We are seeking a traditional Rector with a challenging preaching style, strong communication and leadership skills and dedication to care and guide our busy pre-occupied communities. Importantly, we need someone to be a visible and active presence in our villages. Pastoral skills are essential, but we are realistic about the limited resources this part time post provides. We are looking for a fresh approach to challenge us to be the congregations that new people wish to be part of, to stimulate and educate our journey in faith, and ideally to love church music.
Our joint benefice, created in 2007, comprises two semi-rural parishes nestling at the foot of the North Downs. Betchworth has around 1,000 residents and Buckland 600 and both parishes have communities which are affluent, elderly, and well-educated with high standards although there are small pockets of less well-off parishioners and areas of social housing. The role requires someone comfortable in all these settings who appreciates that ultimately, we all have similar needs and desires.
Like many rural churches our congregations are older with the same challenges as all churches in keeping children once they are involved in other activities on a Sunday. A significant number of our congregation come from outside the parishes.
The role of a Rector is varied and wide-ranging, but we expect the successful candidate to:
Our two congregations now worship together with Services alternating between the two churches and we find that we have become much more of a united benefice as a result.
Many of our congregation come from outside the parishes particularly those attracted to a more traditional style of worship for parish communion and choral evensong.
Our more mature congregations are open-minded but sometimes need to be nudged into different ways of thinking and doing things.
Like many rural churches our congregations are older and have difficulty keeping children once they are involved in other activities on a Sunday.
Attendance has not returned to pre-Covid levels and is around 35+ including some eight choristers on a typical Sunday. This can rise to 100 in the congregation and twenty in the choir for festival services at Christmas and Easter.
Both churches have adjacent halls available at low cost which are owned by local landowners. The Buckland Reading Room also contains a Parish Office although this has not been staffed in recent years.
Music plays a large part in the life of our churches. The choirs of the two churches have also joined together and provide an experienced lead in Sunday worship. There is a highly regarded new Tickell organ in St Michael’s, and a soon to be restored Norman and Beard organ in Buckland overseen by a dynamic new Director of Music with a supporting organist.
For an informal conversation with the Archdeacon, please contact Kathleen.email@example.com
Closing Date: Sunday 19 March 2023 at midnight
Date of Parish Visit & Interview: Thursday 20 April 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.