Priest-in-Charge York St Lawrence

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Quirky, distinctive, lively, ‘traditional in style but young in character’, catholic, community-minded, inclusive:  how to sum up one of the older but also one of the newest churches in York.  A few years ago, the church was on the brink of closing, but in the past 5 years a young and passionate lay leadership has rejuvenated both the building and the church community.  We are looking for a priest who can catch the vision of what the church has achieved and help them to achieve even more.

The key qualities which will be required in the new priest-in-charge will be the ability to be both permission-giving but also hold the vision of how it can all work together - to keep hold of all the threads and weave them together to the glory of God.  A significant factor in the growth of the church is its willingness to invite everyone to get involved from the moment they walk in through the door.  That has its challenges - sometimes things can go wrong when there are new people taking an active part in the life of the church so the priest will need to be able to lead worship reverently whilst holding lightly to formality.

St Lawrence is part of a bigger vision for reaching the large student population in York.  Strategically positioned between the University of York and York St John University, St Lawrence already has a strong ministry to those students who prefer a more catholic or more choral worship style, complementing the contemporary worship offered at St Michael-le-Belfrey.  Building on this, the intention is to join St Lawrence with the parish of Heslington, in the heart of the University of York campus, when that parish becomes vacant and part of the role of the new priest at St Lawrence will be to be an advocate and facilitator of that link, becoming priest for both parishes in due course.  In addition we hope that the priest will form a strong link with the University of York Anglican chaplain who will be housed close to the church in Heslington.      

However, the role is not all about students.  There is a cherished older congregation at St Lawrence who actively encourage and support the student community. There is also a significant ministry to the primary schools in the parish and to the local traveller community. The new priest will need to be a diplomat and a bridge-builder, not seen to identify with any of the different constituent parts of the church community but to value and love each equally. 

We are looking for someone who will:

  • Be a permission-giver and an encourager, someone who can join up the numerous good ideas generated by the lay leadership and weave them together into a single vision
  • Be able to work alongside a strong, passionate lay leadership and get the best out of them
  • Be able to hold important boundaries effectively, especially recognising the importance of safeguarding when dealing with (vulnerable) young adults away from home for the first time
  • Be a good teacher, strong on nurture and care, able to identify, equip and enable new vocations, especially in young adults
  • Love beautiful, traditional, catholic worship but not hold tightly to formality or neatness
  • Be able to see the opportunities for a new relationship with Heslington, able to worship in a more contemporary style in the context of an LEP – experience of working closely with the Methodist church would be desirable.        

We offer:

  • An extraordinary opportunity to join in with what God is doing in this church – lots of fun, lots of hard work, lots of exciting possibilities
  • A fairly modern 4 bed-roomed vicarage mid-way between the University of York campus and St Lawrence church, within walking distance of both.   


Great Opportunities in the Diocese of York

Find out more about the context for this opportunity, including details of the work we are doing towards our strategic goals HERE

The Diocese of York

The Diocese of York takes in much of North and East Yorkshire, including the cities of York, Hull and Middlesbrough, and two National Parks. Extending from the River Tees to the River Humber, and from around the A1 road to the incomparable Yorkshire coast, the area is home to around 1.4 million people.

We are a family of 607 churches and 125 schools in 470 parishes, led and guided in their faith and work by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. York Minster is our principal church. Our vision is to be a family of Generous Churches Making and Nurturing Disciples.

We are currently working through a Diocesan Strategy that focuses on:

  • Reaching those we currently don't
  • Moving to Growth
  • Achieving sustainable finances

Our official website can be found here:

More About this Role

If you would like to have an informal conversation about this post, please contact the Archdeacon of York, Ven Sam Rushton  01904 758241 

Appointment is subject to a satisfactory Enhanced DBS disclosure.

Unfortunately it is not always straightforward for clergy from overseas to be appointed to posts in the Church of England. The policy of the UK Border Agency is that normally the organisation making an appointment has been able to prove that it is impossible to appoint a person who is a national of a European Economic Area country, before a visa giving permission to work will be issued to a person who comes from elsewhere.

Closing date for applications: midnight on Tuesday 31st March 2020

Interviews:  Tuesday 5th - Wednesday 6th May 2020