Our vision is
- To enable the mission and ministry of the Burnham Benefice by engaging our community of both full and part-time residents
- To work closely with our new Priest-in- Charge to develop our worship and witness, whilst respecting the time constraints of a half-time post.
- To deepen our discipleship through new opportunities for teaching, and encouraging small groups for study and prayer
- To explore the possibility of developing one of our beautiful buildings into a community space, to support our outreach to the wider community
- To encourage lay participation in church life, worship and outreach
- To enable our churches’ to offer hospitality and welcome
We are looking forward to working alongside our new Priest-in-Charge to enable our vision to become reality and fulfilling God’s mission in our Benefice.
The Burnhams Benefice consists of four parishes, with the five churches and most of the houses geographically within a circle extending two to three miles east-west, and one or two miles south from the north Norfolk coast. St Margaret’s and St Mary’s were combined into a single Parish “Burnham Market with Norton”, and their administration shared. The area attracts second homeowners and holiday makers. Well over 80% of the housing is used for these purposes, with many second homes being let commercially during the season. Holiday makers are welcomed by the regular congregations. There is a County Primary School (4-11 years) in Burnham Market. The school is small by national standards, but it is part of the Wensum Trust (wensumtrust.org.uk). The catchment area includes neighbouring villages. The Benefice is committed to making known the Gospel of Christ both in word and in daily life within the wider community.
The parishes of The Burnhams are coastal parishes with high numbers of second homeowners and visitors. The priest-in-charge will wish to reach out to them as well as to the regular congregation and permanent residents.
The purpose of this role is to act as the parish priest of these parishes:
- enabling a governance structure which makes for flourishing and does not increase burdens
- encouraging lay ministry to take forward the mission of the benefice and the care of its buildings; this will include supporting lay officers and ensuring that the parish share is appropriately raised and paid
- offering good liturgical worship and pastoral care
- leading the outreach to those who are not currently associated with the church
- working collaboratively with the deanery and especially with the neighbouring benefice of Holkham
- supporting the development of St Margaret’s as a community hub.
Ways in which this ministry will be fulfilled include
- by bringing the church to the community and the community to the church, not least by seeking ways in which those who are not permanently resident in the benefice can be enabled to feel part of the village church.
- working collaboratively within the congregations and with the neighbouring coastal benefice to develop the churches’ welcome, including by asking which demographics within the benefice are missing and how might this be addressed, whether there are particular ways to serve, encourage and bring to faith particular groups of people and what leadership development might enhance the congregations’ outreach to the community.
- intentionally engaging with new and existing diocesan arrangements to develop lay leadership through, for example, wider participation in training Authorised Worship Assistants and considering possible vocations to other forms of lay and ordained ministry whether locally or nationally authorised or commissioned.
- Deepening discipleship through new opportunities for teaching and the creation of small groups for study and prayer
- advancing the development of the church of S Mary as a community hub.