Vicar, Christ Church Highbury
Christ Church is a thriving parish with a rich history and a clear commitment to its neighbourhood. In some ways it is a parish church that is difficult to categorise – historically evangelical, but warmly inclusive; theologically orthodox but extremely open; committed to ethnic diversity but not always able to express this in its leadership; happy to be described as ‘post-tribal’ in terms of its church tradition; and serving an area of London where the unimaginably rich co-exist alongside the grindingly poor.
Christ Church is a good-sized church but it has the potential to grow, and I’ll be looking for a Vicar who has the skills to help it to do so. ‘London churn’ is a reality that every London Vicar faces. People come, stay a while, then move on. If you are from within London already you will be familiar with this – if you’re from outside it may come as a shock. It is one of the inhibiting factors to growth in London churches and whoever is appointed will need to be aware of it and have a realistic understanding of the challenge it brings to ministry here.
The new Incumbent will therefore need to be someone with the emotional maturity to navigate a variety of identities. In common with most parishes in the Stepney Area, the last 10 years have seen substantial population growth and increasing demographic diversity, and one of the challenges in a parish like Christ Church is for the church to be a place where different communities meet and explore the common good. One of the significant features of Islington is that rich and poor live cheek by jowl and it’s important that the new Vicar has the character and ability to relate across this social spectrum, and grow a church that can do the same. So the new Vicar will need to be mature in faith, emotionally intelligent, socially adept, and with a human touch.
I hope that an incoming incumbent will have an understanding and appreciation of urban ministry which goes beyond the suburban, with an ability to relate the Gospel to challenged and challenging communities. There is plenty of scope for engaging with acute issues of social justice locally and across London, and Christ Church already has a good track-record of doing so.
Christ Church is one of Stepney’s larger churches, and I would love to see it develop and grow an ambition to reach out and resource the life of the Church beyond its parish boundaries. It has the potential to do so.
The Ideal Candidate
We would welcome applicants with:
- The strategic vision and experience to lead, manage and organise a busy and active parish
- A mature faith and a passion to inspire the congregation’s spiritual development through preaching and teaching
- Compassion, the ability to listen and good pastoral skills
- A capacity to conduct generous relationships with people of all ages, backgrounds and stages of belief
- A strong desire to enable clergy and congregation to flourish and grow in their faith as individuals.
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The closing date for this post Midnight on 28 November Interviews: 23 January 2018