Vicar of St Paul and St Mark, Old Ford, London

This job has now expired
Office Holder

St Paul Old Ford is a friendly, welcoming Anglican church in Bow, East London. We are a church at the heart of our changing local community, and in normal times our building is a centre for life in Bow, open every day for a wide range of church and community activities.

Our current vision and purpose statement is ‘Loving God, seeking transformation’. This organises the main areas of our mission and helps direct our plans. It was developed with the full participation of the congregation, reflecting our desire to involve everyone in our mission.

The 4 main components are:

  • welcome and hospitality – we want to make our church an inclusive place where everyone is welcome and is able to encounter God and grow in their faith
  • worship and prayer – these are the vital heartbeat of our church, and includes all our collective worship together, on Sundays and throughout the week
  • children and young people – we have a wide range of groups and activities to support our young people to support them as they grow up in their faith
  • St Columba – an innovative new worshipping community set up in the past few years to meet changing demographics and needs in our area, working with our neighbouring parish

In our Sunday services, our worship style combines the modern and traditional. We use the Church of England liturgy and celebrate the Eucharist every week, but do so in a relaxed and informal style, with plenty of joyfulness.

Hyndman's Trustees and CPAS are joint patrons.

Closing date is 16 June with visit and interviews planned for 15-16 July.

The parish, like much of Tower Hamlets, is an exciting, culturally diverse and vibrant area with many opportunities to enjoy London life. It’s a place where people from all walks of life live and work. It includes both wealth and deprivation and is a place with long and proud traditions.

The parish is also a relatively youthful one. A fifth of the residents are children, and half are under 30, which makes our focus on youth work even more relevant.

The area has seen huge changes in recent years, particularly in the east of the parish in and around the Olympic Park, where money has poured in, and new developments are changing the landscape forever. But this prosperity is not experienced equally. Many families live below the poverty line, and our local food banks in Bow and Bethnal Green (which we support) have been working flat out to meet need, even before the pandemic and much more so now.

We’re looking for a new vicar who can help us build on our current vision and work. We want St Paul’s to be an even more inclusive and welcoming parish church. One which can truly reflect the cosmopolitan nature of East London and serve the changing demographic of our parish.

There are a number of priorities awaiting our new vicar, but among these are:

  1. Growing the congregation and enthusing everyone to reach out beyond our walls so others can discover God’s love in Christ. This is something we’ve always had a focus on, but it takes on an extra dimension this year, because we’ve yet to discover the full effects of the pandemic on the congregation. Some people may have disengaged, but others have connected with us for the first time online.
  2. Amplifying the voice and role of ethnic minority worshippers. We have an ethnically mixed congregation, but this is not always well reflected in what people see at the front of the church, or in our governance structures, like the PCC. We want to make sure that everyone feels that they have a place here, and feel represented, and we have work to do on this issue.
  3. Responding to the disparities the pandemic has emphasised. These disparities are widely known across the country, but we want to make sure we know what these are and what to do about them in our area.

We are looking for a vicar who:

  • can build strong relationships within the church and across the community
  • is inclusive and non-judgemental, welcoming and approachable, and able to make warm connections with people from all walks of life
  • is committed to prayer as an utterly vital part of their life
  • has a passion for Jesus, loves the Bible and is excited about seeing God’s word change lives in the church and the community
  • will come to our parish to listen and learn, to see what’s working well and what needs improving
  • is a good strategic leader, who can build on our current vision for the church
  • will take the congregation with them in their vision, communicating well and making sure everyone can participate
  • will be a good a team leader for the St Paul’s staff team, with excellent people management skills, and will work well as part of the team
  • understands the importance of pastoral care, is kind, caring, has empathy and is a good listener
  • encourages leadership in others.

For more information on the kind of person we’re looking for, see the parish profile.

Hyndman's Trustees with Simeon's Trustees are leading and long-standing Church of England patronage trusts, with patronage interests in nearly 200 parishes in over 40 dioceses.

For more information see

For information about the joint patron, CPAS see CPAS - Making Mission Possible | Making Mission Possible

The process will be administered by Ann Brown from Hyndman's and Simeon's so you are welcome to email her.

Closing date for this post is midnight 16 June.

Visit and interviews 15-16 July.