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Holy Trinity and St Andrew’s form a significant joint benefice at the southern entry to the city of Bradford. St Andrew’s Church in particular is a highly visible landmark alongside the M606 and its parish straddles Bradford and Kirklees Metropolitan Districts. Oakenshaw parish is much smaller in terms of population than Low Moor, and this is also true of the respective congregation sizes.
Within the benefice there are three Church of England primary schools (Low Moor, Hill Top and Woodlands), each of which provides considerable opportunities for ministry and mission, both in the school and also with parents. There is already a good working relationship at Holy Trinity with the neighbouring Aldersgate Methodist Church, and there is great enthusiasm and potential to develop this relationship still further, to benefit both churches, the schools and the local community.
There is strong and committed lay ministry in both churches, which has sustained them through the vacancy so far and seen some growth as people have returned to worship and others have begun exploring faith through the Start! Course. This lay leadership now needs supporting, directing and encouraging by the new priest-in-charge.
For an informal chat about this post please contact Ven Dr Andy Jolley, Archdeacon of Bradford on 07973 458403. Closing date is 3rd JAn 2023, with a date for interview to be confirmed.
There are four particular priorities for the incoming priest in charge:
- To help the churches strengthen their connections with the local communities. We expect that this will involve the priest-in-charge developing active and visible relationships within the benefice in creative ways and also enabling and supporting the congregations to play active roles in their community. (S)he should be able to engage strategically with the life of the community, contributing with others to a vision for the area, and to help the churches to find their particular places within it.
- To provide support, direction and encouragement to the lay leadership teams in both churches, and to build them up further both in depth and numbers. This will include developing pathways for greater discipleship and increased lay leadership, and encouraging individuals to develop in their faith and use their gifts and talents. The incoming priest-in-charge will therefore need excellent teaching, team building and team leadership skills. At Holy Trinity this will also encompass building up lay ministry in partnership with Aldersgate Methodist Church.
- To sustain and develop the ‘mixed ecology’ of new forms of church and worship alongside traditional ones to grow a wider diversity of ages in the congregation. In particular this will involve developing and implementing a sustainable strategy for effective and appropriate ministry and styles of worship to reach out to families, young people and children in order to grow young people as Christians. We expect this will involve building on the existing links with the three local Church of England primary schools and other key community organisations.
- To deepen the growing unity and co-operation within and between the congregations and PCCs of the two churches, developing effective teams between them and realising the potential benefits of shared approaches to ministry, mission, finance etc. This priority will involve building on the pattern of shared PCC meetings and making changes to address the recognised non-viability of St Andrew’s as a standalone parish in terms of finance and governance.
We are looking for someone confident in their faith who has, among other things:
- Proven track record of commitment to and delivery of church growth
- Track record of leadership which empowers others and grows God’s people in discipleship and confident use of their gifts
- Track record of inspiring vision and developing appropriate strategies
- Experience of leading and managing change.
- Experience of working successfully with church schools
- Committed to praying for the church, alone and with others, to discern what God is saying and doing.
- Able to handle difficulties and conflict calmly, creatively and effectively, promoting reconciliation and improved collaboration.
- Comfortable with being a public Christian figure in the parishes.
- Able to relate well with people from a wide range of backgrounds.
The Diocese of Leeds was formed at Easter 2014. It is one of the largest dioceses in the country covering an area of around 2425 square miles and a population of around 2642400 people. The diocese comprises five Episcopal areas, each served by a suffragan Bishop. Each Episcopal Area is coterminous with an Archdeaconry.
The Diocesan Vision 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.
The Diocese is a mix of urban and rural. The area 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, Richmond and Wetherby; and the deeply rural area of the Yorkshire Dales.
The Diocese in unique in having three cathedrals; Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield. The Deans of the Cathedrals work together to provide key diocesan services.