Oldham is a borough of 230,000 people on the North East of the Greater Manchester city region. The town is officially the most deprived in England (see here). Oldham is home to substantial numbers of Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims and has the third largest group of Bangladeshis in the country, behind London and Birmingham (cities 40 and 5 times bigger than Oldham borough respectively). The borough is highly segregated with large ‘Asian areas’ totally separated from overwhelmingly white council estates. In 2001, Oldham had the worst race riots in the UK since 1985 and briefly eclipsed the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. The epicentre of the 2001 race riots was the area of Glodwick.
Oldham Bethel Church is a gospel-centred FIEC and North West Partnership church situated on Waterloo Street in the Glodwick area of Oldham. The area is overwhelmingly South Asian and contains Oldham’s largest mosque, a few hundred yards behind the church building. The church is multicultural in makeup with people from the UK, Middle East, Caribbean and Africa in the congregation. The church has a number of Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers attending and in membership. Most of what happens on a Sunday morning takes place bilingually in English and Farsi. The church is doctrinally reformed and baptistic in practice.
Bethel church is making valuable in-roads into the local community. We hold weekly English Classes that see people from all over the world coming into the church. We hold a monthly ‘cultural evening’ with local Muslims at which we present the gospel while an imam shares about Islam, with time for Q&A after each presentation. We rotate the venue between our church building and a local mosque and regularly have up to 50 Muslims coming under the sound of the gospel. We are also engaged in regular street evangelism, including gospel presentations, testimonies and Q&A as well as running book tables in Glodwick.
The church is seeking a Pastoral Trainee to join us on a four-year placement. You will gain experience of apologetics to South Asian Muslims – particularly from Pakistan and Bangladesh – as well as Bible study opportunities to Muslim-background Iranians and Afghans. You will get to experience multicultural, multi-ethnic church and will receive training in how to deliver sermons to a multicultural congregation, delivering Bible studies to asylum seekers, white Brits and mixed groups, training in both cold-contact evangelism and sharing the gospel through friendship in an urban setting. You will also get the chance to develop new opportunities within the church.
The church would provide the first two years of training through the North West Partnership Ministry Training Course (MTC). On successful completion, we would deliver training through our onsite Learning Community, in partnership with Union School of Theology, on their Graduate Diploma in Theology (GDip). The fees for both the two years of the MTC and two years on the GDip would be covered by the church. Further, we would offer hands-on training in urban context mission through our Urban Ministry Training Programme. The Pastoral trainee will be mentored by the elders. For more information on the programmes, please visit the training page on our website.
On completion of the GDip, you can either return to your sending church as a fully trained worker, begin seeking ministry elsewhere or stay working with us at Oldham Bethel Church. We have long-term plans to plant into several unchurched areas of the borough and we would love to be able to train a worker on the MTC and GDip with a view to sending them into a pioneer plant at a future date.
The church will cover all course fees for the MTC and GDip, providing two fee waivers for both courses. This will provide you with a recognised Bible handling course and a university accredited degree course. It will be your responsibility to fund your subsistence for the duration of the four years. For exceptional cases, the church may be able to provide a small support grant to help with subsistence costs.
Applications can only be considered from those who are UK citizens or who otherwise have a right to work in the UK.
You will need to be able to declare wholehearted acceptance of the FIEC doctrinal basis and agreement with the FIEC ethos statements.
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Oldham Bethel Church
We are a gospel-centered evangelical church situated in the heart of Oldham.
We meet every Sunday morning at 10:30 for a time of fellowship over tea and coffee before moving into the formal part of our meeting by 11:00am.
We exist as a church of disciples, who make disciples of Jesus Christ, by allowing God's Word to do God's work by God's Spirit.