Vicar St Jude and St Paul Mildmay Grove
St Jude’s is an evangelical church with an aspiration to grow and nurture disciples and to serve its community. It is on the border between Islington and Hackney but the church itself is rather offset from a main thoroughfare, and I have a sense that St Jude’s is therefore searching for its identity in an area which is well-served by other Anglican churches. I would hope that an incoming Incumbent would see this positively and take the opportunity to help the church develop a new Mission Action Plan to identify its calling to the parish and neighbourhood. There is a need for Vision and Strategy in this parish and I would see it as an essential task of the new Vicar to work with the congregation on this.
Congregations are very small and the growth of the church should be a priority, so I will be looking for someone who can grow churches in difficult and challenging circumstances, but it may be worth offering a couple of caveats to this:
- ‘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
- Growth involves change, and a new Vicar will have to negotiate the tricky path between building up the established congregation and engaging with change in order to grow. This will call for well-established skills of sensitivity and diplomacy, as well as a resilient outlook.
In all of this, the relationship with the local Church of England school is vital, and I hope that a new Vicar will make this a major emphasis in ministry. There are plenty of opportunities for building up this relationship and I will be looking for someone who will relish the potential for mission and engagement with the church school and bring a fresh commitment and creativity to this area.
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 large parish like St Jude’s 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.
We are in a vibrant corner of “new” London, where City workers rub shoulders with immigrant communities. Overground stations serve the modern housing, cafes and offices, as well as an old-style open market.
Candidates should be energetic leaders with proven ability to motivate, delegate and affirm gifts of others; and above all, with a passion for sharing God's Word.
The challenges include:
- Developing a new strategy for inner-city urban community
- Inspiring a new generation to nurture our relationship with the four local primary schools
- Engaging creatively with contemporary culture and social media
- Fostering the use of the refurnished church as a co-working hub, and enhancing the value of the new AV system.
The Ideal Candidate
A Teacher of God’s word – someone who encourages and develops leadership in others.
A good communicator with a gift of communicating with people of all ages and backgrounds
Able to relate to people in a diverse inner-city parish in order to help develop our multi-cultural congregation into an inter-cultural church community
A heart for pastoral care
Innovate e.g. How to attract and mobilise new members from the moving professionals moving into the parish.
Has a passion to work with children- engaging with the schools (governors, teachers, parents and children) to encourage children into a life of Christian faith and to reach out to their families.
Is interested in forging new ways of being an urban community in the digital age
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The closing date for this post is 20th September and Interviews are on 26 October