We are seeking to hire a Sexton.


The job advertised: SEXTON (custodian) needed for our historic, beautiful First Congregational Church in downtown Amherst. Primary responsibilities include keeping the building maintained and cleaned to CDC pandemic standards, caring for the grounds and grounds-keeping equipment, setting up projects for church staff, and preparing meeting rooms for scheduled events. Co-Vid19 vaccination is required for all church staff members. Preferred candidates will have excellent DIY, problem-solving, and communication skills, including fluency with texting, email and Zoom meetings; a proven record of working independently and on a team; and substantial experience in custodial work, which can be confirmed by references. This is a part-time –24 hours/week– position. Pay ranges from $17 to $19, based on experience. Generous benefit package. Send your résumé by June 22, 2021, to First Congregational Church, 165 Main Street, Amherst, MA 01002 or as an attachment to an e-mail message sent to: firstchurch_amherst@comcast.net. Please include contact details for 3 current references, who will be contacted if you are selected to be interviewed. For more details about First Church, and about the Sexton’s job description, see http://www.firstchurchamherst.org

Overview of the job: Our historic, downtown church needs a sexton who will take pride in keeping the property at its best at all times. Right now, the Sexton needs to be exceptionally conscious of CDC cleaning protocols and products that will keep our building, our congregation, and our guests safe from the spread of viral infection.

The position requires someone who can do all of the custodial basics: cleaning to the standards demanded by the CoVid virus, working independently, maintaining equipment, solving problems, restocking supplies, and using basic handyman skills as needed. In addition,

• The Sexton must be self-motivated and able to work on a consistent schedule without direct supervision.

• The sexton must have excellent communication skills, including fluency with email, texting, and Zoom meetings.

• The Sexton needs to be a self-starter who can prioritize daily work requirements while keeping the building and the grounds clean and cared for to the highest standard.

• The Sexton must be adaptable to changes in schedule in order to prepare or do clean-up for special meetings, weddings, or funerals, and to attend to snow removal after storms.

• The Sexton must be aware of building security and sensitive to the needs of people using the building.

• The Sexton must be physically able to perform occasional heavy work.

• The Sexton will maintain a respectful and courteous demeanor towards all members of the church community, as well as all guests and visitors who come to Not Bread Alone, those who come seeking help, and those who are passing through our property.

1. Job description: The Sexton is our custodian – the one who cleans and sanitizes bathrooms, meeting rooms, sanctuary, and public areas to such a high standard that the staff, church members, and all of our visitors can feel confident that the building is safe from CoVid exposure. The Sexton is responsible for the maintenance of the church grounds, the exterior and interior of the building and its equipment. These responsibilities include trouble-shooting and reporting necessary major repairs needed so that contractor services may be arranged. The Sexton is responsible for setting up and clearing meeting rooms.

A. Exterior Maintenance: Rake leaves, cut grass, keep walks and driveways swept and clear, clean up debris, and general maintenance of the building exterior. Cleaning stairways, ramps, and sidewalks, as well as snow removal and de-icing of walkways, must be done as needed, especially on Sunday mornings and for special events.

B. Interior Maintenance: Cleaning, sanitizing, vacuuming, washing and waxing floors, and dusting are to be done on a regular schedule to protect users from CoVid infection and to maintain the building in a clean and attractive manner. Being familiar with all of the church’s systems – electrical, heating, plumbing – is essential in order to make fixes and adjustments as needed.

C. Daily Duties:
1. Check schedule and messages.
2. Set thermostats according to need during the heating season.
3. Follow daily protocols for CoVid sanitation
4. Clean and re-supply rest rooms.
5. Remove trash to dumpster.
6. Maintain building security, check door locks.

D. Weekly Duties:
1. Follow weekly protocols for CoVid sanitation
2. Clean sanctuary and narthex.
3. Clean offices, lounge, chapel, and kitchenette, preferably on Monday or Tuesday.
4. Recycle materials on behalf of the church.
5. Participate in weekly staff meetings.

E. Special Duties:
1. Meet with contractors when needed to facilitate work.
2. Set up rooms for meetings and clean up afterwards.
3. Set up for special events – such as potlucks, Merry Musical, and the Cranberry Fair – and clean up afterwards.

F. As Needed Duties
1. Sweep (or shovel) walks and driveways.
2. General repairs within sexton’s capabilities and schedule.
3. Notify the Property Ministry Team of repairs needing an outside contractor.
4. Replacement of light bulbs, using energy efficient ones where possible.
5. Set timers for exterior lighting (front porch, spots, walkway) adjusting monthly
6. Attend to emergencies either personally or by calling a specialist.
7. Maintain supply inventory and order supplies.
8. Wash interior windows and glass surfaces (NOT stained glass).

G. Equipment Maintenance: Duties include security and care of tools and equipment; calling repair persons for minor plumbing, heating and electrical repairs. Periodic checking on all equipment used should be made. During heating season, boiler and thermostat functioning has to be monitored. The Property Ministry Team must be notified when major maintenance, repair or replacement by a specialist is necessary.

2. Accountability: The Sexton is directly supervised by a member of the Property Ministry Team (PMT) and is accountable to the members of PMT. The PMT develops and keeps current the job description and conducts one or more evaluations of performance before the end of the calendar year, drawing on assessments from all key stakeholders affected by the work of the Sexton, including the Pastor. This evaluation is reported to the Human Resources Ministry Team. The Pastor leads, coordinates, and inspires the work of all staff, including the Sexton, within the terms set by this job description.

3. Compensation and Benefits

A. Compensation: Compensation is negotiable within a $17 – $19/hour pay range. Compensation is paid bi-weekly 24 hours per week; in addition, the church will pay half the FICA at the rate of 7.65%.

B. Health insurance premium reimbursement for individual coverage or pro-rated for an individual in family coverage, up to an annual total of $7,336.80. This amount represents 60% of the UCC rate for a single non-smoker. First Church’s Workers’ Compensation covers all employees.

C. Vacation: Two weeks paid vacation per year. Vacation times must be planned to suit the needs of the church in consultation with and approval of the Property Ministry Team and the Pastor. Vacation days may not be carried over into the ensuing year. Unused vacation days may not be converted to cash.

D. Sick Leave: Paid sick leave will accrue at a rate of 4.8 hours per month up to a maximum of 288 hours. Unused sick leave may not be converted to cash.

E. Hours: The regular workweek is 24 hours. The Sexton’s regular schedule of hours is established with the Pastor and the PMT, though the schedule may have occasional flexibility. The Sexton will meet with the PMT at their monthly meetings and also with members of the PMT as necessary. He will also be available for church staff meetings on Tuesday mornings and on Sunday mornings until 9:30 a.m. Additional work needed for weddings and funerals is considered free-lance work to be paid by the private parties concerned.

F. Holidays: The church is closed for the following 14 holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Easter Monday, Patriots’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day, Thanksgiving Friday, Christmas Eve Day, and Christmas Day. When any of these holidays falls on a Sunday, the sexton is expected to work and may take another day off within that work week.

G. Personal Days: Up to two (2) personal leave days with pay per year. Personal leave days are not cumulative and may not be converted to cash.

4. Term: Provided that the congregation votes to fund this position, this contract shall continue indefinitely until terminated by one or both parties.

5. Unsatisfactory Performance: While it may elect at its sole discretion to attempt to remedy an employee’s unsatisfactory performance through a variety of cooperative and/or disciplinary processes, the Church may at any time terminate the employment of any employee whose performance it deems in its sole discretion to be unsatisfactory.

6. Termination/Amendment: A two-week notice on the part of either party is required for termination or amendment of the contract and of the job description.