Vicar - Higham Ferrers and Chelveston-cum-Caldecott

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Higham Ferrers and Chelveston-cum-Caldecott
Office Holder

These two parishes in the heart of Northamptonshire offer an exciting opportunity to lead varied ministry in both semi-urban and rural areas. Higham has 3 medieval buildings forming a mini cathedral-type close, whereas Chelveston has a small medieval church in a beautiful churchyard.

Thank you so much for showing an interest in our current vacancy.

During the past 3 years, we have had some challenging and exciting times; led by our interim priest. Over that time, we have strengthened the bonds of our church family and got to really know each other across our different congregations. We have re-built relationships with the wider community and worked together with our Town and Parish Councils, Higham Tourism Business and Community Partnership and other Community Groups, so a new incumbent has a good position to start from.

We have reconnected with our local schools and uniformed groups, set up new groups to engage with young people and introduced new more accessible ways for families to access church. We adapted to lockdown using Zoom, social media and the Benefice website to maintain contact with our communities and have maintained a remote service for those who continue to benefit from that access.

The church family has stepped up in that time – we have taken a more active role in planning and supporting the ministry team, encouraged one another to do what we can to make our church a vibrant and welcoming space for all.

In preparing for our Parish Profile, we collected the views of as many of our church community as possible, from the youngest to the occasional visitor, to our more established regular members of the congregations. Together with our Vision Days, LyCiG action plan and following the Church of England’s Vision and Strategy for 2020’s to be a Simpler, Humbler, Bolder Church that is Jesus shaped, we invite you to share our vision and hope your calling is to help us to deliver our vision and to share the joy and love of God within our community.

As we look for and encourage clergy to join the diocese we are committed to providing them with good and well maintained housing, a decent stipend and appropriate training and support. In turn, we look for certain commitments:

  • to share with the Bishop in the cure of souls, and to work strategically for growth in numbers among the worshipping community
  • to teach Christian discipleship including the principles of giving
  • to take seriously the pastoral and missional opportunities of occasional offices, aiming for good working relationships with funeral directors and others
  • to enable the full participation of children and young people in the whole life of the church, and to develop mission among the younger generations
  • to be involved in both church and other local schools as far as possible, actively seeking opportunities for mission and preferably offering a chaplaincy role and leading collective worship rather than chairing the governing body
  • to be involved in deanery and diocesan activities and in the life of their local community
  • to promote and enable lay ministry in both church and community
  • to take part in our ministry review process, consisting of a three-year rolling programme: a pastoral visit by me to your home, a formal review by a member of my senior team, and a review of training needs
  • to engage with the continuing ministerial development programme offered by the diocese and in personal study, nurturing your own spirituality
  • to hold a current DBS certificate, to undergo safeguarding training as required by the bishop, and to follow and promote the diocesan safeguarding policy.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Develop and maintain the spiritual life of the parish.
  • Be drawn to building a long-term commitment to the Benefice, to provide stability.
  • Be a committed Team Leader developing their own ministry team (currently 3 retired clergy and a lay reader).
  • Have a passion for leading a range of joyful and accessible services whilst working within the Modern Catholic Tradition.
  • Lead in the growth of the church family.
  • Particularly encourage and develop our excellent and growing youth and children’s services.
  • Encourage the music ministry within the Benefice and with our schools.
  • Have a good working knowledge and understanding of Church Finances and Administration.

Have experience of:

  • developing worship to meet the needs of modern, diverse worshipping communities
  • leading outreach work to include parts of the local community where the Church currently has limited impact
  • developing and maintaining positive relationships with the local community, including schools and businesses
  • leading, supporting and encouraging a benefice through change

Skills and attributes

  • Enthusiasm and drive to grow the Churches and deliver God’s message
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills, encouraging the wider church family to be fully involved in the life and organisation of the Churches
  • Pro-active ‘can-do’ person who is prepared to be a visible presence in the communities