Rector of Saints Cuthbert and Thomas Halsall, Lydiate and Downholland

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Office Holder

We are looking for a talented priest who will give us enthusiastic and sound leadership, who will preach the gospel for the twenty first century and provide pastoral care, not just for the church but for our wider community across both parishes.

We want to be a welcoming Christian community to all people so that everyone may know the love of Jesus Christ.

We are very proud of our 3 church schools and the children and families from those schools are very important to us.

Our United Benefice is situated in the wonderful rural communities of Lydiate & Downholland in Sefton/West Lancashire and Halsall in West Lancashire. Both parishes have long histories and idyllic settings, perfect for outdoor activities such as walking and cycling.

Short Listing: Tuesday 23rd August

Interview Dates: Monday 5th September

For more information please contact the Ven Pete Spiers Archdeacon of Knowsley and Sefton

Mob: 07590690780 or email:

For the past 2 years, an interim minister has been seconded here to address the leadership challenge at St. Thomas by making room for others to develop leadership skills and roles, to address some governance requirements related to safeguarding and GDPR that were lacking, to support and refresh where needed on-going leadership development at St. Cuthbert and to encourage, in alignment with the deanery plan, numerical growth and spiritual growth in the churches and community. This secondment has now been completed and they have been appointed to another role. A new foundation has been laid and this represents a new chapter for this benefice.

St Thomas’ is a grade 2 listed building in good repair, with a recently installed boiler and updated electrical wiring. The churchyard is open to all residents living in the ecclesiastical parish of Lydiate and Downholland and those on the electoral roll. The Millennium Centre opened in 2000 and is used for a variety of community events including Hey-o and provides a source of income. The Millennium Centre is where you will find the Parish Office, the Rector’s Secretary and parking.

St Cuthbert’s is a Grade 1 listed building with a recently repaired spire and renovated choir vestry which is used for meetings and the Hey-o Sunday School group. The churchyard surrounds the church and is well maintained by a gardening company and volunteers from church. Although the original graveyard is full a new area has now been dedicated for burials. To the front of the church there is also a wildlife area containing a path which leads towards the school called Bishop’s Walk. The church has a parish centre within the school which is available for functions on evenings and weekends.

The Vicarage is in Lydiate, adjacent to St Thomas’ and it is a modern detached house comprising a lounge, dining room, kitchen, utility room, study and cloakroom downstairs. There are three double bedrooms, one single bedroom and a bathroom with a shower upstairs. The gardens surround the vicarage and there is a garage.

The Main responsibilities of this post include:

  • Building on the current success of the children’s ministry to make it sustainable and enjoyable for all in the long term and maintaining the excellent connections with our local schools
  • Positively supporting and providing a welcoming, inclusive environment for all
  • Making the most of the opportunities afforded by baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals
  • Developing a pastoral team who can visit those unable to access church and provide support to the recently bereaved
  • Encouraging the personal development of the ministry team

Our Ideal Candidate will be:

  • Able to inspire and engage hearts and minds
  • Able to lead change to achieve spiritual and numerical growth
  • An effective communicator and leader
  • Able to identify and release new leaders through encouraging gifts in others
  • Able to stimulate, challenge and open eyes to local mission opportunities and be able to encourage the implementation
  • A people-person with a strong pastoral instinct who will be active in the local communities

Being part of the Clergy Team in Liverpool Diocese

For many years we have been working to achieve growth in our diocese. We have used different ways to express this but the aim and direction of travel has remained the same – consistent with the whole of the Church of England. We have articulated a vision for this growth by saying

we are asking God for a bigger church so that we can make a bigger difference:

more people knowing Jesus and more justice in the world.

In our diocesan vision we have identified four priority areas for our work in mission in this season:

Introducing people to God through Jesus Christ

Deepening discipleship, especially by means of our Rule of Life

Developing Christian leaders in every place

Working for justice

Like everyone entering a new role in the Diocese, you will accept the priority of these areas, and will measure your ministry by effectiveness in these areas. You will be supported and expected to be accountable (through the Ministerial Development Review as well as through regular meetings with your colleagues) for how they are being implemented within your area of responsibility.

In common with all clergy in the diocese, you will work together with others to:-

  1. Establish a culture of invitation in evangelism within the local church.
  2. Start new worshipping communities and maintain existing healthy worshipping communities that are accessible to all.
  3. Establish a culture in the local church of expecting a deepening of discipleship and putting into practice the 6 disciplines of the Rule of Life.
  4. Develop prayerfully a strategy for mission and church growth and aligning it with the Diocesan strategy Fit for Mission.
  5. Identify, train, release and support new Christian leaders and teams.
  6. Encourage vocations by identifying the gifts of others and assisting people to seek God’s calling for their lives.
  7. Develop the distinctive ministry of the local Church within the wider context of the Diocese, Deanery and local ecumenical setting by establishing and maintaining good collaborative working relationships with clergy and lay colleagues.
  8. Lead your congregations both to pray for justice in the Church and the world and to recognize how, working with others, your congregations can work for more justice in the Church, your local communities, and the world.
  9. Ensure that safeguarding, financial and other governance disciplines are followed.