We are a warm and welcoming church family, diverse in age and background. Our worship tradition is relaxed and fairly modern, we are happy to take risks with new ventures, and have a culture of volunteering and pastoral support. Our vicar has moved to a senior role in the church and we seek a new vicar to join us and help us continue our journey of growth and faith. We offer a place for you to grow your own ministry as we work and pray together.
Our Vision and Priorities:
- To be a place that draws people in, where everyone feels welcome and strengthened, where worship is accessible, and where friends from outside the church want to venture;
- To be a growing church which relates to our community, is well connected to other churches, and is a force for good in the town;
- To be a place where faith in God is central and exploration of it is actively encouraged, enabling us to become better educated in our faith and knowledge of the Bible, and to be a source of helpful guidance and spiritual direction.
Our Church Family – Our new vicar will be part of a team ministry of 6 churches in the United Benefice of Hitchin and St Paul’s Walden, as well as the St Mark’s ministry team of two Lay Leaders of Worship, two experienced Readers, and a retired vicar who has PTO. We have experienced and well-regarded parish officers, groups that review and maintain worship formats, pastoral care, children’s groups, social events, and building maintenance, and an effective and co-operative church council, all of whom will support your work. We look to our vicar to lead our worship, empower and inspire our church family, encourage and teach understanding of scripture, help to develop further our prayer life, and build on existing strong links with schools and community groups in our area.
Our Community – Hitchin is a prosperous market town near to Cambridge, St Albans, Bedford and Stevenage, and is just 30 minutes to London by train, with a direct line to the south coast. The town centre is always busy and there is excellent shopping, cafes and restaurants, and live music venues. Churches Together in Hitchin is formed of 17 churches and supports a number of successful community projects, and all ages and interests are catered for in the numerous community groups and clubs. We are close to the A1, the M1, Luton and Stanstead Airports, and on the East Coast Mainline from London to Edinburgh, yet only minutes away from open countryside.
Our Church Building – St Mark’s celebrated its Centenary in 2012, but has only been in its current purpose-built church building since the 1930’s. The building is in excellent condition, up to date on all Quinquennial works, and lovingly maintained by volunteers. We are free from listing, from stone work, and we have no graveyard! We are incredibly fortunate in that any works that have been carried out have been self-funded, and we continue to meet our Parish Share.
You will be a team vicar within the Hitchin and St Pauls Walden with Preston Team, with special responsibility for St Mark's Church. We are looking for a full-time vicar but would consider someone who wants to work 5 days a week, either from the time they start, or at a later time.
The Ideal candidate will be:
- an inspirational leader who can effectively communicate a living and compelling faith, who is excited by the prospect of leading us forward spiritually and in mission, and who is willing to take risks and willing to fail;
- an enthusiastic priest with a strong knowledge of scripture and the ability to teach it;
- a team player who empowers others, and utilises our skills and talents;
- a warm, pastoral, and empathetic person, who is comfortable in their own skin, easy-going with all age groups, with a particular concern for children and young people;
- someone with a passion for social, climate, and environmental justice;
- someone who is IT literate with an enthusiasm to use on-line tools for both Ministry and admin;
- who will immerse themselves in the life of the church, in faith and in fun!
Closing Date for Applications: Thursday, 5th March 2020 at 12 noon
Interviews: Monday, 23rd March 2020
Diocese of St Albans
The Diocese of St Albans is part of the Church of England and home to more than 1.6 million people. It includes Bedfordshire, Luton, Hertfordshire and parts of the London Borough of Barnet.
- It ranges from small rural communities to major urban centres like Luton, Bedford, Watford, Hemel Hempstead, and Stevenage and includes suburban areas on London's outer reaches.
- The region has many sites of historic interest, and is crossed by ancient British and Roman routes including the Icknield Way and Watling Street.
- Today, the M1 and A1(M) provide rapid access through the diocesan area. London Luton Airport is rapidly developing in its passenger handling, and railway connections across the area are excellent, with several routes running directly to London.
- These communities are served by some 336 parishes, more than 400 churches and over 130 church schools.
- Across the Diocese many thousands of Christians seek to express their faith in their daily lives - in their families and at home, at their place of work and in their local communities.
- Some 350 clergy and around 300 Readers and other lay ministers offer spiritual and pastoral care, and help people to explore the significance and the challenge of the Christian faith in today's world.
- The Anglican churches work to develop close links with churches of other Christian denominations, and to build understanding with members of other faiths.
- The Diocese also has close ties with churches across the world, particularly in the Caribbean and in Continental Europe, especially Italy, Sweden and Germany.
- The Diocese is overseen by the Bishop of St Albans, supported by the Bishops of Bedford and Hertford, and by the Archdeacons of Bedford, Hertford and St Albans.
- The Diocese works through a Synodical structure and statutory boards. In addition two non-statutory Boards, the Board for Church and Society and the Board for Christian Development, oversee policy for mission and ministry respectively, although there is increasing overlap and collaboration. The Diocesan vision Living God’s Love seeks to focus through three priorities: Going Deeper into God, Transforming Communities and Making New Disciples. Mission Action Planning (MAP) is being introduced to enable parishes to plan effectively for their engagement in mission and ministry. The diocese is committed to spiritual and numerical growth and the parochial clergy are key leaders in this task.