Rector, (House for Duty) - Winnersh, Wokingham, Berkshire

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Winnersh, Berkshire
Office Holder

Rector (House for Duty) - Benefice of Winnersh, Reading, Berkshire,
Sonning Deanery

We pray for a priest who will bring about the changes that are needed to reinvigorate the two churches within the parish. This will require a practical, creative and empathetic thinker who can discern and develop the gifts that lie within the two congregations to help us strengthen links with our community.

Our suburban parish in the Thames Valley and part of the thriving market town of Wokingham and has a modern 4 bedroom Rectory ready to welcome a House for Duty priest (2 days + Sunday) to lead us as we seek to be the church that Jesus wants us to be.

As new housing is being built so new communities are being formed all the time in this growing borough. The opportunities for mission are numerous and diverse. We are developing a relationship with a Cantonese-speaking Church plant which is supported by the Archdeaconry and Deanery. There is a lot beginning to take shape.

Are you the person who could meet this challenging opportunity? If so, please read our parish profile and accompanying information and do not hesitate to contact the Area Dean, Richard Lamey ( or the Archdeacon, Stephen Pullin ( ).

All appointments are subject to acceptable pre-appointment checks, including a satisfactory Enhanced DBS Check.

Closing date for Applications: Thursday 11 May 2023
Interviews: Tuesday 6 June 2023

Foreword by The Archdeacon of Berkshire, The Venerable Stephen Pullin.

The communities of St Mary's and St Catherine's have distinct mission opportunities arising from their urban and semi-rural contexts. The church volunteers have demonstrated a genuine willingness to explore new ideas in the recent past and wish to continue testing out new mission initiatives. They recognise that the new incumbent's time will need to be sharply focused on making meaningful connections with the local community and so expectations of 'maintenance ministry' within the existing church communities are sensibly modest. This church community wants to make a difference in the lives of the people they are called to serve. They are looking for a priest who has the ability to discern carefully, encourage graciously and maintain everyone's attention on the one or two things they need to do well in the wider community. If this is you, you will be warmly welcomed and supported in Winnersh and Bearwood.

As new housing is being built so new communities are being formed all the time in this growing borough. The opportunities for mission are numerous and diverse. Are you the person who would like to meet this challenging opportunity? If so, please read our parish profile and accompanying information and do not hesitate to contact the Area Dean, Richard Lamey ( ) or the Archdeacon ( ) to discuss further.

Foreword from the Area Dean, the Revd Canon Richard Lamey
The parish of Winnersh and Bearwood is an intriguing and attractive mix - on the edge of Reading but with good countryside nearby, with a role which includes links to Nursing Homes and Schools, serving a settled community with several new housing areas, with some affluence and also some poor housing stock. We have spent nearly four years thinking about sustainability and the future of the parish and are now looking for a House for Duty priest who will be able to manage the change from a full-time incumbent to one who has to encourage and nurture and develop independence in the congregations.

The two churches have done some thinking around mission and what a HfD post would look like, what activities might need to stop and what might need to be led by people other than the priest. There is a level of understanding that the future will look different to the past and there are already some exciting things coming together - a Cantonese-speaking church plant from Reading is being established at St Mary’s and missional activity is being proposed from their home Church, working alongside the existing congregations. It is an exciting time to be joining the parish and there is a key role for the new HfD minister in supporting and serving the existing congregation while building links with this new missional activity.

Sonning Deanery is a supportive and encouraging place to work, with a number of well-established incumbents and parishes. We meet every month for Chapter, to eat and pray together and think about things like the Sunday Gospel for the year to come and our sense of vocation to the priesthood. Synod is in good shape and flourishing at the moment, with a sense of being open to the guidance of God.

The Rev’d Canon Richard Lamey, Area Dean of Sonning.

Key responsibilities specific to the local situation

  • Instigate the changes to make us the church Jesus wants us to be.
  • Build up and empower lay members.
  • Grow mission links and create new partnerships in the parish.

The key responsibilities listed above may be supported by long and short term objectives to be agreed between the post holder and the Archdeacon and Church Wardens.

We can offer an exciting opportunity for a gifted and energetic priest to lead the parish into growth and sustainability. We pray for someone who relates well to others, is a good communicator and is able to think strategically. We especially pray for a priest who is

  • able to instigate the changes needed to make us the church Jesus wants us to be
  • a practical and creative thinker who is able to develop links with the wider community
  • experienced in discerning gifts among the laity and making good use of them.

The post offered is House for Duty incumbent at 2 days plus Sunday every week. We are excited by the prospect of being able to afford the costs of a House for Duty priest and envisage there will be money left over for mission activities. It is clear that no part-time priest can undertake the work of a full-time priest and we are sensitive to that situation. There is a small team of willing lay people and a parish administrator who works 12 hours per week. The worship space at St. Mary the Virgin and the adjacent refurbished church hall has great potential to widen the worship experience to reach a new section of our community.

The Diocese of Oxford and the Archdeaconry of Berkshire

The Diocese of Oxford is the Church of England in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.

Together, we are the Church, called and sent by God as disciples of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit. We are a living, growing network of more than a thousand congregations, chaplaincies and schools.

Working alongside the Bishop of Oxford we have three Area Bishops who exercise considerable strategic and pastoral oversight for their areas. The Bishop of Reading is the Rt Revd Olivia Graham who has been the Area Bishop since 2019. Stephen Pullin is the Berkshire Archdeacon, Liz Jackson is the Associate Archdeacon, and they make up your area team with Ian MacDonald, Discipleship Enabler (Youth specialism), Nicholas Cheeseman (ADO) and Rhodri Bowen (Parish Development Adviser).

Together in the diocese we are called to be a more Christ-like Church for the sake of God’s world:
contemplative, compassionate, courageous.

Together we have identified five focus areas:
• Christian formation and discipleship
• Growing new congregations
• Serving our schools, children and young people
• Environmental Action
• Addressing poverty and inequality

These are not a description of everything that we do and will not all be reflected in the vision for each parish church, but these priorities are being supported centrally by resources and training.

The diocese is inviting benefices and their clergy to share a vision rather than demanding a response. It wants its clergy to be motivated by hope rather than being driven by anxiety, and thereby to flourish in their ministry.

It is hoped that clergy appointed into the Archdeaconry of Berkshire will want to commit to this vision and encourage their benefices to share in becoming a more Christ-like church for the sake of God’s world. We would be delighted if you were to partner with us in following God’s call.