House for Duty Interim Minister (3 Years) - The Chase Benefice, Milton and Blandford Deanery

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The Chase Benefice, Milton and Blandford Deanery
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House for Duty Interim Minister (3 Years) - The Chase Benefice

We are looking for a facilitator of change to come and assist us in re-arranging ministry within this predominantly rural benefice and the wider Deanery. The churches of the Chase Benefice occupy a valley in Cranborne Chase running north/south 5 miles to the East of Blandford Forum, in the glorious Dorset countryside. The beautiful Purbeck and Jurassic coast is within half an hour's drive.

Introduction by the Bishop of Sherborne

This newly shaped post offers an excellent opportunity for the right candidate to contribute their particular skills within a wider context.

The Chase Benefice, particularly the parishes of the Tarrant Valley, offers a mixture of rural and suburban ministry located alongside the town of Blandford Forum. We are looking for someone to occupy a House for Duty post for a limited period to work with colleagues to help bring about change within the deanery, reconfiguring ministry so it meets future needs, particularly around Sixpenny Handley and Blandford.

Being placed within a local team of clergy and lay leaders, which will include the Priests-in-Charge of Sixpenny Handley, Stourpaine, Pimperne and Durweston, and Blandford St Mary, Charlton Marshall and Spetisbury and local retired clergy, it is hoped that an interim House for Duty Priest will be able to work creatively to offer support to some of the more rural parishes and help reshape ministry around Blandford.

The villages enjoy beautiful rural countryside, yet are within easy reach of Blandford, Shaftesbury, Salisbury, Poole and Dorchester as well as the coast. Salisbury station (around 20 minutes away) offers rail connections to Exeter and London Waterloo or Bristol and Southampton.

Rural ministry in Dorset is both joyful and challenging, hence the need to build collaborative groupings of parishes to share resources, maintain well-being amongst lay and ordained leaders and realistically plan for the future. The diocese is fully supportive of honouring deanery planning within its five year plan and has, for the last three years, invested in supporting the rural church through its Rural Hope programme, enabled by national strategic development funding. The Archdeacon and I are fully supportive of the Milton and Blandford Deanery in making change and have both been actively involved with the consultation up to now; this support will continue.

Should you wish to know more about this post, please do not hesitate to contact the Archdeacon of Dorset, the Ven Antony MacRow-Wood (01202 695891) or the Rural Dean (01929 459244).

Bishop Karen

This House for Duty post has been designed for a time limited period to help facilitate the transition and to assist with worship and pastoral care in the deanery. You will be licensed as Assistant Curate to the Chase Benefice, with the Rural Dean remaining the joint sequestrator with the churchwardens. The expectation is that you will work closely with Rev Justin Pottinger, the Rural Dean, Rev Belinda Marflitt, the Assistant Rural Dean, Canon Richard Hancock, the Rural Field Officer and Rev Carolyn Couzens, the Priest-in-Charge of the Lower Stour Benefice. You will not be expected to run the Chase Benefice as it was under the last incumbent. Instead, over the course of your tenure the benefice will evolve, with some parishes leaving and others developing new relationships with their intended benefices. At the end of the process, the Chase Benefice will cease to exist.

The post is predicated on you offering the equivalent of two days plus Sundays and will be for three years.

Your residence will be the Vicarage at Tarrant Hinton.

We are looking for someone who is:

  • A team player and willing to work with colleagues in a collaborative way
  • Someone who enjoys managing change and helping others to manage it too
  • Committed to a changing church, the flourishing and development of lay ministry and exploring how traditional patterns of ministry can be reshaped
  • Happy to be peripatetic, working in a range of parishes
  • Flexible in leading a variety of service styles
  • Good listening skills and pastoral sensitivity
  • Content to fit in where needed
  • Happy to be travelling around – lots of driving!

We are looking for a colleague to bring an extra “something” to the life of the Deanery during your season with us, to enrich the life of the Church here. We’re open to suggestions!

This post will suit someone who is able to give three years to ministry in a beautiful part of Dorset, bringing a range of expertise and who rejoices in meeting and working with diverse rural communities.

The Diocese of Salisbury is a million people spread out over 2,000 square miles from the Jurassic Coast, through the North Wessex Downs, all the way to the M4 (and from 2021 across the sea to the Channel Islands).

Our Vision is that of Renewing Hope, Pray Serve Grow, enabling a strong Christian presence in all our communities. We also know that churches and schools are best placed to understand and respond to God’s calling to serve in their local context. Therefore, our vision, with its strong commitment to lay ministry, anticipates a genuinely localised strategy in which ministry resources and mission challenges can be mapped and matched.

We are also a Diocese where children and young people are a major part of our life and work.

We are a Diocese of contrast:

  • Although 90% of our parishes are rural, nearly 70% of our population live in 30+ towns and larger urban areas. The population in our parishes ranges from a rural 130 to an urban 23,000
  • We have a decreasing and more aged rural population, but a growing and younger urban population along the coast and in our military camps.
  • We have localities that include some of the wealthiest people in the country, but also some of the most deprived.
  • Our farming communities are in transition and tourism is becoming increasingly important to the local economy.

As the Diocese of Salisbury we serve and enable:

  • 444 parishes
  • 573 churches in 138 benefices.
  • 193 church schools and academies educating and developing 43,000 children

Ministry in Dorset is rewarding and enjoyable. In recent years, significant changes have been made in the way clergy are supported and encouraged, leading to a greater sense of collegiality.