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L'Arche Kent
Canterbury, Kent 61.9 miles
£33,695 - £34,423 per year
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Page 2 of 18
Canterbury, Kent 61.9 miles
£33,695 - £34,423 per year
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

Do you believe in a world where all belong?

Main Mission:

The Community Leader is responsible for ensuring that their community is living fully the mission of L’Arche in its four dimensions (community life, provision of professional care and support services, spiritual life and outreach). You will take the lead in:

  • Promoting the wellbeing of those people with learning disabilities who choose their support from L’Arche;
  • Enabling a vibrant community life, which supports all members to stay faithful to the mission and identity of L’Arche;
  • Nurturing the spiritual dimension of community life; we are an inclusive faith community open to people of all faiths and none;
  • Creating an environment where all are respected and valued and where teamwork, personal  and spiritual growth are encouraged;
  • Being a link between the community and the national and international structures of the Federation of L’Arche Communities;
  • Promoting the mission of L’Arche to wider society.

Key Responsibilities:

1) To build and develop a vibrant community life by:

  1. Being open and accessible to all community members;
  2. Leading groups that oversee implementation of each part of the mission (such as the Community Council and Pastoral Team), promoting trust and creativity within the groups;
  3. Ensuring the organisation of community events and meaningful gatherings;
  4. Guaranteeing that the community is open to its local neighbourhood and culture, families, neighbours, churches and community groups;
  5. Building links with L’Arche regionally, nationally and internationally.

2) To guarantee the quality of care and support provided for people with learning disabilities by:

  1. Ensuring and developing the professional skills of the teams;
  2. Guaranteeing compliance with the expectations of the Care regulator, commissioners and funders, and ensuring that best practices are maintained and developed;
  3. Implementing an agreed person-centred plan for each person supported, drawn up in a spirit of positive risk-taking;
  4. Ensuring efficient and cooperative relationships with specialists outside of L’Arche (e.g. LD teams, doctors, speech and language therapists, psychologists, trainers etc).

3) To foster an open and inclusive spiritual life in the community by:

  1. Ensuring that the diverse spirituality of all members is nurtured and supported by working with the Pastoral Team to maintain and develop formation, retreats, accompaniment, times of reflection and celebration
  2. Helping to articulate the spirituality of L’Arche within the community;
  3. Offering formation and talks to organisations and groups in the wider community so as to promote the mission and values of L’Arche more widely;
  4. Being committed to the nourishment of your own spiritual development through attendance at formation, retreats and through the use of times of reflection.

4) To manage human resources by:

  1. Supervising, supporting, and evaluating team members for whom you are directly responsible and by ensuring a good system of induction, supervision and appraisal is in place for all employees and volunteers throughout the community;
  2. Implementing an efficient recruitment and skills development process in the community, paying special attention to leadership development and to the personal transition of community members;
  3. Supporting and empowering assistants and volunteers in ways that help them strengthen their commitment and belonging and that develop their vocation/personal call to life in L’Arche;
  4. Working in close collaboration with the regional and national level on all these issues.

5) To promote the mission of L’Arche locally by:

a) Encouraging a culture of open and active communication between the community and its surrounding neighbourhood;

b) Developing quality relationships with the relevant local authorities, professional organisations, faith communities and their leaders;

c) Being a visible and vocal representative of L’Arche.

6) To develop the Community and manage its finances by:

a) Developing and managing the budget of the community, ensuring it serves the priorities of its mandate;

b) Participating in any agreed fundraising plans at the local level with oversight from the national team and in liaison with the national fundraiser;

c) Identifying the needs that L’Arche could respond to in this area, in line with regional and national strategies;

d) Drafting the annual plan of new objectives through community-wide consultation and with validation by the Regional Leader;

e) Undertaking other duties which may be necessary to ensure the community’s operation and development, and which are in keeping with the nature of this leadership role.


Expected profile for this role:

- An individual whose personal vision is in sympathy with the vision, values and mission of L’Arche and who wants to be part of a dynamic, exciting, progressive and nurturing faith community;

- Demonstrable leadership and management qualities; ability to lead and manage a complex organisation to achieve its mission;

- Whilst experience of working in the learning disability field is not essential, the Community Leader must be competent to manage the Registered Manager who is responsible to the regulator for the quality of services;

- The ability and willingness to work collaboratively with others at all levels, including people with learning disabilities, other leaders and trustees;

- Excellent financial management skills;

- Excellent communication and listening skills including a high standard of written literacy;

- The personal qualities of compassion, courage, integrity and humility; ability to acknowledge personal limits and a willingness to ask for help;

- Commitment to a healthy and balanced lifestyle and to seeking out rest, support and nourishment;

- Openness to accompaniment (talking regularly with a non-supervisory guide who has experience of L’Arche)

A complete person specification is enclosed. 


Key terms and conditions

The role of Community Leader, like those of senior leaders in L’Arche worldwide, is linked to a statement of priorities in a Community Mandate. The L’Arche Kent Mandate (enclosed with this pack) runs to 2020. A new Mandate will be required from 2020-2024 and the Community Leader would play a key role in the preparation and drafting of this document.

The role is initially offered for a term of service of 4 years, to 2023. Terms of service are renewable, with a maximum of 3 terms.  This means that the maximum period anyone could remain in this role is 12 years.  (i.e. 3 terms of 4 years).  Towards the end of each four year term, a new Mandate is drawn up and the Community Leader is involved in discussion as to whether they wish to remain in role to lead the Community in its next Mandate. 

 A relocation package is available if taking up this role requires you to move home.

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More about L'Arche

"Quite simply being part of L'Arche is being loved for who you are." 

Read more

Refreshed on: 18 October 2019
Closing date: 14 November 2019
Tags: Christian,Social Care/Development

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.

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