Four active, God-focussed, traditional-evangelical, supportive, rural congregations (one Fresh Expression) seek to further develop outreach and discipleship to all ages. Experienced in traditional and contemporary worship, we pray you will balance this diversity and lead us in accessible,
united, Spirit-filled worship…
This God-focussed, active, rural benefice seeks an enthusiastic and gifted traditional-evangelical minister to lead, teach, inspire and love us in the next stage of our mission for the Kingdom. We offer willing hearts and a foundation of significant achievement in outreach and a desire to build on this as we explore further opportunities.
OUR STRENGTHS AND CHALLENGES
We are thankful that, since coming together in 2006, the three churches have knit together very comfortably, with most members of each congregation happy to travel to other churches to worship, while still holding an allegiance to their own parish. There is a high level of co-operation between the members, and most of the activities that take place are supported, and in many cases run, by individuals from across the Benefice. The people are friendly, welcoming and hospitable, and are involved in all aspects of village life. It is very often to church members that people turn when they are in trouble. However, all three churches are finding that attendance is slowly reducing, mainly through age and ill health. The two smaller churches, in particular, find the tasks associated with sustaining the life of their respective parishes tend to grow, and to fall to a dwindling number of leaders, as there is a shortage of volunteers willing to commit on a regular basis. Great efforts are made to attract non-church-goers, particularly at baptisms and weddings, the school services, the Little Munden café, and village lunch, and we need to build on this to bring them into a greater involvement with church life. Similarly, the great success of the Holiday Bible Club in recent years shows that there is potentially fertile ground out there. There are new housing developments across the Benefice, and opportunities to support young families facing isolation, economic hardship or the challenges of commuting. The Benefice’s outreach through SMatS has been blessed with considerable growth, not only numerically but in faith and commitment, but there are many more families to reach. The diversity in the style of our worship services provides something for everybody across the monthly service pattern. It does however present a challenge in expressing our unity as one church family when we come together for United and Family worship with the varying degree of formality and informality, traditional and contemporary worship styles across and within the individual congregations.
WHO WE WANT TO BE
There have been many exciting developments in our Benefice-wide ministry in recent years, not least in our fresh expression of worship, St Mary’s at the School with Messy Church; regular Alpha courses; thriving house groups and new youth initiatives. Much emphasis has been placed on outreach and this has borne fruit, with many unchurched men, women and children coming to faith and being discipled within the Benefice. There is still much to be done and outreach remains a priority, along with addressing the challenge of expressing our unity as one church family. We recognise that our work with families, children and the youth of our communities is vital in sustaining and growing the ministry of God and in sharing the Good News in our villages and we are committed to this. We have good relationships with the schools within the Benefice and see these as important ways in which we can continue to make Jesus known to parents and children. We are a generous but not complacent church, which looks to extend our love, care and practical help to those in need in our parishes, and to be increasingly known for our selfless love for all. Not least, we are a church that holds fast to and is guided by the infallible and unchanging word of God and inspired by his living
WE CAN OFFER
• A family of four congregations, knit together in a caring fellowship and keen to work with you in furthering God’s kingdom in this community;
• Administrative support, home-based (there is no church office);
• Three diverse buildings in sound condition, backed by generally sound finances;
• A comfortable home in a central location in our largest village, in the midst of beautiful rural surroundings, within easy reach of Cambridge, London and Stansted airport;
• Excellent education facilities for all age groups;
• Our wholehearted and prayerful support.
The ideal candidate
We are extending an invitation to a minister who shares our values and has a vision for building a united worshipping family within the diversity of our benefice and continuing to reach out to those who have not yet invited Jesus into their lives. We are seeking an incumbent who will lead us to grow further in the fruit and gifts of the Spirit. If you feel that God may be calling you to work here, we hope that you will:
• Preach effectively from scripture, relating this to people’s everyday lives;
• Encourage a diverse range of styles of worship, appreciating the value of our various musical traditions, whilst also exercising your experience or gifts in leading us in united expressions of worship;
• Encourage growth in the various children’s, youth and adult ministries;
• Lead with authority, working collaboratively with existing leaders, while discerning the gifts of others and helping them to develop;
• Convey your love of God and neighbour in your dedication to pastoral care;
• Be able to manage change and deal lovingly with issues that may arise;
• Be able to relate easily to all and help us to build up our congregations of all ages in faith and numbers.
We hope our next Rector will bring:
• Experience in unifying a Benefice of congregations which comprise people leaning towards a traditional, choral and a contemporary, charismatic-evangelical expression of worship, not just within the Benefice but within the same congregation
• Commitment to:
Delivering services which both build up and encourage believers and are also accessible and attractive to the unchurched/non-believers;
Meaningful evangelism among adults of all ages, children and youth;
The discipleship of all members of the church, for example through house groups, training courses and study groups;
Sharing the love of God through every work of the church.
We know that may be asking too much of one person but, above all, we hope that you will lead us prayerfully, laugh with us and love us.
CPAS is an evangelical patron with involvement in the appointment to 531 benefices. www.cpas.org.uk
To view our microsite visit https://jobs.churchofengland.org/cpas/
If you have any queries contact the patronage team at CPAS John Fisher firstname.lastname@example.org or Kathy Burch email@example.com
The closing date for this post Midnight on 19 September 2018
Interviews and Visits 24 & 25 October