Incumbent - St Mary Astbury and St John the Baptist Smallwood

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Astbury & Smallwood

Both are village churches with a central style of worship.

Astbury, the mother church of Congleton, was built between 1150 and 1450, and

Smallwood was built in 1845.

We strive to be people of God and witness to the presence of Christ in our community.

Closing date for applications: Sunday 19 January 2020

Interviews: Monday 10 February 2020

Prospective applicants are welcome to discuss the post with:

The Archdeacon of Macclesfield,

The Venerable Ian Bishop Tel:01928 718834 ext 258 or 07715 10251

Astbury is two miles south-west of Congleton, with about 250 houses and 660 people in the village.

Smallwood lies between Congleton and Sandbach, and is a similar size.

They are rural villages with a strong farming community but people also commute to the Potteries and Greater Manchester. Congleton and Sandbach are growing towns.

There are three new housing estates within the ecclesiastical parish of Astbury, and a few new houses in Smallwood village.

At Astbury, the 11am Common Worship service is family orientated with hymns and worship songs. The 8am and 6.30pm use the 1662 liturgy and hymns are led by the choir.

Smallwood’s Common Worship 9.30am service is family orientated with hymns and worship songs.

Mission and ministry is centred on village life, particularly in connection with our primary schools.

The main responsibilities we would want our new Rector to focus on are:-

  • Congregation growth in numbers – attracting families and younger people
  • Congregation growth in faith – teaching and lay training
  • Pastoral care

Our ideal rector / vicar would:

  • faithfully teach and preach the Word of God
  • balance the traditions of the church with a modern outlook, leading a variety of worship style for young and old
  • give leadership in pastoral care
  • develop links with our two primary schools, drawing families into the church
  • be involved in community and village life
  • engage with Churches Together in Congleton, the Deanery and the Diocese

For more information about this application process, please use this link

he Diocese of Chester is in the province of York in the Church of England, part of the global Anglican Communion. For more information about our life, ministry and work please visit our website We are linked with the Anglican Church of Melanesia in the Solomon Islands and the Dioceses of Aru and Boga in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Diocese covers an area of 1025 square miles, approximately the old Victorian County of Chester, including parts which subsequently became absorbed into Merseyside and Greater Manchester. The Rivers Mersey and Tame approximately delineate the boundary with Liverpool and Manchester. There are areas of dense urban population, mainly in the north, stretching from Birkenhead to East Manchester. There are prosperous suburban regions of West and South Wirral, Chester and south of Manchester, with a mainly rural heartland, bounded by the Derbyshire Pennines and the Welsh Border. The overall population is around 1.6 million.

The diocesan bishop is Peter Forster. He is supported by two suffragan bishops: the Bishop of Birkenhead is Keith Sinclair and the position of Bishop of Stockport is currently vacant.

The Cathedral for the Diocese is in Chester.

The Diocese is divided into two archdeaconries: Chester covering the western half and Macclesfield the eastern, each with nine deaneries. There are 273 parishes, about 100 of which can be described as rural. Compared with many dioceses, there are few teams, and few multi-parish benefices. There are approximately 231 stipendiary clergy. The ministry of Readers and Pastoral Workers is important, with over 400 licensed. The role of self-supporting ministers is increasing, with over 80 in post at present.

Roughly speaking, the Archdeaconry of Macclesfield covers that part of the diocese to the east of the M6, plus the area around Crewe and Nantwich. The Archdeaconry of Chester covers the rest of the diocese to the west of the M6. Each archdeaconry has a broad mix of urban and rural parishes. The Archdeacon of Chester lives in Chester, and the Archdeacon of Macclesfield lives in Congleton. Both now work from Church House, Daresbury.