We are looking for a priest to join the Hitchin Ministry Team as Vicar for Parishes of St Paul's Walden and Preston, with combined population of c1500. You will be providing ministry to the two churches of All Saints' (St Paul's Walden) and St Martin's (Preston).
These parishes are ideally located in the beautiful North Hertfordshire countryside, yet also with an hour's commute of London.
This is a self-supporting ministry with house for duty role for 3 days per week. The vicarage is a modern 5 bedroom family home located in the village of Whitwell, the largest village in the parish, next to the village primary school.
We consist of several villages, as part of the Hitchin Ministry Team, close to several large towns and accessible to London. This provides a mixed social environment and strong community spirit, with many families having multi-generational links. The churches provide a focal point in the villages, with many people having an association with the churches if not attending regularly. Whitwell is the largest village in the Parishes with c.800 residents and is about one mile from St Paul's Walden (c.100) where the parish church of All Saints is located. St Martin's is the chapel-at-ease in Preston (c.300) about two miles from Whitwell.
All Saints' (12th Century) is regarded as one of the most attractive churches in the county and is popular stopping point for walkers. It is well maintained with a Preservation Trust of village members to raise funds for its maintenance. St Martin's (1900) is a simple Arts and Crafts design is in excellent structural and decorative repair, maintained by an active village 'Friends'. The churches are run by a combined PCC, although each church manages its own finances.
The Benefice is new, but the team ministry is well established (since 1977) and has developed a style and practice where clergy are both supportive of each other and also rightly expect a great deal of autonomy in their patch. Twice a month the clergy team meetings discuss both mission and matters that arise out of parish life. These informal meetings, which are chaired by team members in rotation, exist to encourage best practice, planning joint exercises, such as confirmation classes and special events together. Meetings always culminate in prayers for each other. This will be an exciting time to join the Hitchin Ministry Team, as the Hitchin Team Vicar will be new in post so there will be a place for fresh thinking within the whole team ministry. The team has a mixture of full time, part time and self-supported ministry, to help support the ministry in the two villages.
Our Vision and Priorities
We aim to be an outward looking, open and welcoming church, that is relevant to and representative of the community. We are looking for our new vicar to help us achieve this so that we are known for our faith and by:
The Vicar will be responsible for the two churches as part of the Hitchin Ministry Team, which has five other churches in Hitchin. Within our Parishes the vicar, supported by our Reader, administrator and PCC, will be responsible for:
The Diocese of St Albans is part of the Church of England and home to more than 1.6 million people. It includes Bedford, Luton, Hertfordshire and part of the London Borough of Barnet.
It ranges from small rural communities to major urban centres.
These communities are served by some 336 parishes, more than 400 churches over 130 church schools.
Across the Diocese many thousands of Christians seek to express their faith in their daily lives in their families and at home, at their place of work and in their local communities.
The Diocese is overseen by the Bishop of St Albans, supported by the Bishop of St Albans, supported by Bishops of Bedford and Hertford, and by the Archdeacons of Bedford, Hertford and St Albans.