Pioneer Priest (Stipendiary)

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Craven Arms
Office Holder

This post is one of two distinct but linked posts that form part of the Craven Arms Benefice Project. The project is the fruit of a lot of prayer, planning, talking, listening, dreaming, and hoping which started in 2018, developed through 2019 and on into the beginning of the pandemic, and then took a new direction from 2021 onwards.

We are so excited to have reached this point, and we are praying for everyone who reads the profile, that God will be speaking to them and to us as we all work together to discover who God is calling to work with us here in this special part of south Shropshire.

The Benefice of Craven Arms seeks to appoint a Pioneer Priest to work alongside a House for Duty Incumbent, Rural Dean, and other ministers across its three parishes. This post presents an exciting opportunity for missional work amongst the local community, and establishing a strong Anglican presence in the town of Craven Arms itself, as well as in the wider benefice.

The role compliments the House for Duty (Incumbent) role that is also being advertised - both the Pioneer Priest and Incumbent will be working closely alongside one another both within the benefice and the wider deanery, alongside the Rural Dean. As a result, these posts may be suitable to clergy couples looking to share ministry of a whole area, or equally to individual clergy looking to work collaboratively on missional projects.

Condover Deanery has recently established a Deanery Group Ministry. Clergy who come to minister in the Deanery will need to be willing and able to work collaboratively, sometimes across benefice boundaries, within the Deanery.

For more information, please see the full Project Profile, or for an informal discussion about the role and the project, please contact the Archdeacon of Ludlow, The Ven Fiona Gibson 01588 673571

The closing date for applications is 28th September 2022, visits for shortlisted candidates will be on 12th October 2022, and interviews will take place on 13th October 2022.

The primary responsibilities of the Pioneer Priest will be:

  • Working to establish an Anglican Worshipping Community from scratch, meeting weekly in Craven Arms, which will grow and develop into a mature church
  • Empowering the laity and helping to re-imagine ministry and mission for the 21st century, with benefice and deanery wide collaboration
  • Building positive working relationships with other local agencies to strive together for the common good of the residents of the benefice

We are praying for a priest who:

  • Has a deep, personal, Christian faith and is rooted and grounded in prayer and Scripture
  • Is a pioneer and innovator, able to work independently, and excited by the prospect of building a new worshipping community from scratch
  • Has experience of church planting or creating/leading missional communities or Fresh Expressions
  • Has a heart for the hidden and lonely, and wants to reach into “the forgotten corners of the world, that the love of God may be made visible.”
  • Is imaginative in discerning new, context-specific, ways to reach out to those who have never had links with church, to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them in word and deed
  • Is an effective communicator, and can teach the deep timeless truths of Christian faith clearly in ways that connect with people in the 21st century, particularly families, children, and young people
  • Has experience of building and/or motivating teams to work collaboratively in mission, developing the gifts and talents of others as they emerge
  • Is comfortable with using and developing IT and social media as a way of building links with the community
  • Will be able to build positive relationships with Stokesay School and other community groups
  • Will build positive working relationships with the House for Duty incumbent and Deanery colleagues