Reports to: Regional Leader
Hours: 37.5 hours. There will be some evening and weekend commitments locally and some events which require travel and overnight stays.


The Community Leader (Director) 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).

Key Responsibilities:

  • To lead a vibrant community which is faithful to the L’Arche Identity and Mission, actively engaged in the local neighbourhood, in L’Arche within the UK and in the world.
  • To ensure the Community is financially stable, by robust setting and management of budgets, negotiating fee levels with funding agencies, managing vacancies and co-operating with fundraising initiatives.
  • To develop and deliver against a business plan, and effectively manage the community leadership team to deliver against objectives
  • To ensure the quality of care and support provided for people with learning disabilities by employing and supporting leaders and assistants with the right skills, experience, and values, and ensuring their professional and personal development.
  • To foster an open and inclusive spiritual life in the community
  • To be a visible representative of L’Arche locally, developing strong relationships with local authorities, professional organisations, faith communities and their leaders.
  • To work collaboratively with a local committee, and within the structures of L’Arche UK.

Profile for this role:

  • A personal vision which is passionate about the vision, values and mission of L’Arche and a desire to be part of a dynamic, exciting, progressive and nurturing faith community;
  • Significant experience of senior leadership and management; ability to lead and manage a complex organisation to achieve its mission and to demonstrate the ability to think strategically;
  • EITHER experience of leadership within the learning disability field OR transferable skills and experience in a closely related field, as the Community Leader must be competent to manage the Registered Managers who are 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, local committee and national trustees;
  • Excellent financial planning and management skills;
  • Ability to negotiate with commissioners and other funding bodies, and with housing providers, and to forge relationships with external stakeholders;
  • Experience in developing and growing services;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Emotional intelligence, including the personal qualities of compassion, courage, integrity and humility; ability to acknowledge personal limits, a commitment to mentoring and a willingness to ask for help;
  • Ability to work with groups in ways that enable free speech, encourage creativity and build consensus.

Key terms and conditions

The role of Community Leader (Director), like those of senior leaders in L’Arche worldwide, is linked to a statement of priorities in a Community Mandate. The L’Arche Preston Mandate runs to 2022, and the Community Leader will be asked to lead on a mid-point review of progress to date, and refresh the plan for the coming years.

The role is initially offered for a term of service of 4 years, to 2024. 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, the Community Leader is involved in discussion as to whether they wish to remain in role to lead the Community in its next Mandate. 

The role requires a flexibility to attend local and national events. There are approximately 7 overnight stays in an average year (2 x 2-night stays for national meetings with all Community Leaders, 2 x 1-night stay for regional meeting, 1 x 1 night stay for AGM.) In the first or second year there is an international 5-night residential course for new community leaders.

The role has a 2 point salary scale of £38,400 and £40,000. The second point is paid on successful completion of one year. A candidate with significant experience at a similar level will be offered the second point as a starting salary.

We would be open to discussing an appointment on a 30 hour a week basis if requested by a candidate, with a pro-rata salary, and using the remaining funds for sessional or permanent roles to fill the gap this would leave.

A relocation package is available if taking up this role requires you to move home. A room in a flat might be available to rent on a temporary basis to ease a relocation.

Enquirer pack

Supplementary Application Form

Community Mandate