Priest in Charge of the Parishes of Gomersal and Birkenshaw-cum-Hunsworth

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Office Holder

Gomersal and Birkenshaw sit in West Yorkshire, within easy reach of the cities of Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield and the larger towns of Dewsbury, Halifax and Huddersfield. There are excellent links further afield via the M62/M1 motorways and the rail network with good train services to London, Manchester and Leeds. Leeds/Bradford Airport is 16 miles away.

We are looking for a priest who is committed to helping our churches to grow in numbers, in spiritual commitment to God and in service to the local community as we deepen and strengthen the relationships across our united benefice of 2 churches. In return we will offer you our support, prayers and practical help from the multi-talented people in our congregations who are, in true Yorkshire style, welcoming and friendly.

The closing date for this post is 1st June 2023

Interviews are expected to be held in late June/early July.

If you require further information including copies of the accounts or would like a conversation about this post please do not hesitate to contact The Ven Bill Braviner, Archdeacon of Halifax by email initially on . He will then arrange to have a telephone or Zoom conversation with you.

The churches of St Paul, Birkenshaw-cum-Hunsworth and St Mary’s, Gomersal have been in the care of a shared priest since 2019. However the previous post-holder was on long term sick leave during much of the pandemic and subsequently, so the curate from a neighbouring parish was seconded to offer priestly ministry until he left to take up a new post. Following the retirement of the substantive parish priest in February 2023, we are now seeking to appoint a priest-in-charge to help the parishes embrace a fresh start, to further develop their relationships, mission and ministry in the community, and to grow their congregations.

We are looking for a new incumbent who will:

  • Be prayerful, engaging, positive, creative, personable and outgoing - and have a good sense of humour! Above all, a priest who loves the Lord and is dedicated to the task ahead;
  • Show strong leadership with clear vision for growth, working equally across both parishes with the PCCs, the congregations, the communities and the wider Deanery, to explore and shape their future sustainability and witness;
  • Encourage, enable and grow the parishes’ commitment to lay ministry and collaborative working; value and nurture the licensed and authorised lay ministers in the parish.
  • Work to attract more young people and families into the life of these parishes, including developing the links into the local schools and with the local uniformed and other organisations, thereby seeking to engage with children and young people on their own terms;
  • Be committed to pastoral care; empathetic, a good listener and communicator with all age groups,
  • Encourage a growth in numbers and discipleship, nurturing new Christians and the existing congregations into a deeper sense of the presence and purposes of God in their lives;
  • Be financially aware and communicate with the congregations on finance and stewardship;

Please see the Person Specification attached for further details of the essential and desirable qualities we are seeking in relation to this post.

The Anglican Diocese of Leeds comprises five episcopal areas, each coterminous with an archdeaconry. This is now one of the largest Dioceses in the country and its creation in 2014 is unprecedented in the history of the Church of England. It covers an area of around 2,425 square miles with a population of around 2,642,400 people. The Diocese comprises major cities (Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield) large industrial and post-industrial towns (Halifax, Huddersfield and Dewsbury), market towns (Todmorden, Harrogate, Skipton, Richmond, Ripon and Wetherby) and deeply rural areas especially in the Dales. The whole of life is here, along with all the richness, diversity and complexities of a changing world.

Five area bishops (Bradford, Huddersfield, Kirkstall, Ripon and Wakefield) and five archdeacons (Bradford, Halifax, Leeds, Richmond & Craven, and Pontefract) assist the Diocesan Bishop (The Rt. Revd Nicholas Baines)

These two churches lie in the Dewsbury & Birstall Deanery of the Huddersfield Episcopal Area, in the Archdeaconry of Halifax. The office of Bishop of Huddersfield is currently vacant, though our new Area Bishop will be consecrated in June. The Archdeacon of Halifax is The Venerable Bill Braviner.

Our vision as a Diocese is about confident clergy equipping confident Christians to live and tell the Good News of Jesus Christ. For all our appointments we are seeking clergy who have a joyful and confident faith and with a commitment to church growth both numerical and spiritual.