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Priest in charge of Elmsett with Aldhan, Hintlesham, Chattisham and Kersey

Please Note: The application deadline for this post has now passed.


An exciting opportunity to become Priest-in-Charge of 4 rural parishes with 5 churches in beautiful south-east Suffolk, close to the market town of Hadleigh and the A14 and A12 trunk routes, which give easy access to London, Colchester, Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds.  There is an excellent Rectory with a large garden in the village of Elmsett, and young families will appreciate the three Church primary schools within the benefice, as well as secondary education at Hadleigh High School, a couple of miles away.  The benefice is one of 5 in the Hadleigh Deanery, where change and pastoral reorganisation will be part of the pattern of the immediate future.  The current Chapter works very closely together, and the successful candidate will very quickly have a substantial part to play in helping to design a new-look Deanery fit for the challenges of the 21st century.  Worship in the parishes is varied, though mostly within a Low Church tradition where sound biblical teaching is expected.  We look forward to welcoming you to this very friendly part of the country.

The Anglican churches across the diocese seek to develop close links with other Christian denominations and to build understanding with members of other faiths. The diocese also has close ties with churches across the world, most especially with the Diocese of Kagera in West Tanzania.

Post Introduction

The diocese is overseen by the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, the Right Revd. Martin Seeley, supported by the Bishop of Dunwich, the Right Revd. Dr. Mike Harrison. The Cathedral Church of St James and St Edmund, the mother church of the diocese, has been a place of pilgrimage and tourism for centuries and remains today a focal point for the Christian faith in Suffolk.


  • To share with the Bishop both in the cure of souls and in responsibility, under God, for growing the Kingdom in this benefice.

  • To ensure that the church communities in the benefice flourish and engage positively with ‘Growing in God’ and the Diocesan Vision and Strategy.

  • To work together as the Priest in Charge of this benefice, having regard to the calling and responsibilities of the clergy as described in the Canons, the Ordinal, the Code of Professional Conduct for the Clergy, and other relevant legislation.

  • To collaborate within the Deanery both in current mission and ministry and, through the Deanery Plan, in such reshaping of ministry as resources and opportunities may require. To attend Deanery Chapter and Deanery Synod and to play a full part in the wider life of the Deanery.

  • To work with ordained and lay colleagues as set out in their individual role descriptions and work agreements, and to ensure that, where relevant, they have working agreements which are reviewed. This involves discerning and developing the gifts and ministries of all members of the congregation.

  • To work with the PCCs towards the development of the local church as described in the benefice profile, and to review those needs with them. To recognise and value the individuality of each community.
  • To ensure that a high standard of worship, preaching, and pastoral care is provided.
  • To work together, as appropriate, with other Christian denominations which have a presence in the parishes and the wider deanery.

What we can offer you:

  • 3 vibrant and successful Church primary schools within the benefice.  (There is also a well regarded high school in Hadleigh.)
  • Supportive PCCs that can deal with the finances and fabric of churches.
  • Committed Elders and support where needed to help plan services.
  • Many active lay people looking forward to a new phase of spiritual growth, outreach and service within the benefice.
  • A well-kept modern, four bedroom detached family house as the Rectory in Elmsett, with garage and large garden.
  • Administrative support if required.

Role Responsibility

  • Lead the benefice ministry and pastoral teams by working with parishes to develop a shared vision and plans for Growing in God; encourage lay participation in services; identify and develop people’s talents.
  • Be a biblical shepherd who will inspire and invigorate church members.

  • Share the Christian faith with people of all ages and work with parishes to widen the age profile of congregations through building on some of the initiatives already implemented.

  • Strengthen and encourage links with young people, families, the middle aged and newly retired and help to expand outreach, pastoral care and visiting capabilities for those in need such as the elderly, lonely and isolated.

The Ideal Candidate

We are looking for a spiritual team leader, committed to prioritising time spent engaged with people. In consultation with the Ministry Team, he or she will be able to delegate non-priestly duties to encourage all to grow in faith.

Our ideal leader:

  • Is experienced in rural multi-parish ministry, and can demonstrate an affinity with the opportunities and challenges arising in such a context.
  • Is mission-orientated, wanting to grow the Church by being ready to meet people at their point of need and by bringing God's love into the everyday lives of all their parishioners.
  • Will be enthusiastic about working with our 3 VCP Primary schools and about bringing children and families into church activities, while continuing to engage with the existing older congregations.
  • Is at ease with using a wide variety of service styles (including BCP, CW, Messy Church etc), and appreciates and values music in church.
  • Is happy working as part of a team with the benefice lay readers and elders, helping to build up their ministry, and encouraging lay people to serve their congregations in different ways.
  • Is able to manage change with sensitivity.
  • Is an enthusiastic and energetic ‘people person’ with a sense of humour, able to take on the challenge of 4 different and distinct parishes and become, as far as is possible, an integrated member of our four communities.
  • Has good organisational skills and time management.
  • Is computer literate and has own transport.

About Us

The Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich was founded in 1914 and includes the county of Suffolk, except for an area of North East Suffolk around Lowestoft, and one parish in the county of Essex. It serves about 631,000 people living in a geographical area of more than 1,400 square miles. The communities of the diocese are served by 454 parishes with 125 benefices and 18 deaneries. There are 478 church buildings of which 457 are listed. There are around 118 stipendiary clergy and 44 self-supporting ministers, some 180 Lay Licensed Ministers, including 172 Readers and a few Licensed Lay Pastors and Local Evangelists and 570 commissioned lay assistants (Lay Elders) in the parishes. There are 88 Church of England Controlled and Aided schools in the diocese.

The Anglican churches across the diocese seek to develop close links with other Christian denominations and to build understanding with members of other faiths. The diocese also has close ties with churches across the world, most especially with the Diocese of Kagera in West Tanzania.

In order to have flourishing congregations making a difference, parishes and benefices will continue to concentrate on our four priorities of depth, number, influence and younger.

  • Growing in Depth – responding to the call of Christ in every part of our lives
  • Growing in Number – drawing contacts we have into the life of God’s kingdom
  • Growing in Influence – reaching beyond ourselves in our impact on the wider world
  • Growing Younger – building churches whose age range reflects our communities

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