Washburn and Mid-Wharfe – Interim Priest-in-Charge

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Fewston, Harrogate
Office Holder

The Benefice of Washburn and Mid-Wharfe is made up of a four rural parishes between Wharfedale and Harrogate, at the southern part of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The parishes are looking for a priestly leader who will make connections and express God’s love for about people through leading inspiring worship and pastoral care. The Benefice is geographically large and scattered with distinct needs for the communities across the area, and the interim priest-in-charge will work together with the PCCs to discern the best way forward for mission and ministry in these parishes. This may include pastoral reorganisation, and will include discerning the specific opportunities that each parish has for ministry to residents, to visitors, to walkers and to tourists.

Closing Date – 23rd October 2022

Shortlisting Meeting – 1st November 2022

Interview Date – 17th November 2022

For an informal conversation please contact the Archdeacon of Richmond and Craven, Jonathan Gough, Tel: 01677 427286 or email, via his PA, Mrs Chloe Drummond, chloe.drummond@leeds.anglican.org

Each of the parishes is small, but has a number of committed and capable lay people. The geography of the benefice is challenging, as the parishes are widely spread and relate to different towns nearby. In some cases the community that the church was built to serve has become smaller, while those attending worship may come from outside the parish. Over the last few years, there has not been a compelling vision of mission and ministry that effectively unites the benefice. The benefice now faces the question of how the parishes will carry forward and grow their life and ministry.

The particular task of the interim priest-in-charge will be to work together with the PCCs to discern the best way forward for mission and ministry in these parishes. This may include pastoral reorganisation, if it is agreed as the best option. It will include discerning the specific opportunities that each parish has for ministry to residents, to visitors, to walkers and to tourists, among other groups.

The interim priest-in-charge will be supported by the bishop and archdeacon, and by the diocesan Director of Church Revitalisation. There will be a pattern of regular meetings agreed on arrival.

The interim priest-in-charge will build relationships with neighbouring parishes, the deanery and the diocese in order to strengthen the mission and ministry of the benefice.

Will be able to demonstrate leadership experience and proven competency in the following areas

  • Collaborative ministry and ability to encourage and develop mission and outreach
  • Building links with families who are not regular church attenders
  • Leading worship for families
  • Engaging with and providing pastoral care for those of all ages
  • Developing imaginative and creative ways of drawing people into church
  • Understanding and love of people and desire to lead them deeper into the mystery of God’s love
  • Understanding of every person growing in their gifts, skills and ministry
  • Able to help develop a vision for the life, ministry and governance of this rural Benefice
  • Commitment to help the churches to grow together
  • Able to nurture all age groups in the life of faith and enabling all members to grow spiritually

The Diocese of Leeds

The Diocese of Leeds was formed at Easter 2014. It is one of the largest dioceses in the country covering an area of around 2,425 square miles, and a growing population of around 2,642,400 people. The diocese comprises five Episcopal areas, each served by a suffragan (area) bishop. Each Episcopal Area is coterminous with an Archdeaconry.

The Diocesan Vision, informed by the values of ‘loving, living, learning’ 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 and expressed in meaningful ways across the episcopal areas.

The Diocese is a blend of urban and rural in all their diversity. This 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 (classed as a small city), Richmond and Wetherby; and the deeply rural area of the Yorkshire Dales. It covers several civic and parliamentary boundaries.

The Diocese is unique in having three cathedrals; Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield. The Deans of the Cathedrals work together and continue to look to fresh ways of sharing ideas and engaging in projects of mutual interest.