APPOINTMENT OF SACRISTAN
The Liturgy & Music Department of Buckfast Abbey is seeking to appoint a Sacristan. This full-time post presents an exciting opportunity for someone with a keen interest in the liturgy and ritual of the Roman Catholic Church, within the environment of an active Benedictine monastery. The Sacristan will be part of a flourishing tradition, and will be expected to play a full part in the liturgical life of the Abbey, contributing to its wider vision and mission. Integrity, honesty and a good rapport with the monastic community, lay staff, and visitors of the Abbey Church are of great importance.
Due to the requirement for the Sacristan to work within the Monastery and within the Cloister environment, and for the privacy and decency of the Monastic Community, it is a necessity for the post holder to be male.
Annual Salary of £25,000 Contributory pension scheme, subject to auto-enrolment regulations. Rented accommodation on site will be considered for the post holder.
This job description is intended to provide an outline of the key tasks and responsibilities only. There may be other duties reasonably requested of the post holder commensurate to the position of Sacristan.
a. To undertake a complete audit and ordering of the Sacristy and storage areas, and to maintain a database of all liturgical items
b. To maintain a high level of cleanliness and organisation in the Sacristy and storage areas
c. To ensure that all liturgical vessels, linens, vestments and furnishings are kept in good repair, clean and respectfully stored
d. To monitor stocks of supplies necessary for the liturgy (e.g. altar breads, wine, incense, candles, oils, etc) and to order replacement items e. To ensure that liturgical items are prepared fully in preparation for services, and returned, cleaned or replaced afterwards (e.g. vestments, vessels, cruets, linens, liturgical books, furniture, candles etc)
f. To coordinate the usage, maintenance of, and removal of seasonal items and decorations (e.g. palms, flowers, wreathes etc)
g. To have some responsibility for the conservation of the Abbey’s Church Plate (Gold, Silver and Brass etc)
h. To act as Altar Server for liturgical celebrations as required, (including Conventual and Parish Mases, Funerals, Weddings, and other services) and to coordinate liturgical ritual with other Altar Servers
i. To liaise with the Laundry department for all liturgical linens.
j. To clean and re-stock votive candle stands
k. To ensure the Sanctuary, High Altar and side Altars are tidy, appropriately dressed and decorated To attend liturgy planning meetings
a. An understanding of, and an enthusiasm for, the Abbey’s overall mission.
b. A communicant member of a Christian denomination, with sympathy for the Benedictine ethos.
Knowledge & Experience
c. In-depth familiarity with the ritual and liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, both in the Sacraments and the Office
d. Experience of Altar Serving
e. Familiarity with the liturgical calendar
f. An appreciation of maintaining reverence in a sacred space and its associated ancillary buildings
g. An ability to collaborate with priests, monks, altar servers and all participants in liturgies, including visiting dignitaries
h. An ability to be sensitive to the needs of worshipers who arrive early and stay later after liturgical services for private prayer.
i. Knowledge of the Monastic Rite, as opposed to the Roman Rite.
j. A competent knowledge of ecclesiastical Latin in order to interpret rubrics in liturgical books.
k. Some knowledge of the conservation of Church Plate
l. Competent in the use of IT software, including Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and shared departmental calendars
m. Knowledge of current best practice in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.
Qualities & behaviours
n. Ability to work flexibly, both independently and corroboratively, in responding to the current workload and needs of the liturgical life of the Abbey.
o. The ability to manage work/life balance in a role with varied hours.
q. Willingness to continually develop in all aspects of liturgical knowledge.
The sacristan will be given appropriate training to ensure the proper purification of sacred vessels.
The characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. While performing the duties of the job, the employee is frequently required to stand, bend, carry and climb stairs. A degree of physical strength is required to operate storage units and carry liturgical furniture and supplies. The physical demands of the role will be risk assessed.
HOURS OF WORK
As a salaried employee the Sacristan’s hours are not fixed, although working hours are determined by the Church’s worship schedule. Sunday (and occasionally Saturday) is a working day. Hours can include evenings and public holidays, and will vary according to the seasons of the Church. In general, approximately 40 hours per week, over five days. The Sacristan must be flexible in start and finish times and the days of the week worked.
Paid holiday entitlement of 25 working days during a complete holiday year. Public and bank holidays are normal working days, including Christmas Day. Holidays are arranged after consultation with the Organist & Master of the Music, and should be requested at least one month in advance. Absence may not necessarily be granted during certain times of the liturgical calendar.
As a member of staff working in a professional environment, the Sacristan is required to dress appropriately, especially for services, and other formal occasions. For gentlemen, collar and tie is to be worn with black shoes under the cassock for all services. Jeans should not be worn under the cassock.
Closing date for applications: Monday 19th July. Interviews to take place week commencing Monday 26th July.
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