In the Diocese of Lichfield we extend an invitation to “Come follow Christ in the footsteps of St Chad”. Our diocesan vision states that:
As we follow Christ in the footsteps of St Chad, we pray that the two million people in our diocese encounter a church that is confident in the gospel, knows and loves its communities, and is excited to find God at work already in the world. We pray for a church that reflects the richness and variety of those communities and partners with others in seeking the common good, working for justice as a people of hope.
As we seek to live our vision for this Diocese, we have discerned that culture change needs to be at the heart of all we do. We all are called to be advocates for change, and to help people meet the challenge of being outward-facing, confident believers in a sceptical world.
This process of change must be handled in a sensitive and relational manner, particularly for those for whom reimagining ministry may be perceived as threatening. In all of this we are inspired by the example of St Chad, the first Bishop of Lichfield, who worked across boundaries and reached out in relationship to all whom he met. Relationships, rather than structures, need to be paramount.
We have developed a focus on five local contexts for mission – parishes, fresh expressions, schools, chaplaincies, and our Cathedral. In each of these we concentrate on our three priorities of developing discipleship, encouraging vocations and inspiring evangelism.
The new Archdeacon of Stoke-upon-Trent will be a priest of the Church of England or another member church of the Anglican Communion, in holy orders for at least six years.
We are seeking someone who:
Stretching from the Welsh border to the Peak District and from north Staffordshire to the Black Country, the Diocese of Lichfield is one of the largest in the Church of England serving just over two million people in 1,744 square miles.
The Archdeaconry of Stoke-upon-Trent (which is coterminous with the Stafford Episcopal Area) covers about 530 square miles and five local authority areas: the city of Stoke-on-Trent, the Boroughs of Newcastle and Stafford and the districts of Staffordshire Moorlands and East Staffordshire.
The Archdeaconry sits in the north of the Diocese and is bifurcated by the M6 from north to south and A50 from west to east. The West Coast mainline also runs through the Archdeaconry as will the proposed HS2 rail link.
It is an area of considerable diversity in terms of its geography and socio-economics with inner city and urban estates, market towns and remote hilltop hamlets.
The City of Stoke-on-Trent is a unitary authority that is also, still, a slightly uneasy collection of small towns federated in 1910. It is a wonderful place full of the warmest people and it has a long and noble history of producing some of the most beautiful objects in the world through the manufacture of ceramics. There has been a modest resurgence in the pottery industry through “craft pottery” firms such as Emma Bridgewater. Modest because, whilst there are still some bulk producers remaining, the industry no longer employs the thousands it once did and the distinctive and rather elegant bottle ovens are now largely gone from the cityscape except from one or two heritage sites. But this is a city, which is six towns, that still thinks of itself as the “Potteries” and is trying to forge a new identity in a post-industrial world.