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Team Rector of Harden,Wilsden, Cullingworth and Denholme

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


Situated south-west of Bingley, this is a united benefice and team ministry of four churches that are each at the heart of their respective village.

We are looking for a visionary and enabling leader who can work with the congregations to grow them, and also develop relationaships within the villages in entrepreneurial and creative ways.

For an informal conversation contact: Ven Dr Andy Jolley on 07973 458403 or andy.jolley@leeds.anglican.org

Application packs are available from Carmel Dylak: carmel.dylak@leeds.anglican.org (0113 353 0290) or http://www.leeds.anglican.org/vacancies/team-rector-harden-wilsden-cullingworth-and-denholme

Post Introduction

These four parishes form an important joint benefice within the Bradford Episcopal Area and the Diocese of Leeds.  Some newer forms of worship are well established, including Messy Church and Café Church at St Matthew’s, and the Jesus 4 All service at Denholme. The joint benefice came into being four years ago and in that time there have been some positive developments which have helped the team ministry to become established.  Good Alpha courses have been held in Wilsden and Denholme.  Relationships with the schools in each village, and links with the various community and uniformed organisations in the villages, are good and there to be built upon.  In Denholme this is in the context of an encouraging local ecumenical partnership.

While the Benefice came into being four years ago, the constituent parishes have continued to run with a great deal of independence, with the clergy working with particular congregations rather than all of them.  There is a Team Council, but it has not yet had a significant role.  There is now an appetite to work more closely together and to share best practice.  There is also a recognition that the structures need to work well for the incoming incumbent and a willingness to adapt in the light of this (eg lay chairing of PCCs for much of their business).

Leading your Church into Growth (LYCiG) and Jesus Shaped People (JSP) are two excellent initiatives born in the Bradford Episcopal Area and now adopted in other Dioceses.  They have enabled church growth and developed confidence in congregations.  Newly appointed clergy are required to book onto a LYCiG conference within 12 months of their appointment, and ideally to attend with some people from their benefice.  Experienced mentors and training are available to new incumbents to make the most of LYCiG and JSP

Role Responsibility

There are four particular priorities for the incoming incumbent:

  • To work with the congregations of the four churches to grow them, particularly by developing outreach and ministry among families, children and young people, and by working a ‘mixed economy’ of new forms of church and worship alongside traditional ones.
  • Working with the ministry team, to take lay discipleship and lay leadership to the next level.  (S)he will therefore need excellent teaching, team building and team leadership skills.
  • To develop relationships within the villages in entrepreneurial and creative ways, both personally as an individual and also with the congregations.  S(he) should be able to engage strategically with the life of the communities, contributing to a vision both for the villages and for the place of the churches in the villages. In this way the churches can be servants of the communities alongside other agencies whilst also bringing a prophetic voice to the church and community.
  • To deepen the relationships between the four churches and their PCCs, enabling them to support and encourage each other more, and to realise more of the potential synergies between them.

In addition, the Team Rector will be the senior Anglican priest in Harden, Wilsden, Cullingworth & Denholme who will lead the ministerial team which comprises a Team Vicar, Self-Supporting Priest, 3 Readers and retired clergy.  (S)he will also be the Training Incumbent for any curate deployed to the benefice.

The Ideal Candidate

We are looking for someone who will:

  • be joyfully confident in their own identity in Christ and have a track record of growing confident disciples;
  • be able to work with a ‘mixed economy’ of both new forms of church alongside existing ones, enabling the churches to reach people of all ages;
  • naturally build and lead teams with laity and clergy;
  • want to love our communities and be excited by a highly visible ministry in these four villages;
  • be able to realise more of the potential synergies between the churches.


Anglican Ministerial Training


  • Proven track record of commitment to and delivery of church growth and of growing new and younger disciples
  • Proven track record of growing the confidence and gifts of God’s people
  • Experience in the typical range of parish ministry
  • Track record of nurturing and developing good relationships with the local community
  • Track record of demonstrating team leadership in a collaborative model
  • Experience of co-ordinating and embracing different styles of worship in a ‘mixed economy’
  • Experience of working with diverse theological and ecclesial traditions
  • Effective Biblical preaching and teaching ministry

Special Knowledge

  • Knowledge/understanding of changing patterns of mission and ministry in the Church


  • Confident in their own faith and secure in their own identity as a Christian leader
  • A clear strategic thinker
  • An inspiring leader with the ability to delegate
  • Capable of working tenaciously with variety and diversity
  • Good listening and communication skills with all ages

About Us

Our vision as the Diocese is about confident clergy equipping confident Christians to live and tell the good news of Jesus Christ.  In appointing to this post, we are therefore looking for someone who is a visionary and enabling leader for the next chapter in the life of the benefice, and has a joyful and confident faith which has inspired a track record of church growth, both numerically and spiritually.

The Deanery of Aire and Worth, now a year old, is comprised of parishes similar to those of this benefice, many of whom are experimenting with mixing new approaches to worship and mission alongside inherited patterns.  The new incumbent will therefore find a group of creative and supportive colleagues in the Deanery chapter, all of whom will be deeply familiar with the joys and challenges that each other faces.  The new post holder will therefore be expected to work with a spirit of generosity in sharing wisdom and insights about ministry within the Deanery of Aire and Worth and across the Episcopal Area.

In this new diocese, now nearly four years old, we are working with three core objectives:

Confident Christians: Encouraging personal spiritual renewal with the aim of producing clergy and laity who are confident in God and in the Gospel.

Growing Churches: Numerically, spiritually and in their mission to the wider world.

Changing communities: For the better, through our partnership with other churches and faith communities, as well as government and third sector agencies.

The Diocese came into being at Easter 2014 following the dissolution of the historic dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds and Wakefield. This followed a three-year process of debate and consultation driven by the Diocese's Commission. It covers a region whose economy is greater than that of Wales. Background papers to the reorganisation process can be read at www.wyadtransformation.org.

 The Diocese 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 diocese is dissected by major motorways (M1, A1M, M62) and major trunk roads (such as the A650, A59), making road and rail communications good. Access to airports is also good, with Leeds-Bradford in easy reach and Manchester only an hour away.

The Diocesan Bishop is assisted by four Area Bishops (Bradford, Huddersfield, Ripon and Wakefield) and five archdeacons (Bradford, Halifax, Leeds, Pontefract, Richmond & Craven). In addition, the dormant See of Richmond has been revived and the new Suffragan Bishop is now taking responsibility for the Leeds Episcopal Area on behalf of the Diocesan Bishop who remains the Area Bishop for Leeds.

There are 323 stipendiary clergy, 165 self-supporting clergy and 398 clergy with PTO along with 408 Readers, 125 lay pastoral ministers and 52 chaplains in 656 churches with 256 church schools. In the Bradford Episcopal Area there are 53.6 stipendiary posts serving 68 parishes with an average weekly attendance of 5,949 from a population of over half a million.

The Diocese is unique in having three cathedrals: Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield and over the past year the cathedrals have begun to work together on the key Diocesan services as well as developing three strands that they will offer to the diocese – pilgrimage, civic engagement and apologetics. This new diocese, led by the bishops, is working out how best to create a diocese with more than one cathedral, and to develop the ministry and outreach of these cathedrals in a way that secures their future and recognises their distinctiveness.

The diocese has inherited strong partnership links with Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Southwest Virginia, Skara (Sweden) and Erfurt (Germany).

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