Vicar - Benefice and Parish of North Thornaby

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North Thornaby

This is a parish within the catholic tradition of the Church of England. It has been faithfully served for twenty years by its recently-retired priest, who unfortunately was hampered latterly by health issues. The congregation is of modest size but loyal, and there has been effective pastoral contact with young people. There is real potential for fresh leadership to release a sense of energy and expectation for growth, together with increased confidence in looking outwards, beyond the internal life of the congregation.

The incumbent is an important figure to whom many people beyond the congregation, living and working in the parish, can relate. The appointed priest will need to come with commitment to ministering in the context of a community of this kind: the parish is by no means a monochrome housing estate, but rather comprises substantial variety. Even so, there are long-standing challenges of economics and wellbeing, as the parish is ranked by the Church Urban Fund within the 6th percentile of most multiply deprived nationally.

As the PCC has formally petitioned the Archbishop of York for extended episcopal oversight, this post is open to male clergy only.

North Thornaby is a community of c10,000 people that has evolved over a long time and has a distinct identity. The town of Thornaby borders the River Tees, in the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees, and at the very north of the Diocese of York. The Parish of North Thornaby comprises the northern half of the town and is dominated by nineteenth century, inter-war and immediately post-war housing stock, which grew up following the industrial revolution, filling in the space between the then-rural village of Thornaby and the industrial sites on the banks of the Tees at Stockton, where the historic Stockton & Darlington Railway arrived in 1825.

There was a time when North Thornaby itself comprised two parishes. In recent years, the former parish church of St Luke was closed and sold to another Christian body. The area north of the railway, having been regenerated in a way that linked it firmly with Stockton town centre, was ceded to the Diocese of Durham.

More recent housing developments and newly-modernised town centre complex, focused around the site of the mid-twentieth century RAF base, as well as the ancient village green, lie in the neighbouring parish of South Thornaby.

Our vision is: for ourselves, to seek to live each day to the greater glory of God and in service to our fellow human beings. For others: to seek to bring enquirers through faith to the foot of the cross. St Paul’s stands in the Catholic tradition of the Church of England. Our core values are:

  • we want, above all, to be a welcoming church with a love of people of all backgrounds and circumstance
  • we want to have a strong commitment to sharing the faith with others
  • we want to enhance our Eucharistic worship, which seeks to meet the needs of all
  • we desire on-going opportunities for people to develop their spirituality through prayer and study
  • we want to encourage others to be ministers of the Good News
  • we desire leadership that values the gifts and experience of the people of St Paul’s

North Thornaby is a parish in the Diocese of York under the Episcopal oversight of the Bishop of Beverley, working in close collaboration with the Bishop of Whitby who is the suffragan bishop located in the north of the Diocese. The Archbishop is seeking to appoint a male priest in the catholic tradition who will:

  • exercise a sacramental ministry in the catholic tradition of the Church of England that centres on the Mass, developing new liturgies from the range of resources available in Common Worship
  • value the contributions of members of the congregation and seek to develop their talents
  • provide a clear lead for mission and evangelism, working with the Deanery Leadership Team to help develop and implement the Deanery Strategy
  • make contact with the local community and lead people into the family of the church and the church to the people
  • be a pastor, spiritual director, teacher and friend

The Candidate for whom we are praying

We are praying for a priest who will:

  • be a man of prayer whose spiritual life centres on the Eucharist
  • hold a Traditionalist, catholic position, whilst recognising the ministries of all ordained clergy within the Church of England
  • have a passion for evangelism
  • be an effective leader, with strong personal motivation and drive
  • be an inspiring preacher, teacher and spiritual director
  • have secure liturgical understanding, and commitment to developing occasional services to complement the Mass

We are part of the Diocese of York, led by the Archbishop, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu. The Diocese is the Church of England from the Humber to the Tees and from the general area of the A1 and East Coast main railway line to the North Sea. In the Diocese there are about 450 parishes and 600 church buildings. Our diocesan vision is to be Generous Churches Making and Nurturing Disciples and our mission is to see Growth in Christlikeness, commitment, partnership, influence and numbers. You can read more about it at — click the tab marked Generous Churches.

If you would like to have an informal conversation about this post, please contact the Bishop of Beverley, the Rt Revd Glyn Webster (01904 628155), the Bishop of Whitby, the Rt Revd Paul Ferguson (01642 593273), or the Archdeacon of Cleveland, the Ven Samantha Rushton (01642 706095).

The post is open to male priests of the Church of England or a church in full communion with it. Appointment is subject to a satisfactory Enhanced DBS disclosure.

Find out more about us at our microsite:

Our official website can be found here:

Unfortunately it is not always straightforward for clergy from overseas to be appointed to posts in the Church of England. The policy of the UK Border Agency is that normally the organisation making an appointment has been able to prove that it is impossible to appoint a person who is a national of a European Economic Area country, before a visa giving permission to work will be issued to a person who comes from elsewhere.

The closing date for applications is 3rd September 2018. Interviews will be held on 26th September 2018