Vicar of Oakworth (0.5)

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Office Holder

Our vision in the Diocese of Leeds is about confident clergy equipping confident Christians to live and tell the good news of Jesus Christ. In appointing a new vicar of Oakworth, we are therefore looking for someone who is both visionary and enabling, with the capacity to lead into a new era of growth. The new minister will have a joyful and confident faith that has inspired a track record of church growth, both numerically and spiritually.

Oakworth is a valued parish within the Bradford Episcopal Area and the Diocese of Leeds. The village lies in the magnificent countryside of the Worth Valley, close to the tourist hotspot of Haworth and within easy reach of lively northern cities. The parish (popn 5139 in the 2011 census) has expanded over recent years, and new housing continues to be built. Giving residents the opportunity to discover Jesus and the life of the local church will remain an important task for the immediate future.

For an informal chat about this role please contact Ven Andy Jolley, Archdeacon of Bradford on 07973 458403

We are looking for an enabling leader, who can work with the congregations to sustain church growth, develop confident lay discipleship, and engage with the local community in creative ways. Especially given the part-time nature of this post, we are seeking a person who can inspire and develop the existing strong ministry team and others alongside themselves.

The role is part-time, so we are seeking an enabling and supportive leader who:

  • Can cultivate lay discipleship and lay leadership to help grow our congregations numerically, spiritually and in service to our local community;
  • Will support and extend our ministry with families, young adults and children;
  • Will help us to play our part in ensuring the church is working for the peace and prosperity of Oakworth;
  • Can work well with our licensed ministry team and help others catch energy and enthusiasm;
  • Will take their own growth as a follower of Jesus seriously, alongside everyone else’s.

The position comes with a half-stipend for 3 days a week plus Sundays.

There are three particular priorities for the incoming incumbent:

  1. To provide enabling leadership, which will grow the churches numerically as well as spiritually and in service to their local community, re-imagining ministry with a ‘mixed economy’ of new forms of church and worship alongside traditional ones and developing pathways to take lay discipleship on to the next level. They will therefore need excellent teaching, team building and team leadership skills.
  1. To support and extend effective ministry with families, young adults and children to grow young people as Christians, and to deepen existing links with the local Oakworth and Oldfield primary schools and the uniformed organisations.
  1. To develop active and visible relationships within the village in creative ways, both personally as an individual and also through the congregations. S(he) should be able to engage strategically with the life of the community, developing relationships (for example) with Oakworth Village Society and Oakworth Community Trust, and contributing with others to a vision both for Oakworth, and for the place of the churches in Oakworth.

In addition, the person appointed will be the senior Anglican priest at Oakworth who will lead the ministerial team which comprises an SSM colleague, a retired priest with Permission to Officiate and two Readers

Particular attributes that we seek include:

  • A proven track record of commitment to and delivery of church growth
  • A track record of leadership which empowers others and grows the confidence and gifts of God’s people
  • A track record of inspiring vision and developing appropriate strategies
  • Experience of developing lay discipleship and leadership
  • Experience of developing ministry with children, young adults and families
  • Experience of co-ordinating different worship styles in a ‘mixed economy’
  • A track record of developing good relationships in the local community
  • Knowledge/understanding of changing patterns of mission and ministry in the Church

There is a good ministry team in place and the finances and buildings are in good order. Christ Church has recently been reordered, making it a more attractive building for holding events with the community, and there are plans to further improve the facilities there. Other recent positive developments include the development of stronger relationships with other organisations in the village, such as the Oakworth Community Trust and Oakworth Village Society. The next stage will be to build on these to develop further regular work with young families.

The Diocese of Leeds has 5 Strategy Goals which we are working towards
Goal 1: Thriving as a distinctive diocese whose culture is shaped by a shared vision and values
Goal 2: Re-imagining ministry
Goal 3: Nurturing lay discipleship
Goal 4: Building leadership pathways
Goal 5: Growing young people as Christians

The Deanery of Aire and Worth, now 4 years old, is comprised of parishes with a similar demographic to this benefice, many of whom are experimenting with mixing new approaches to worship and mission alongside inherited patterns. The new incumbent will therefore find a group of creative and supportive colleagues in the Deanery chapter, all of whom will be familiar with the joys and challenges that each other faces. We expect the new post holder to work with a spirit of generosity in sharing wisdom and insights about ministry within the Deanery of Aire and Worth, and across the Episcopal Area.