Rector, St Margaret, Chipstead

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St Margaret's Church, Church Lane, Chipstead CR5 3RD
Office Holder

We are a single church parish in a semi-rural location just south of Greater London, nestled conveniently close to the M23 and the M25.We are looking for a Rector to lead, inspire and encourage our mixed-age congregation in both traditional and contemporary worship.Post-Covid we are looking to regrow our church, with particular emphasis on young families and there will be plenty of opportunities for enthusiastic and creative ideas to expand our reach into the community.

With a steady population of around 5,000, the four distinct communities contain some people who have lived here all their lives while others have moved out of the suburbs into new housing, attracted by the location, transport links and low crime rates. Though quite a large parish, a lot of it is farmland and a car is essential.It is a wonderful place to live, with plenty of opportunities to pursue both cultural and sporting interests and with many country walks.A modern 5-bedroom rectory is provided. There are no mainstream schools within the parish but good primary and secondary ones in the surrounding area.

Our recently updated Mission Action Plan set the following priorities:

to re-establish our two main services

to grow our work with children and families

to make us more visible in the community

to develop further our pastoral care

With the help of a supportive team and congregation, the focus will be on these objectives; however we are open-minded and accepting of change, aware that the 21st century has brought new challenges such as climate change and inclusivity, and these and other issues need to be addressed.

  • We are looking for a Rector who has a heart for pastoral care, for the whole parish whether church members or not.
  • Someone who can find ways to connect with those who have had little, if any, contact with the church, and to make us more visible in the community.
  • They will have an infectious passion to bring the Gospel to life and be able to lead us in both traditional and contemporary/charismatic expressions of ministry and worship.
  • This person will engage really well with young families, understand their problems and encourage growth with children, youth and their leaders.
  • They will be able to manage a leadership team and deal well with all the personalities, discerning and encouraging their various gifts and talents. Their own gifts and vision for our future will be a valuable asset.
  • A good communicator with a working knowledge of social media.

St Margaret's has 170 on the electoral roll, of whom 100 live outside the parish. Our worship has developed over the years from a very traditional style into something for everyone, from BCP to more fluid charismatic and contemporary expressions of worship.

Currently, in vacancy, we have a single Sunday service which varies: in the course of a month we have one or two Holy Communions or Morning Worship, an All Together service and Morning Prayer. Musically we alternate between a talented worship band with contemporary songs and organ volunteers playing traditional hymns. The Sunday worship is augmented by a recorded BCP online which is valued by church members unable to get to church.

Average attendance is 50-60 plus around 10 children, who begin in church then leave to go to groups. Festival services attract a full house, these including Remembrance and two Carols by Candlelight.

There is a monthly midweek HC and occasionally Kingdom Come, an evening cafe style worship led by the band.

Because of its picturesque location St Margaret's is a popular venue for weddings and baptisms, and there is a significant funeral ministry. The churchyard is open for burials.

Children's ministry and spiritual development is vital for our growth. A hugely successful, weekly musical group for under 5s has been running for ten years. Messy Church is held twice a term and attracts 50-70 children. Our Youth Leader holds a popular weekly get-together for 14-18s, in Starbucks during the winter and our light and airy church building in the summer.

We have seven life-groups and have in the past organised regular social events and an annual retreat. Before Covid the annual church fete, traditional in nature, attracted many non-church goers and was a popular event.

We are blessed with an Honorary Curate who has assumed extra roles during the vacancy but is planning to take a step back. We have two Lay Readers with PTO and a SPA who is currently training up a pastoral team. We also have several enthusiastic people who are happy to plan, lead and give talks at services.

Our paid staff comprise a full-time Administrator, and part-time a Youth Leader and a Music Director. We are currently seeking to recruit a paid Children and Families Leader.

Our large team of volunteers are enthusiastic, dedicated and talented.

This position offers opportunities and challenges in a very supportive team both at parish and deanery level.

For more details, please see the attached Parish Profile and Bishop’s Statement.

For an informal conversation with the Archdeacon, please contact

Closing date for applications: Monday 9 January 2023, 9am

Parish Visit: Saturday 4 February, 2023

Interviews: Tuesday 7 February 2023

We have a policy in Southwark Diocese that to be appointed to an incumbent status post, a priest must have served a title post in an Anglican church in the British Isles. We aim to be a diverse and truly representative Diocese, and particularly welcome applications from women and people of UKME heritage.