Priest-in-Charge, Vicar designate, of the Washburn and Mid-Wharfe Benefice comprising the Parishes of: Farnley, Fewston with Blubberhouses, Leathley and Weston with Denton

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Washburn and Mid-Wharfe

The beautiful benefice of Washburn and Mid-Wharfe, in the Harrogate deanery comprises six churches which serve small villages, hamlets, scattered dwellings and farms. Four reservoirs, rolling hills and Washburn Heritage Centre make this a popular place for walkers and visitors. The parishes are praying for a priest who will come and live among them – who will inspire the faithful, develop their discipleship and pilgrimage, strengthen them as Christians, get to know the communities, and their visitors, with imagination and creativity.

With easy access to Otley, Harrogate, Leeds and York, this benefice enjoys the best of worlds.

You will be supported by committed and very capable Wardens and Readers, retired clergy, and an administrator. After a period in which an interim SSM has overseen some development in bringing the PCCs to meet and work together, the Benefice now requires an incumbent to move it forward in ministry and mission, building on this governance work. The Diocese of Leeds is committed to your on-going training, development and well-being. The vicarage, situated in Askwith, is spacious and warm with lovely views. A full driving licence is essential.

The closing date is Monday 6th May at Midnight

The shortlisting meeting will be held on Sunday 19th May

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 29th May

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact the Rt. Revd. Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Ripon, Tel: 01765 601094 or email her PA, Mrs Judith Richardson,

The Benefice requires a Priest who will need to:

  • be a prayerful disciple who can excite people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • lead and inspire joyful and engaging worship.
  • competent at working with people of all ages: will engage with the younger retired age group
  • be a confident, imaginative and wise communicator and teacher of the faith who will help to develop and grow faith in the faithful and among the careless and indifferent.
  • enthuse the congregations to effectively witness to their faith.
  • encourage and develop mission and outreach.
  • engage with missional opportunities presented by the Washburn Heritage Centre.
  • engage with and advocate for rural issues.
  • be a kind listener and pastor who will help develop a lay pastoral ministry.
  • continue to develop lay leadership and ministries across the parishes and build team ministries.
  • bring an innovative, imaginative and creative approach to helping the churches grow numerically and spiritually
  • grow and develop the ministry and involvement of the church with the community primary school and encourage lay members to participate in school’s ministry.
  • have competent chairing and meeting skills and be able to work with the wardens and PCCs to ensure the most efficient and effective structures for governance and worship.
  • develop a mission action plan based upon the LYCIG (Leading your Church into Growth) principles.

We are looking for a Priest who is able to demonstrate leadership experience and proven competency in the following areas:

  • collaborative ministry and ability to encourage and develop mission and outreach
  • building links with families who are not regular church attenders
  • leading worship for families
  • engaging with and providing pastoral care for those of all ages
  • developing imaginative and creative ways of drawing people into church
  • understanding and love of people and desire to lead them deeper into the mystery of God’s love
  • understanding of every person growing in their gifts, skills and ministry

And is able to:

  • help develop a vision for the life, ministry and governance of this rural Benefice
  • commit to help the churches to grow together
  • nurture all age groups in the life of faith and enabling all members to grow spiritually
  • help lead and engage others in the implementation of the vision
  • have excellent and proven communication skills, not least in preaching and teaching
  • lead and inspire others, not least in continuing to develop a mission action plan
  • continue building links and developing opportunities with individuals and community groups including the local community school and the Washburn Heritage Centre
  • actively help in seeking out opportunities for outreach and church growth in service and discipleship
  • inspire, motivate and encourage the faithful, both individually and collectively, and ensure that the various gifts and talents are used effectively

For more information about this application process, please use this link

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 is unprecedented in the history of the Church of England. It covers an area of around 2,425 square miles, and a population of around 2,642,400 people.

The three former dioceses were created in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to cater for massive population changes brought about by industrialisation and, later, mass immigration. The diocese comprises major cities (Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield), large industrial and post-industrial towns (Halifax, Huddersfield, Dewsbury), market towns (Harrogate, Skipton, Ripon, Richmond and Wetherby), and deeply rural areas (the Dales). The whole of life is here, along with all the richness, diversity and complexities of a changing world.

The Diocesan Bishop (The Rt Rev’d Nick Baines) is assisted by five Area Bishops (Bradford, Huddersfield, Kirkstall, Wakefield and Ripon), and five archdeacons (Bradford, Halifax, Leeds, Pontefract, Richmond & Craven). The parish of Bolton Priory lies in the Skipton Deanery of the Ripon Episcopal Area, in the Archdeaconry of Richmond and Craven. The Bishop of Ripon is the Rt Rev’d Dr Helen-Ann Hartley.

Our vision as the Diocese is about confident clergy equipping confident Christians to live and tell the good news of Jesus Christ. For all of our appointments we are seeking clergy who have a joyful and confident faith which has inspired a track record of church growth, both numerically and spiritually.