The Somerleyton benefice falls within the Archdeaconry of Norfolk, and so under the care of the Bishop of Thetford (The Rt Revd Dr Alan Winton) and the Archdeacon of Norfolk (The Venerable Steven Betts). The benefice is in the Lothingland deanery, with a Rural Dean, the Revd Helen Jary, and an Assistant Rural Dean, the Revd Sharon Lord. There are 8 posts of incumbent status in the Deanery, along with 3 Assistant Curates, 7 Licensed Lay Ministers (Readers) and a number of PTO clergy and Authorised Worship Assistants.
Attendance at Deanery Synod and Chapter is an expectation, and all diocesan clergy are encouraged to give some part of their time and energies to the wider life of the Diocese.
This rural benefice is mostly situated in a beautiful part of Suffolk in the south-east corner of the Diocese, with the profile giving a good description of the life of the benefice.
It has, for many years, been formed of six parishes, but we have taken the decision to remove the parish of Lound which has Petitioned the Bishop under the House of Bishops Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests (2014) and is now under the care of the Bishop of Richborough. The remaining five parishes (Ashby, Blundeston, Fritton, Herringfleet and Somerleyton) are keen to build on their history of working together.
The churches are of central church tradition, but with each having its own cherished and distinctive identity in worship.
We would hope that the new priest would build on the links with Blundeston CofE VC Primary School. Although Lound will be linked with Hemsby in Great Yarmouth Deanery, the only other traditional catholic petitioning parish in the Archdeaconry, it is hoped that friendly links with the five neighbouring churches of the benefice will continue.
We are looking for a priest who:
1. can develop our understanding of God and his word;
2. will continue to build up the togetherness of our Group;
3. has a real love of people and understands, and is comfortable with country life;
4. will help us, guide us and lead us to bring new and younger people into
the churches with a monthly family service;
5. prays for and with us and enriches our worship and its relevance in our lives;
6. encourages outreach in our parishes with the Christian gospel;
7. understands the advantages of good administration, communication, and being
visible around the benefice.
We can offer you:
1. A warm, welcoming, group of churches in beautiful countryside.
2. The opportunity to work with five parishes.
3. Committed, willing, supportive and hard-working congregations.
4. Our prayerful support.
5. A four-bedroomed bungalow Rectory in Somerleyton, opposite the Village
School, set in part of the Somerleyton estate.
6. Expenses are paid in full each month.
This post is advertised as a half-time appointment (Sunday plus three days), but the appointment could be on a house-for-duty basis (Sunday plus two days) if preferred.
The closing date for applications is Thursday 26th January, with interviews to be held on Thursday 16th February.