduction of innovative ministries.
Preaching and Teaching
- Take a lead role in the preaching and teaching of the church, consistent with the church’s “Statement of Faith”, that is meaningful, relevant and full of practical application;
- Propose the preaching plan, incorporating the preaching team, and including an annual programme of events;
- Take overall responsibility for the co-ordination and implementation of pastoral care across the church, especially to those in leadership roles;
- Develop, integrate and manage the use of spiritual gifts in MCC;
- Conduct baptisms, weddings, baby thanksgivings and funerals for MCC members;
- Interview, approve and welcome new members.
- In conjunction with the Mission Action Team, oversee and develop MCC’s mission activities and provide pastoral care for our mission partners at home and/or abroad;
- Engage with the community of Harrogate and develop relationships with other churches and like-minded organisations in line with MCC’s vision.
Discipleship & Leadership
- Help MCC grow as intentional followers of Jesus through worship, prayer, learning, service and outreach;
- Encourage, equip and train MCC to make new disciples and leaders for Christ.
Administrative / Operational
- Collaborate with the staff to promote the ministry plan of the church, including the facilitation of regular staff meetings;
- Be willing to attend supervision (mentoring/counselling) at regular intervals with a local Christian counselling agency for reflection, debriefing and self-care;
- Maintain accountability in all aspects of life: spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, relational and financial;
- Model healthy self-care through patterns of prayer, retreat and work/life balance.
The Pastor will be able to demonstrate the following:
- Be a baptised believer with a personal commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ;
- Be a man of good character whose life displays the fruit of the Spirit;
- Hold the highest standards of personal integrity and accountability;
- Effectiveness at delegating and empowering those in their purview;
- Have a deep knowledge of God’s Word, how to communicate it and how to apply it;
- Have experience of, and sensitivity to, the guiding, teaching and healing work of God the Holy Spirit;
- Have the ability to manage their own time, incorporating space for prayer and retreat;
- Have formal theological training;
- Preferably have a minimum of 3-5 years’ experience at Associate Pastor or Pastor level;
- Ability to work effectively in a team led church culture, being able to find consensus and unity within a team leadership;
- Relates well to people of all ages and different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds;
- A clear and demonstrable passion for mission – local, national and international;
- Passion for leading a growing church to achieve its God-given vision to grow leaders, disciples and mission impact locally and globally;
- Demonstrates creativity and innovation of approach to their vocation in communications, teaching, problem solving and novel approaches to evangelism and outreach.
- The Pastor shall engage in continuing professional development, as well as ensuring all MCC leadership have development opportunities.
If you are interested in being the Pastor at MCC, please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org with your CV, and a covering letter that addresses the following:
- Why you believe you would be a good fit for this role, including how God has led you and been shaping you up to this point in life.
- The strengths, skills, qualifications, experience and expertise that would equip you to perform the role well.
- What most excites you about taking on the role and what would be your key priorities.
Mowbray Community Church, Westmoreland Street, Harrogate, North Yorkshire. HG1 5AT.
MCC is a church with almost 200 members with 300 participating in our Sunday worship. We’re situated in the heart of Harrogate and have a well-established and well-regarded presence in the local community. Our mission statement, which is clearly visible on the wall of our glass-fronted building to all who pass by says, we’re “building a community of God’s people to love and to serve.” We’re pursuing this mission within our church community, in Harrogate and the wider district, and across the world. You will see this in action through our times of lively worship and Bible teaching, home fellowship groups and leadership huddles, the many community outreach ministries, the vibrant and growing children’s, youth, and young adults ministries, and the global mission partners we have sent out across the world. MCC is growing in number, depth of discipleship, and ethnic diversity.
MCC – The past
Our roots go back to Christ Church on the Stray, the first parish church to be built in Harrogate in 1831 (and a great church it is by the way!). However, by the 1840’s some of the common folk were struggling to afford the ‘pew rents’. The renting of pews was the primary way that churches in many denominations collected funds prior to the twentieth century. This entitled a person to use a given place at any of the divine services in that church. The closer a family sat to the altar or pulpit, the higher its social or economic position. The occasional provision of free seats (in less desirable places) underscored the problem and the strict class structure.
So, in the 1840’s a bold group of worshippers decided to meet outside on the Stray itself and worship God in his natural environment. This was not a break away from the church, more of a common person’s protest against a system. Over time however, this gathering of Christians that met ‘outside the walls’ took on more of an evangelistic life of its own and by 1847 alternative accommodation was sought. At first rooms were rented on Tower Street, an unruly area at the time, and soon after a Committee was established to oversee this new move of the Spirit in the town. Within a couple of decades the Town Mission was born. A building was purpose built on the corner of Strawberry Dale and Mayfield Grove especially for outreach to the railway labourers and poorer classes. This was in full use from the 1870’s until 2011 when it was sold and the current larger premises were purchased on Westmoreland Street, the former town bus depot no less! While the name of the fellowship may have changed over time (from the Town Mission, to the Evangelical Free Church, to Mayfield Community Church, to its current name Mowbray Community Church), the same purpose remains. We continue to ‘build a community of God’s people to love and to serve’.
MCC – The present
We have almost 200 in the official church membership at the moment, however, on any given Sunday, you will find many more people in the church services, with on average around 300 people participating, including children and youth. There are numerous non-members who participate actively in the life of the church as well as others who consider MCC to be their spiritual home. We use Churchsuite to manage church life and there are well over 300 adult individuals in the contacts list. There are over 200 children participating in the life and ministries of MCC each week.
Demographically, the church is uncharacteristically ethnically diverse considering the area of North Yorkshire we’re in, which has traditionally been mostly white and middle class. We celebrate the fact that we have over 30 nationalities represented and participating actively in the life and ministry of MCC. You will see, experience, and be blessed by this in our worship, teaching and outreach activities.
We’re around 50:50 in terms of male: female ratio and all ages are well represented. Before the pandemic we were concerned by the relatively low number of families with younger children who were joining the church, as well as younger single or married adults. There was prayer for this as well as action taken in how we structured our services and church activities. Post-pandemic we are praising God for a rapid turnaround in this situation with a significant influx of families and younger adults.
We have people from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds, from those struggling with debt and accessing services like Christians Against Poverty or Food Bank, to hospital consultants and everything you can imagine in-between!
MCC has three core teams that work together. First of all there is the staff team, currently with 6 employees. The areas they work in are communications, church operations, children’s work, youth work, Christians Against Poverty, and community outreach. Then we have our Ministry and Operations Team (MOT), with 3 male and 5 female members. This team consists of some staff, volunteers and at least one representative of the Senior Leadership Team. It essentially functions as our deaconate with responsibility for the practical areas of church life. Finally, we have the Senior Leadership team (SLT) consisting of seven people. Our constitution states, based on biblical principles, that our elders are male. Further, our current core teaching team is also male, although we do frequently have guest speakers from other ministries who are female. Many women are involved in other areas of church leadership at MCC and a discussion of the biblical principles for female elders and preachers is something the church would like to explore in the future.
In addition to this we have a number of other ministry leaders, assistants and volunteers, all dedicated to the running of a wide range of internal and outward facing ministries.
Our main service is on a Sunday morning and the 300 seat auditorium is frequently packed to bursting! The service is live-streamed to YouTube where we have a growing online following. Typically, we have 30-60 people joining us online for the live stream and up to 200 people will access the service on catch-up during the following week(s). Whilst we fundamentally believe community church should be an in-person activity, we recognise that an increasing number of people are connecting with MCC virtually before joining us in-person. Having our services available online also helps those who may be away traveling or ill for example.
We love to have a varied service format to keep things fresh. We’re blessed with a large, committed and capable worship and audio-visual team who lead us in lively worship each week. We typically lean towards contemporary worship but also value the importance of the many wonderful older hymns that are timeless. Expect to sing these in beautifully reworked ways! In any given service we might sing between six and eight songs each week. There are over 30 people of all ages and nationalities involved in the worship and audio-visual ministry.
Bible-based teaching is extremely important to us. We are a Bible-based church. Our times of teaching and preaching in the Sunday service typically are around half an hour and are a balanced blend of theological depth and practical application. We build in times of reflection and response, because we are expectant of God to speak to us.
We’re also a Spirit-led church and we give time and space to the Holy Spirit to move among us, speaking, ministering, healing, encouraging etc. If appropriate, some weeks we will give space to people to share a word, picture or testimony that they think will bless the church. The Pastor would act as a filter for this so that there is order at all times. As a church we’re open to prophetic words and these are considered and weighed by the SLT. We’re not typically a church where tongues are spoken out loud in our services and the leadership tends not to encourage this because of the diversity of the congregation, where some people are open but cautious when it comes to some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. There are many people in the church who do speak in tongues, and we would not discourage anyone from exercising this gift quietly as they worship, or in their personal devotional times for example.
The Sunday service is also an important time to invest in the spiritual health of our children and youth. A typical Sunday will see two creches in action, for babies and for toddlers, allowing parents to be spiritually refreshed in the church service. We love having our children and youth be part of the church community and they usually stay in for the first part of the service before going out to their respective activities which include:
- Pebbles – age 3 to primary school year 1
- Gems – primary school years 2 to 3
- Rocks – primary school years 4 to 6
- Reaction – school years 7 to 11
We run numerous services and meetings at other times. Prayer is the engine room of our church! On the first Tuesday of each month, we have a monthly church-wide prayer meeting, preceded by a meal together. There are other prayer gatherings at different times of the week and with different foci too, such as the Friday morning prayer meeting and Praying Parents.
We are truly blessed to have such a spacious and versatile building, which is used for many and varied activities throughout each week. There are also various activities that run off the premises such as our home fellowship groups.
‘Life-groups’ are a key part of church community life and these fall into three categories. Firstly, there are Bible study based home fellowship groups. Secondly, we have ministry focused life-groups, centred around areas of church life like the worship and audio-visual teams, kids and youth work, and the Christians Against Poverty ministries. Finally, we have interest-based groups, such as the faith and environment group and the men’s group. Much of our more routine pastoral care takes place via these groups.
Evangelism and discipleship are of course vital activities at MCC. We regularly run Alpha courses as well as training events and other thematic discipleship related courses. As a church we’re passionate about investing in our people. The Growing Leaders course from CPAS has been run no less than five times now with at least 10 to 15 participants each time.
Being a presence and a force for the Kingdom in our local community is what MCC is known for in the town. We are a Christians Against Poverty (CAP) church, employing a CAP centre manager and with other volunteers serving through activities like CAP job club and life skills training. We’re also a Foodbank church, playing a key role in the district. Harrogate Women’s Project is a women’s drop in centre, run by women for women. Expect talks, crafts, advice and friendship here! Tots and Toys is a weekly session for pre-school children with an accompanying adult. We’ve seen many families join MCC and people come to faith through this essential ministry. We’re also known in the north of England for hosting Deaf Church, a monthly service for the deaf community that sees people coming from a wide area to participate.
Friday evenings see our Catalyst youth fellowship in full swing with more than 40 young people participating. Each week there’s an action-packed programme designed to accelerate a young person’s relationship with Jesus by exploring the heart of God whilst building friendships. Solomon’s Porch is a gathering of young adults (18-25 ish) from churches across Harrogate that meets with one goal: to deconstruct what we know about God, scripture, and Christianity to get to the real Jesus. It’s a place to ask the hard questions while studying the Bible verse-by-verse with others who want to do the same.
MCC moved to its current location in 2011 having outgrown its long-time home on Mayfield Grove. Our building used to be the Harrogate bus depot but has been skilfully converted into the multi-purpose space that it is today. The vision to move to this location and make the building what it is now has, by the grace of God, grown the church in number, maturity and faith over the last 12 years. You enter the church through the large glass front of the building, deliberately designed to be open, inviting and visible to all. We have nothing to hide and desire to be a welcoming space. From the foyer you gain access to a number of spaces on the ground floor.
The main auditorium seats around 300 people and has a raised stage at the front with banks of speakers and a well-equipped lighting rig. At the rear we have the audio-visual control desk with computers, mixing desks and other equipment.
We have a well-equipped professional kitchen that is in constant use as food regularly features in the life and ministry of the church! The ‘cosy corner’ is a recently renovated warm space, designed to feel more like your living room, than the cloak room it used to be! This is an excellent multipurpose space used for counselling, youth ministry, the community café, meetings and much more.
Heading down the corridor to the left you will find the stairs to the first floor, a buildings maintenance office/store, the men’s and women’s toilets, and two further rooms that have been recently renovated into inviting living room like spaces where a multitude of ministry activities take place. You can also gain access to our sports hall, a large high-ceiling multipurpose space that is used for children’s and youth activities as well as a host of other purposes.
Heading down the corridor to the right you will find the side hall which is a reasonably large room where we hold smaller church services, prayer meetings, training sessions, children’s ministry and the like. Beyond that you will find our baby and toddler creche rooms, class rooms, and a toilet with disabled access. There is also another entrance to the sports hall.
Heading up the stairs, on the left you gain access to the pastor’s office. Turning right takes you into an open plan office area. Moving beyond that are several other rooms, including the counselling room and other offices.
Outside the building we have parking spaces for 7 or 8 cars but also an arrangement with the nearby Mowbray Medical Centre to use one of their car parks in the evenings and at weekends which provides ample parking for those attending MCC. There is also on-street parking on the surrounding streets.
Harrogate is known for its spa heritage, floral gardens and historic buildings. One of its most striking features is the Stray, or 200 acre as it is known, for obvious reasons! The town and district is known for having a high level of socio-economic prosperity. Nonetheless, there are plenty of areas of the town where there is significant socio-economic need. There is substantial spiritual need among rich and poor alike. MCC draws church members and visitors from every socio-economic demographic. Much of our outreach is focused towards the lower end of this, financially speaking.
MCC is situated just a short distance outside the main shopping area and centre of the town. It is close to the Stray mentioned above and to Skipton Road (A59), one of the main roads that runs through Harrogate. The immediate area around MCC is a mix of residential flats and shops. There is a vibrant buzz to the street and we have good relationships with nearby businesses and cafes.
The wider connections
MCC is a member of the Evangelical Alliance and also places a great deal of importance on networking with and being connected to churches and multi-church activities in the Harrogate district. We regularly participate in and also host town-wide events for churches, including the Harrogate School of Theology and Mission, worship events, concerts, and productions, making use of our well-resourced auditorium and other spaces in the building. Our preaching team goes out to other churches in the area and we also invite guest speakers from around the country.
Members of staff, leaders and volunteers are connected to a variety of Christian and secular groups locally and nationally that feed into the life of the church.
Global mission is an essential piece of MCC’s Kingdom impact beyond Harrogate. We have five ‘mission partners’ that are supported and sent out by the church to serve across the UK and the world. Our mission partners serve with partner mission agencies including Operation Mobilisation, Reach Beyond, UCCF, UFM, and People International.
MCC – The future
MCC is a church on the move! Our tagline, which is in large letters on the wall of the foyer states that we are ‘Building a Community of God’s People to Love and to Serve’. Whilst remaining committed to this, the church has embarked upon a strategy we’ve called ‘Vision 2030’. The senior leadership team prayerfully identified three particular strategic aims to focus on – deepening discipleship, leadership development, and boosting the impact and integration of our local and global mission engagement. The rest of this section is our ‘Beyond the Horizon’ vision description which provides a great idea of where, in the Lord’s strength, we want to go…
MCC’s Beyond the Horizon Vivid Vision Description
MCC is advancing as one movement with one mission: to make Disciples, develop Leaders and reach Harrogate and far beyond.
As we look to 2030 we want to become the people God is calling us to be, across all our generations. So often our modern lives are fragmented and scattered. We see MCC as a gathering place for both young and old, a church where each person’s identity and actions are motivated by who he or she is in Christ. Where the raw and broken places in our lives can be healed. Where each individual, whatever their age, is in a growing relationship with God and is encouraged to express a life marked by the Word of God and the presence of the Spirit. We see a church that is a vibrant, loving and grace-filled community.
In a culture of soundbites and competing voices, we see MCC as a place where each person understands the significant themes of the Bible and is able to apply them to his or her own life. Where every individual understands, develops, and utilises the gifts that God has given him or her to serve and to grow. We see a church that is able to clearly hear and discern God’s voice and walk in His ways. We see a church of passionately committed disciples.
As we look to 2030 we also see an overflowing church that replicates Jesus-centred leadership, direction and guidance across all our ministries. In a society that is crying out for honourable leaders, we see MCC as a place where we help each other to lead like Jesus, lead with Jesus and lead people to Jesus. We see a church that apprentices, mentors, equips and releases spiritually strong leaders within the church, and that encourages Christ-centred leadership to flow out into the workplace and wider society. We see a church spilling over with God-dependent, pioneering, robust, adaptable and servant-hearted leaders.
And as we look to 2030 we also want to extend our influence, impact and outreach in Harrogate and far beyond. In a world that seeks for purpose and meaning, we see MCC as a place that understands and implements God’s mission in the world. We see a church that is able to effectively connect and communicate with those who are not yet Christians both locally and globally. We see a church that invests deeply into the lives of people wherever we serve, in practical and spiritual ways, to help them come to know Jesus for themselves. We see a church that is a welcoming, hospitable and serving community that shows the unconditional love and truth of Jesus that genuinely transforms lives. And we see a church that actively sends people out as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God to fulfil His mission in the wider world.
In all of these ways and more we see a church that is called to ‘Build a Community of God’s People to Love and to Serve’. And we see you as part of us! Welcome on board.
This ‘Vivid Vision Description’ document was produced by the senior leadership team and first presented to the church in early 2022.
So, there you have it! We hope this ‘church profile’ has provided a helpful insight into the flavour, culture, practice and future of MCC. We’re looking for a lead pastor who will both join us in this journey but also lead and continue to shape the path MCC is on.