A newly created post offering the opportunity to combine pioneer ministry with more traditional rural ministry in the Parish of Biggleswade, and Benefice of Dunton, Wrestlingworth and Eyeworth.
From the Vicar of St Andrew’s Biggleswade and Rural Dean of Biggleswade.
Thank you for your interest in the position of Associate Priest. This is a newly created position where it is envisaged that the Vicar of Biggleswade will also accept responsibility as priest-in-charge of the rural parishes of Dunton, Wrestlingworth and Eyeworth working collaboratively with the appointed priest.
We are seeking a prayerful and reflective colleague and team member who welcomes exciting opportunities and challenges. The parishes are distinct in character, but they are all excited at the prospect of working supportively with a new Associate Priest. The person appointed will need to develop and communicate a vision as to how the parishes can best work together to share God’s love.
It is envisaged that the Associate Priest will spend 0.5 of their time in three adjacent rural communities; and the remainder of their ministry just south west in the rapidly growing parish of Biggleswade, a traditional market town expanding at an exponential rate as new residential developments are established. It is anticipated that modern 4-bedroomed accommodation will be available in the village of Dunton.
A willingness to work with all ages, and participation in a range of worship styles is essential, as is enthusiasm to explore new ways of ‘being church’ within our neighbourhoods. We hope the successful candidate will be happy to provide a visible presence in each of the parishes and encourage an openness to embrace change. A sense of humour would be helpful, as would a willingness to be vulnerable and a preparedness to take risks.
Our parishes enjoy excellent access to road and rail communications: we are located some 15 miles south west of Cambridge and central London may be reached in approximately 40 minutes by train from Biggleswade. The area is well served by a number of colleges, schools and nurseries – many with 'outstanding' OFSTED reports and with close links to our churches.
More information is available here https://www.stalbans.anglican.org/diocese/vacancies/
To take day to day responsibility for the running of the Benefice of Dunton, Wrestlingworth and Eyeworth, leading services and helping to further develop and grow the church families whilst providing pastoral support.
To support the Rev Guy Scott, Vicar at St Andrew's Biggleswade, in reaching out to the new residents in the huge expansion of the market town, and to develop the informal worship carried out in a local school.
A versatile approach to worship from traditional to a less formal style
The ability to relate to all ages and will be able to continue to build on our work already established with the church schools
An interest in the challenges that face small rural churches, as well as a growing market town.
Promote unity and communication across all the parishes
Willing to contribute towards and empower others to develop outreach and mission within our communities
Hold a balanced and down to earth philosophy with regard to the growth of spirituality.
A benefice and a parish in the north east of Bedfordshire, which is a largely rural area, but is currently changing fast as new developments are added.
The three churches in the benefice, St Peter Wrestlingworth SG19 2EU, St Mary Magdelene SG18 8RR, and All Saints Eyeworth SG19 2HJ, are all small rural parishes with a combined electoral roll of 87 people in a population of under 1800. Both Wrestlingworth and Dunton benefit from a church school in the villages, and all are loved and cared for listed buildings with their own churchyards.
St Andrew Biggleswade is a busy church with another committed congregation in a large market town that also benefits from church schools. The church has a lovely chapter house attached to it that is used for events and is hired out, and is big enough to accommodate diocesan events.
All four churches and local communities have thriving community events, and super facilities, and the vicarage for this post will be a four bedroom house in Dunton village. The post-holder would find it easy to get between the churches that are only a few miles apart, and to immerse themselves in the various clubs and groups on offer. More details can be found in the Parish Profile attached.
We currently hold midweek prayer services, individual parish services and on the 3rd and 5th Sundays, a Benefice Eucharist. We run study groups, and are members of the Churches Together organisation, and have a Parish Visiting Group that visits people at home and can take communion to nursing homes or private accommodation.
St Andrews has a strong music tradition and a bell-ringers group for the 10 bells, and supports uniformed groups for young people.
All parishes usually pay their parish share and are committed to funding other charities through mission and donations; a list of those supported can be found on page 14 of the profile.
Changes are afoot, and we would welcome a priest who can bring energy, enthusiasm, flexibility, and joy, to help us flourish in our part of the world.
For an informal discussion about the role contact: The Vicar & Rural Dean of Biggleswade, Rev’d Guy Scott on 01767 312243, or The Venerable Dave Middlebrook, Archdeacon of Bedford from whom further details may be obtained.
Telephone: 01727 818167