Vicar of Sutton with Cowling and Lothersdale

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Sutton in Craven
Office Holder

These three parishes are part of a joint benefice of c8,500 people within the Bradford Episcopal Area and the Diocese of Leeds. Each of the three churches is a significant focal point in its local community. As well as the villages of Sutton, Cowling and Lothersdale, the parish also includes Glusburn and part of Crosshills.

For an informal chat about this post please contact Ven Dr Andy Jolley, Archdeacon of Bradford on 07973 458403

From the perspective of the Episcopal Area, we see the overarching responsibility of the new vicar as providing clear and enabling leadership, which will foster growth numerically as well as spiritually and in service to their local community. We are therefore looking for a visionary and enabling leader who can work winsomely with the existing congregations and the village communities, lead in outreach to grow new disciples and leaders, planting and developing new appropriate forms of worship and church which meet at accessible times and places

The overarching responsibility of the new incumbent is to provide joyful, enthusiastic and enabling leadership, which will foster growth numerically as well as spiritually and in service to their local community. Within this, there are four particular priorities for the incoming Vicar:

  • To continue building up confident lay ministry from the congregations, developing pathways for greater discipleship and increased lay leadership, and encouraging individuals to develop in their faith and use their gifts and talents. (S)he will therefore need excellent teaching, team building and team leadership skills.
  • To work a ‘mixed ecology’ of new forms of church and worship alongside traditional ones to grow a wider diversity of ages in the congregations. In particular, this will involve developing and implementing a sustainable strategy for effective and appropriate ministry and styles of worship to reach out to people of all ages, including pre-retirement adults, but particularly families, young people and children, and to grow young people as Christians. We expect this will involve building on the good links with the village schools and other key community organisations.
  • To work with the PCCs to help the churches become ever more deeply connected with their local village communities. We expect that this will involve the Vicar developing active and visible relationships within the villages in creative ways themselves, but particularly in enthusing, enabling and supporting the congregations to play active roles in their communities. The Vicar should be able to engage joyfully and strategically with the life of the communities, contributing with others to a vision for each village and helping the churches find their particular places within them.
  • To help the three PCCs and church congregations to work ever more closely together, and to explore possible structural changes (such as a joint PCC) which might support this.

The parishes are looking for a priest with a

  • Proven track record of commitment to and delivery of church growth
  • Track record of empowering and enabling leadership which builds up lay ministry teams, develops new leaders and grows the confidence and gifts of God’s people
  • Track record of inspiring vision and developing appropriate strategies
  • Experience of helping congregations to engage with their local community
  • Experience of developing a menu of different styles of worship and mission as part of a mixed ecology, including those appropriate for children, young people and families
  • Track record of playing an active public role in the local community

The Diocese of Leeds was formed at Easter 2014. It is one of the largest dioceses in the country covering an area of around 2425 square miles and a population of around 2642400 people. The diocese comprises five Episcopal areas, each served by a suffragan Bishop. Each Episcopal Area is coterminous with an Archdeaconry.

The Diocesan Vision is ‘confident Christians, growing churches, transforming communities and so helping share the Good News of Jesus Christ across our Diocese’. This Vision is embedded into the Diocesan Strategy and Goals.

The Diocese is a mix of urban and rural. The area includes the major cities of Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield; the large industrial and post-industrial towns of Halifax, Huddersfield and Dewsbury; the market towns of Harrogate, Skipton, Ripon, Richmond and Wetherby; and the deeply rural area of the Yorkshire Dales.

The Diocese in unique in having three cathedrals; Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield. The Deans of the Cathedrals work together to provide key diocesan services.