Priest in charge (Rector Designate)
The Burghill Group comprises four parishes in the countryside immediate to the north-west of the City of Hereford. The population looks to the City for employment, shopping, education and entertainment. Nevertheless each of the four parishes serves a village community with a distinct identity. The priest must learn to be “bilingual” in rural and in urban lifestyles.
Like other benefices in this part of the world, the churches already attract almost twice the national average proportion of the population. New and planned housing developments create fresh opportunities for mission, especially among younger people.
The parishes’ current achievements in mission are variable. Burghill (the largest congregation) has a particularly effective outreach through Life Event services. At the other end of the scale Lyde has a tiny congregation, despite having a favourable location and other natural advantages.
The immediate appointment is of a Priest in Charge for this benefice, since presentation is currently suspended. The Patrons [The Bishop of Hereford, the Diocesan Board of Patronage, the Dean and Chapter of Hereford, and The Church Union] will be fully involved in the process, in the expectation that the successful candidate will eventually be inducted as incumbent.
This benefice has hitherto been a notably generous financial supporter of the Diocese. The new priest will be expected to speak openly, frankly and graciously about giving and stewardship as part of Christian discipleship.
For more information or for a conversation about this benefice, please contact Ven. Paddy Benson, Archdeacon of Hereford, on email@example.com or on 01432 373307.
The Role Description identifies the following key tasks:
- To deepen the spiritual life of Christians in the benefice by providing training in and making time for prayer; and by teaching and encouraging Bible study and growth in discipleship.
- To promote numerical growth of the church through the use of Life Event services, through process evangelism courses (eg Alpha, Pilgrim), and through welcome to residents of the new housing developments.
- To engage with the life of the community through pastoral care, through support of local institutions such as schools, and by participation in community social events.
- To identify and develop a cadre of lay leaders in all the congregations, both to lead worship and to carry forward the evangelistic and pastoral work of the church
The Ideal Candidate
- A person whose walk with Christ is secure, and whose own discipleship is underpinned by a discipline of prayer and reading of the Scriptures
- A team player, who works collaboratively with lay and ordained colleagues, and is not threatened by the success of others. Someone with the wisdom to recognize their own limitations and to seek assistance as required
- A person with a vision for schools work. The candidate should show both personal involvement and readiness to support lay participants as they welcome school-children into church, lead school worship, and act as governors
- A uniting figure, who affirms each parish in its distinctive history and identity, while drawing all the parishes together into a benefice with mutual support and action in mission
- A warm personality who cheerfully engages in the social life of all the parishes, and regularly supports community activities by attending them.
These peaceful, rural parishes lie almost in the middle of the beautiful county of Herefordshire, yet are all within 5 miles of the Cathedral City of Hereford.
In recent years the parishes have developed good working links, holding an annual joint meeting of the PCCs and a monthly Group Sunday service which rotates around the parishes. Services of the Word and family services are frequently laity-led with parishioners from one parish willingly leading services in another.
Benefice Confirmation services have been held annually for many years, welcoming new communicants of all ages to our four churches.
We have begun to reflect on our mission. We want to continue this process. We are continuing to identify the needs of a rural community with its values and its diverse religious traditions and preferences. We consider that the PCC has an important role in setting the direction for the development of ministry and mission, under the leadership of the parish priest.