Priest in Charge of Holy Trinity, Low Moor and St Andrew's, Oakenshaw (part time 0.5 stipend)

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Holy Trinity and St Andrew’s form a significant joint benefice at the southern entry to the city of Bradford. St Andrew’s Church in particular is a highly visible landmark alongside the M606 and its parish straddles Bradford and Kirklees Metropolitan Districts. Oakenshaw parish is much smaller in terms of population than Low Moor, and this is also true of the respective congregation sizes.

Closing date for applications is 31st May with interviews on 27th June 2022

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 both visionary and enabling, with the capacity to lead into a new era of growth. The new priest-in-charge will have a joyful and confident faith which has inspired a track record of church growth, both numerically and spiritually

There is good and committed lay ministry in both churches, which needs complementing with clear, encouraging and enabling leadership. Within the benefice there are three Church of England primary schools (Low Moor, Hill Top and Woodlands), each of which offers considerable opportunities for ministry and mission, both in the school and also with parents.

From the perspective of the Episcopal Area, we therefore see the overarching responsibility of the new incumbent is to provide clear and enabling leadership, which will foster growth numerically as well as spiritually and in service to the local communities. Hence we are seeking an enabling leader, capable of managing change well, who can work with the congregations to reimagine and recover ministry following the pandemic, grow the churches, develop confident discipleship, and nurture relationships within the local communities in creative ways. Especially given the part-time nature of this post, we are seeking a person who can develop others into ministry and leadership alongside them.

There are four particular priorities for the incoming priest in charge:

  1. To help the churches to re-emerge well from the pandemic and to reconnect in creative ways with the local communities as well as with families who have yet to return to worship. We expect that this will involve the priest-in-charge developing active and visible relationships within the benefice in creative ways and also enabling and supporting the congregations to play active roles in their community. (S)he should be able to engage strategically with the life of the community, contributing with others to a vision for the area, and to help the churches to find their particular places within it.
  2. To build up confident lay ministry from the congregations further, both in depth and numbers. This will include developing pathways for greater discipleship and increased lay leadership, and encouraging individuals to develop in their faith and use their gifts and talents. The incoming priest-in-charge will therefore need excellent teaching, team building and team leadership skills.
  3. To sustain and develop the ‘mixed economy’ of new forms of church and worship alongside traditional ones to grow a wider diversity of ages in the congregation. In particular this will involve developing and implementing a sustainable strategy for effective and appropriate ministry and styles of worship to reach out to families, young people and children to grow young people as Christians. We expect this will involve cultivating links with the three local Church of England primary schools and other key community organisations.
  4. To deepen the unity and co-operation within and between the congregations and PCCs of the two churches, growing effective teams between them and realising the potential benefits of shared approaches to ministry, mission, finance etc. This priority will also involve making changes to address the recognised non-viability of St Andrew’s as a standalone parish in terms of finance and governance.

We are looking for someone with:

  • Experience in the typical range of ordained Church of England parish ministry
  • Proven track record of commitment to and delivery of church growth
  • Track record of leadership which empowers others and grows God’s people in discipleship and confident use of their gifts
  • Track record of inspiring vision and developing appropriate strategies
  • Experience of leading and managing change.
  • Experience of working successfully with church schools
  • Able to handle difficulties and conflict calmly, creatively and effectively, promoting reconciliation and improved collaboration.
  • Comfortable with being a public Christian figure in the parishes.
  • Able and willing to work with schools.

The Diocese of Leeds was formed at Easter 2014. It is one of the largest dioceses in the country covering an area of around 2425 square miles and a population of around 2642400 people. The diocese comprises five Episcopal areas, each served by a suffragan Bishop. Each Episcopal Area is coterminous with an Archdeaconry.

The Diocesan Vision is ‘confident Christians, growing churches, transforming communities and so helping share the Good News of Jesus Christ across our Diocese’. This Vision is embedded into the Diocesan Strategy and Goals.

The Diocese is a mix of urban and rural. The area includes the major cities of Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield; the large industrial and post-industrial towns of Halifax, Huddersfield and Dewsbury; the market towns of Harrogate, Skipton, Ripon, Richmond and Wetherby; and the deeply rural area of the Yorkshire Dales.

The Diocese in unique in having three cathedrals; Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield. The Deans of the Cathedrals work together to provide key diocesan services.