Interim Priest in Charge of the Benefice of Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall

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Hebden Bridge
Office Holder

Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall are located in the upper Calder Valley in West Yorkshire, on the border with Lancashire. There are direct rail links via the Calder Valley line to Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, Bradford and Manchester, and onwards via the national network. There are excellent road links further afield via the M62/M1/M6 motorways and internationally via Leeds/Bradford Airport and Manchester Airport (both an hour away by road).

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 benefice of 2 churches.

In return we will offer you our support, prayers and practical help from the multi-talented people in our congregations and community, who are welcoming, passionate, creative and friendly.

Please apply through Pathways

The closing date for this post is 3rd July 2023

Interviews are expected to be held on 21st July 2023

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 Thomas, Heptonstall and St James, Hebden Bridge are well established as a benefice and seek to reach out into their communities with the love of God. They are seeking a parish priest who will bring fresh vision and a commitment to work collaboratively, and lead the benefice in mission and growth. The congregations want to further develop their relationships, mission and ministry across the community, and to grow their congregations in number, depth and engagement.

We are looking for a priest who will:

  • Continue the development and deepening of relationships between the congregations and parishes of the benefice, to further God’s mission in the benefice, build a culture of trust, and encourage others to own and share in ministry; offering fresh leadership as the benefice discerns the future;
  • Lead the development and strengthening of discipleship among the congregations, inspiring growth in numbers, spiritual depth, and responsiveness to God’s call in ministry and mission, nurturing new Christians and the existing congregations into a deeper sense of the presence and purposes of God in their lives;
  • Be committed to good pastoral care, engaging with community projects (eg Food Share), care homes and individuals to show an understanding of the issues they face, including poverty, challenges to mental health, etc.;
  • Develop the ministry of the church buildings, churchyards, and local environment to schools, community users and visitors, utilising opportunities to engage with people, and encourage the exploration of faith;
  • Work to attract more young people and families into the life of these parishes, including a focus on maintaining and developing good relationships with the schools in the benefice;
  • Encourage creativity in liturgy and life, engaging with those within and without the congregations through accessible, inclusive and nurturing worship;
  • Show a commitment to the inclusion of all members of the community in church life, and to participation in community events, including the Pride festival;

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)

This Benefice lies in the Halifax and Calder Valley 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 on 22nd 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.