Rector - the Astwick Vale Benefice

This job has now expired
Astwick Vale
Office Holder

The Lord Chancellor and Bishop of Peterborough seek to appoint a new Rector of the benefice of Astwick Vale in the Deanery of Brackley. The Benefice consists of 5 parishes in a 5 mile triangle located on the edge of the Cotswolds. The parishes are midway between Oxford, Northampton and Stratford upon Avon on the M40 with good direct rail links for London and Birmingham.

We are a rural benefice encompassing vibrant villages with strong communities, who need spiritual and practical leadership. Our younger children and families are our priority; they need enthusiastic involvement. We continue to serve an older generation both in our churches and in homes with visits and pastoral support. We would like to welcome new members of our congregations as well as be more involved in our communities.

  • 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 the Bishop to your home, a formal review by a member of the Bishop's 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.

We are seeking a Rector who

  • Likes a challenge and seeks out opportunities (with the help of the PCCs and the benefice Ministry Team) to reinforce strengths and reinvigorate the benefice
  • Has a significant role within our primary schools while encouraging others to share in this ministry
  • Strives to bring the church back to the centre of our lives and communities
  • Participates in village life across the benefice
  • Will enjoy living in this beautiful and wonderfully convenient part of the UK

Astwick Vale Benefice, which consists of the parishes and churches of Aynho, Croughton, Evenley, Farthinghoe and Hinton-in-the-Hedges with Steane, is situated at the most southerly end of the Peterborough Diocese within the Brackley Deanery.

Each of the churches making up the Benefice has its own distinctive character and traditions, which we respect and for which we are thankful. We do, however, share our gifts and actively support one another as a team, but more could be done to enhance the feeling of a united Benefice rather than a collection of parishes. Our aim is to grow together. All of the churches are relatively close together – within a 5-mile triangle and getting round it is not a challenge.

The whole character of the Benefice is that of rural communities, each containing a mix of retired and mainly middle-class working people with quite a few commuters to larger towns and homeworkers interspersed with the farmers and landowners. The challenge this sort of community brings is very different from urban parishes, but across the Benefice there is a core of people willing to give whatever assistance the church and its incumbent requires.