Rural Dean and Strategic Lead

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East Wivelshire Deanery
Office Holder

The Deanery of East Wivelshire
(Full-time with stipend and house. This is an interim appointment
for an initial term of 3 years with the potential for renewal.)

This exciting and challenging new role comes with the opportunity to
lead and enable significant change and renewal in and among the churches and communities of beautiful south-east Cornwall.

The Deanery of East Wivelshire has spent 6-8 months discerning a new approach for mission and ministry for the years ahead and the resulting plan is in the early stages of implementation. We are looking for an experienced minister, called of God, who will be Rural Dean and offer strategic leadership to the deanery, enabling the flourishing of church communities old and new and the wider communities they serve.

The role of Rural Dean and Strategic Lead offers a significant opportunity for a priest who is both pastor and pioneer. We are seeking someone who will:

  • work in partnership with the parishes, priests and people of the deanery;
  • lead with confidence and sensitivity, supporting and equipping clergy and lay leaders;
  • honour and celebrate the good that is evident, especially at a local level, whilst also seeking to build greater collaboration and teamwork across the deanery;
  • enable culture change, helping to embed a pattern of oversight and local ministry;
  • contribute and encourage a missional mind-set, which seeks and act upon opportunities to grow the church numerically and spiritually.

The parishes are grouped currently in six benefices; the deanery plan envisages three benefice groupings in future and pastoral reorganisation is underway to make that a reality.
There is an interim Rural Dean in post and a Lay Chair and we are optimistic of having a full and energetic synod for the next triennium. There is a good level of engagement from the current Deanery Synod and growing involvement in the deanery plan as we seek to move towards more collaborative models of ministry.
In November 2022 a Deanery Implementation Team (DIT) was established to begin the work of facilitating the implementation of our deanery plan (details below). The team was approved by Deanery Synod and has commenced work on five key workstreams to deliver the deanery plan. The team is accountable to both Deanery Synod and the Diocesan Board of Change and Renewal, and it is envisaged that the newly appointed Rural Dean and Strategic Lead will take over responsibility for the DIT as Chair of the group.

The Rural Dean and Strategic Lead will:
Fulfil the responsibilities of a Rural Dean as required by the Bishop outlined in the Parish Profile.
Working with the Director of Change and Renewal, the Deanery Leadership Team, the Rural Dean and Strategic Lead will be responsible, with the Deanery Implementation Team (DIT), for further enabling the implementation of the deanery plan and the programme of change and renewal it outlines.
They will help the plan to take root in the whole deanery, overseeing development of specifics to enable the deanery to move forward in mission and become more fruitful and sustainable in ministry.

This will require:
• Oversight and development of the Deanery Leadership Team and working effectively with the Change and Renewal team; to support and develop the DIT;
• Active, sensitive and collaborative leadership that offers encouragement, direction and support across the deanery teams, parishes, churches and communities;
• Enabling of a wide-reaching Deanery Ministry Team comprising ordained colleagues (incumbents, curates, SSMs and PtOs) Readers/Licenced Lay Ministers, Local Pastoral Ministers and Local Worship Leaders, school chaplains and the Pioneer Minister;
• Investment, with others, in the development of leaders, both lay and ordained;
• Enabling and leading engaging events and acts of worship in different contexts and traditions;
• Developing a culture of engagement and welcome within the deanery;
• Working closely with Churchwardens and other key lay office holders;
• Leading and embedding safe and healthy working practices and policies including safeguarding, recruitment, wellbeing and health and safety.

The post of Rural Dean and Strategic lead is one that is being created in response to the deanery plan and with the aim of helping the deanery to move forward in mission and ministry, becoming more sustainable and fruitful in the years ahead.
It is an exciting new post and one that is key to the implementation of the deanery plan and integral to the life of the deanery over the coming years. It will need a special blend of gifts, graces and experience to combine the more traditional aspects of the role of Rural Dean role, such as the support and care of clergy, with the strategic vision and energy to enable a new season of mission and ministry in the deanery.
A key responsibility will be to inspire and support people, parishes and priests to transition to a model of oversight and local ministry in which Oversight Ministers lead a ‘community of communities’, equipping and enabling the whole people of God to participate in the whole mission of God.
The Rural Dean and Strategic Lead will be licensed as Assistant Curate in each of the benefices of the deanery, enabling them to minister across the deanery and provide support at a local level.


To present the gospel of Jesus Christ in such a way that brings people to Christ, develops their faith, and transforms them into disciples with the confidence to go into the world and reach others for Christ, with some becoming mature and fruitful leaders.
Our work to create a deanery plan has led to the following priorities for mission:
We will strengthen our existing congregations through regular discipleship programmes, feeding them spiritually and encouraging their growth in the Lord. We will encourage daily
prayer, reading and studying the Bible, both individually and in groups, and will be open to all ways of developing a deeper faith.
We will work in co-operation with congregations across the deanery, rejoicing in our variety of traditions and sharing our skills, gifts and resources thus recognising our need of each other so that we become a united Anglican presence in South East Cornwall.
We will reach out to our local community, sharing God’s love and engaging with social action through Christians Against Poverty and by working with a range of organisations,
agencies and groups including schools, colleges, health care providers and churches. In engaging with the wider community, we will be intentional in finding pathways to connect with faith, so that the Kingdom grows through our community engagement.
We will reach out to families, young people, children and schools, offering a variety of activities such as accessible worship, classroom teaching and pastoral support. We recognise there is work to do in understanding better their needs and the opportunities available in order for us to more effectively meet people where they are.

It is our intention to base this post centrally within the deanery. Accommodation options will be explored with the successful candidate.

Please take a look at our website East Wivelshire Deanery - On the Way and the Statement of Needs to find out more.

Closing date: Midday, 26th June
Orientation day and interviews: 19th and 20th July

For an informal chat about this post and the deanery please contact the
Archdeacon of Bodmin, the Ven Kelly Betteridge:

Appointment subject to an enhanced disclosure from the DBS.