Team Vicar (0.5) of Harden, Wilsden, Cullingworth & Denholme

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We are seeking a new colleague in our team for the part-time post of Team Vicar in our benefice with four churches in Harden, Wilsden, Cullingworth and Denholme. The Benefice is situated in the beautiful West Yorkshire countryside between Bingley, Haworth and Keighley. We are close to the City of Bradford and the World Heritage site of Saltaire. The Benefice was formed in 2014 and is made up of 3 Church of England churches in the villages of Harden, Wilsden and Cullingworth and a Local Ecumenical Partnership Church in Denholme, which is a Baptist / United Reformed Church / Church of England and known as Denholme Shared Church.

We are looking for a priest who will have particular responsibility for growing the churches’ capacity, capability and confidence across the Benefice for Pastoral Care and Outreach.

For an informal conversation about this role please contact either the Interim Team Rector, Richard Burge on 01535 273758 or Archdeacon Andy Jolley on 07973 458403.

Closing date for applications is 11th April with interview/visit on 29th/30th April 2021

An enhanced DBS is required for this role.

The Team Vicar will be part of the ministerial team in the parishes of Harden, Wilsden, Cullingworth & Denholme, with a particular focus on Pastoral Care and Outreach across the benefice. They will work with the Interim Team Rector towards the seven benefice priorities

  1. To deepen the relationships between the four churches and their PCCs, and to develop appropriate structures to enable them to support and encourage each other more, to make good decisions together, and to realise more of the potential synergies between them.
  2. To ensure there is a coherent, attractive and workable pattern of worship across the four villages.
  3. To work with the congregations of the four churches to grow them, particularly by developing outreach and ministry among families, children and young people, and by working a ‘mixed economy’ of new forms of church and worship alongside traditional ones.
  4. Working with the ministry team, to take lay discipleship and lay leadership to the next level, thereby building stronger foundations for future ministry at the end of the interim period.
  5. To establish whether the income of the churches in the benefice can grow sufficiently to be able to meet the full costs of mission and ministry in the benefice and also make a contribution to the costs of mission and ministry in less economically advantaged parts of the Diocese.
  6. To help the congregations to develop relationships within the villages in entrepreneurial and creative ways, engage strategically with the life of the communities, and contribute to a vision both for the villages and for the place of the churches in the villages. In this way the churches can be servants of the communities alongside other agencies whilst also bringing a prophetic voice to the church and community.
  7. To help the parishes to develop and articulate their identity in a new and developing relationship with each other, setting them up so that they know what kind of skills and experience they are seeking in a new Team Rector.

The successful candidate will work alongside and support the Interim Team Rector in the responsibilities of parochial ministry.

To share with the Bishop and Interim Team Rector both in the cure of souls and in responsibility, under God, for “building confident Christians, growing churches and transforming communities

However, they will have a focus on:

  • Overseeing and developing the existing pastoral care structures across the congregations and villages in the Benefice;
  • Working with both community organisations and the church congregations to address the emerging needs of local people and strengthen the churches’ connections with the village communities;
  • Identifying and realising the opportunities for evangelism and discipleship that arise from the churches’ community engagement;
  • Building the churches’ capacity for excellent Church of England parochial ministry in our villages.

We are seeking someone with:

  • Proven track record of commitment to and delivery of church growth
  • Track record of leadership which empowers others and grows the confidence and gifts of God’s people
  • Experience of living the Gospel through Pastoral Care and delivering quality Parochial Ministry
  • Experience of Outreach into the community through word and action.
  • Experience of embracing different styles of worship in a ‘mixed economy’, including those appropriate for children, young people and families.
  • Effective Biblical preaching and teaching ministry

Our vision as the Diocese is about confident clergy equipping confident Christians to live and tell the good news of Jesus Christ. In appointing to this post, we are therefore looking for someone who is a visionary and enabling leader for the next chapter in the life of the benefice, and has a joyful and confident faith which has inspired a track record of church growth, both numerically and spiritually.

Our Diocesan Strategy has 5 Goals

  1. Thriving as a distinctive diocese whose culture is shaped by a shared vision and values
  2. Reimagining ministry
  3. Nurturing lay discipleship
  4. Building leadership pathways
  5. Growing young people as Christians

These four parishes form an important joint benefice within the Bradford Episcopal Area and the Diocese of Leeds. The joint benefice came into being seven years ago and in that time there have been some positive developments which have helped the team ministry to become established.

While the Benefice came into being seven years ago, the constituent parishes have continued to run with a great deal of independence, with the clergy working with particular congregations rather than all of them. There is a Benefice Council, but it is only now starting to have a significant role. There is now an appetite to work more closely together and to share best practice. There is also a recognition that the structures need to be adapted to work well for future incumbents and a willingness to embrace this challenge.