Priest in Charge - Whaley Bridge

Posted 2 months agoExpires in 25 days
Whaley Bridge

Whaley Bridge is a small town located on the edge of the Derbyshire Peak District.  The Parish has two church buildings both used alternately by one congregation.

Our worship is mainly traditional in style with one Sunday each month devoted to a “Café” style Eucharist.


Although the congregation is main very active older people we have a thriving Messy Church (to be held monthly).  The congregation have an appetite for seeking ways to develop our life together in order to engaging families and the wider community in our Church.


Our close working relationship with the other Christian communities in Whaley Bridge is a key part of our church life.  We are keen to find new ways of refreshing our life together as a community in order to live out our mission statement: -  “ To Live and Grow as the Body of Christ.”

The Archdeacon of Macclesfield, The Venerable Ian Bishop is available for a conversation should you wish. Tel: 01928 718834 Ext 258/ 07715 102519 or email

Applications should by preference be made to the Archdeacon of Macclesfield USING THE DIOCESAN APPLICATION FORM.  Details of the post can be found on the diocesan website including our diocesan application form.

Closing date: Sunday 26 April 2020

Interviews:     Thursday 14 May 2020

Whaley Bridge is situated in a rural location, but is a thriving small town with three primary schools in the Parish (two church and one county school) all of which have a very good relationship with the church.  Situated within commuting distance of Manchester and Sheffield the predominant demographic is 30-50 years old.  This is not reflected in the profile of the congregation which is mainly made up of older people.


We have two church buildings, which are used on alternate weeks for worship.  St James’, Taxal is a very picturesque building which is popular for weddings and baptisms.  It is located about a mile outside the main town.  Holy Trinity is locate in the town in very close proximity to the attractive vicarage.


Our worship focuses on relatively formal Eucharistic liturgy, although for some years we have held a popular Café Eucharist on a monthly basis.  There is a significant appetite for experimenting with forms of worship that may be more relevant to families with children. (Details of our current patterns of services can be seen in our Parish Profile).

We currently have a number of ministries which focus on families outside our formal pattern of worship.  We have a thriving Messy Church (previously held bi-monthly but which will start monthly sessions from March 2020).  On a monthly basis we hold CATs (Carers and Toddlers Praise) which focuses on younger pre-school children, alongside a popular “Swap Shop” which reaches out to families by encouraging “swapping” or children’s clothes and toys.

As a parish we work very closely with the other churches in the town, through Churches Together Whaley Bridge.  An Alpha Course has recently been jointly hosted across the churches and CTWB hosts a very well attended lunch club for the elderly and lonely.


The Parish has an active and wide leadership team and has three licenced workers (2 lay readers and a pastoral worker).  In addition there is a range of administrative support in place including a part-time church administrator to work alongside the incumbent.

We recently identified the following areas a priorities for our growth as a community:-

  • That we need to become bolder and more confident in reaching out to the wider community of Whaley Bridge;
  • That we need a greater diversity in worship and to develop contemporary forms of worship, appealing to families and younger people;
  • That there should be a focus on teaching and discipleship as we learn to follow Jesus together;
  • That all of our life together should become more accessible for families and young people and encourage them to follow Jesus with us;
  • That we should continue to work closely with the other Christian communities in the town.
  • And that we should explore how we can deepen our prayer life as a community

We recognise that in a part time post our new incumbent cannot achieve any of this on their own.   We need someone who can work with a very active group of lay people in moving forwards in the journey that God wants to take us on as we seek to serve our town.

The ideal person of this role will be some one able to :-

  • Lead and co-ordinate a strong team of lay people, encouraging “every-member” to be an active part of our mission;
  • Help us grow in discipleship and our understanding of how we can follow Jesus in Whaley Bridge;
  • Help us to continue to work actively with the other Christian communities across Whaley Bridge to make Jesus known in the community;
  • Help us explore how to develop our worship in order to make it more attractive to families and young people.

The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate experience of working collaboratively to bring together teams of diverse people.  Your outlook will be mission focussed whilst  bringing skills in teaching and discipleship.

In working towards this you would be supported by an active group of lay members, who are very engaged in leading the wide variety of activities we have in place (including our active team of licenced lay workers; a Pastoral Worker and two Lay Readers).  We offer a range of administrative support, including a part-time Church Administrator, which will help you to focus your time effectively.



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

The 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 position of Diocesan Bishop is currently vacant and the Bishop of Birkenhead is Keith Sinclair currently acting Diocesan Bishop,  the position of Bishop of Stockport is also 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.