Vicar, St Ann with Emmanuel, Nottingham
We are a community of people who seek to Love God, Love Each Other and Love St Anns.
We are a warm and welcoming community who seek to show God’s love in the way we care for and pray for each other. Old and young, rich and poor and all those of different nationalities are welcomed.
“Believing in St Anns” – this statement is written on the sign outside our church. St Anns is the name of both the church and the neighbourhood and this statement captures our faith in both, having a dual meaning for us:
- It means that we believe in the community of St Anns; having faith and hope for the spiritual transformation of the community, of individuals and the neighbourhood - that while others may say that “nothing good comes from St Anns”, we know that just as Jesus was born in the backwater town of Nazareth as saviour to the world, those growing up in St Anns today can have hope, and a future that can prosper them, their neighbourhood and their city. It means that we believe in and trust the individuals in St Anns, a trust that has in the past not been offered to St Anns people. Our church is their church and we trust them with it and welcome them into it.
- We are a believing community, being a people who believe Jesus is Lord, and living that out ‘incarnationally’ as ‘little Christs’ (Christians) in the community and neighbourhood of St Ann’s.
We seek to join with what God is doing here to break down barriers both within our church and within our diverse community.
Nottingham South Deanery is a large, densely populated multicultural area spreading from the prosperous suburbs in the West with a tradition of strong, independent (largely evangelical) congregations, through areas heavily shaped by the presence of the Universities of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent , to the more socially deprived urban areas (including St Ann’s), Nottingham city centre and business areas. The area has a population of roughly 200,000 with 19 parishes and 25 Anglican churches. As well as ordained leadership, the churches have strong lay leadership, including two lay incumbents, 23 licensed lay ministers and many others.
The Deanery Leadership Team (DLT) has been greatly encouraged by the growth of St Ann with Emmanuel. This has been multi-dimensional: numerical, in mission, in spirituality and in becoming ethnically diverse and representative of the parish. It is on the basis of this recent growth and the exciting opportunities for mission that have been created that this post is to be full-time. (The previous incumbent was 50% Area Dean and 50% parish-based.)
The church’s involvement with Nottingham Citizens and Partnership for Missional Church have been significant factors in its recent development, especially in its confidence in engaging with the local community. We see this as a great foundation for a mission-minded incumbent to build on. The congregation is mobilised, confident and integrated. It will thrive on good leadership, encouragement and teaching.
The parish of St Ann’s has also undergone significant positive change in recent years. Investment in the area, social projects, Christians moving in with an intention to pray and work for the good of the area, and even the interest of Prince Harry have all contributed to a sense of hope. St Ann’s still remains a challenging area, but we believe that this is a challenge that the right incumbent will relish.
We are an evangelical church with a strong sense of belonging within the wider community of St Anns. We dwell in the community, for the community, with a hope for the community, and as such we want to find ways to make more of the connections that already exist and to develop new ones, so that we play our part in the flourishing of the neighbourhood of St Anns. As a congregation, we have become more diverse in the past 5 years with growing numbers of young people and families from black, minority and ethnic (BME) groups. However, we know we do not yet fully reflect the neighbourhood within which we dwell and we would like to.
It is important to us to have an incumbent who is also excited to connect with the wider community of St Anns, including those on the edges, and who can help us develop the potential that already exists within the connections with the community. We want to grow and we recognise that for us to reflect the community that we live in, we will need to continue to embrace diversity and the tensions that this can sometimes bring and we aim to welcome that.
Growth and development of our Children and Youth activities is something we are committed to seeing. We have a growing Children’s Church on Sundays and a desire to expand this work to meet the needs of the breadth of all ages that attend. Annually, we welcome over 500 children to the church from local schools for the experience events and we see the huge potential this offers to develop our outreach to children and families from our community. We run messy church and we are committed to growing this church as well. Messy Church is attended by on average 40 people, where over 60% are under 10 years old. The growth the church has seen over the last 5 years has primarily been in attracting younger families, the majority from BME backgrounds. As we welcome local children and young people into our church we want to be better at growing younger disciples and engaging with their families.
As a church community, we have been on an exciting journey over the last 5 years. Our church has been part of a project with nine other churches in this diocese and the diocese of Leicester, called Partnership for Missional Church (PMC). It has been a process through which the congregation has grown deeper in our own discipleship. We have been encouraged to find out where the Lord is at work in our church and community and to discern His preferred and promised future for St Ann with Emmanuel. Through listening, both within the church and to our neighbours in the community around us, we have been guided by the Holy Spirit to settle on one meaningful adaptive missional challenge in the community. Our Primary Missional Challenge is to Work with new families coming into the church and the community around us. As we discerned the Lord’s guidance on this we started to see that the Mellors Lodge Hostel, a homeless shelter next door to the church could be our Missional Challenge.
The Lord has guided us to focus and embed these 6 spiritual practices:
Dwelling in the Word; to stop and to ask ourselves, what is God saying to us in the Bible today?
Dwelling in the world; who have I noticed today?
Hospitality; whose hospitality have I received today?
Spiritual discernment; what have I noticed God doing today?
Announcing the Kingdom of God; who can I tell about what I’ve noticed?
Focus of missional action; what have I said ‘no’ to, so that I can say ‘yes’ to something else?
This has been a successful process for us which has benefitted and grown the church. We have developed a confidence in these practices, becoming more hands on rather than passive observers, and with individuals within the congregation being released into their gifting.
It is important to us that we continue on this journey and are encouraged to move forward. We do not want to stand still, or even worse, go backwards. We want someone who can sensitively see where we are and continue to take us forward. We have been taken on a journey of change and transformation, this has come with its challenges and tensions, and we recognise that continued growth will bring more challenge but we seek to welcome that.
The Ideal Candidate
We are seeking a person who is excited about the opportunities within our church and parish who:
- Will bring skills which enable us in our vision to grow wider (further open our thinking), grow younger (work with children and young people) and grow deeper (deepen our spirituality)
- Will listen to us, get to know us, to understand the things that excite us about being part of St Anns with Emmanuel church and the community around us
- Will come alongside us and encourage us as we continue on the journey that PMC started us on
- Will continue to expand and deepen our spirituality
- Will be forward thinking and able to further open our thinking in order to develop how we connect and express our faith in the wider community, helping us to become more visible outside the walls of the church
- Will embrace a range of worship styles
- Will be passionate about growing the work with children for the Sunday church and Messy church and develop our strong school connections
- Will help us turn the many contacts that we have – especially through the school’s work and those using the church – into active steps towards discipleship
- Will have competent IT skills with good working knowledge of Microsoft Office, Easy Worship and the ability to work with web based systems.
Join our great adventure
We seek to be a diocese where every Christian and every church has a compelling vision and plan for 'growing disciples, wider, younger and deeper'
Wider as we seek to find fresh ways to speak about Jesus and grow disciples among the 1.2m people living across the diocese who are not yet engaged in the worshipping life of a local church (98% of population)
Younger as we seek to grow disciples and develop leaders among new generations in a young diocese (Nottingham is the fourth youngest city in UK with over 50,000 students)
Deeper as we seek to grow disciples with a confident faith in Christ who are making a difference in every sphere of life, helping shape the culture and character of society.
Working in Southwell & Nottingham is an adventure and a challenge – the opportunities for mission are immense, the people are open and friendly and forward looking; there are also areas where the church is desperately needed to work with, and be a voice for, the poor and needy.
We are not just talking about growth, we are praying and acting in new and exciting ways to make it happen; we launched a Younger Leadership College in Autumn 2016 (http://youngerleadershipcollege.org/) with the aim of developing 1,000 younger leaders to servce in the Church and wider society.
A new resource church has opened in Nottingham in an abandoned auction house that sits on one of the main roads into the city centre; Trinity Church is now a growing, diverse congregation working with our existing churches to bring Good News to the city.
Other new ventures are planned in the rural centre of the county – work is now under way to start a new, distinctive church - market towns and former mining communities.
However, it is in the development of our core ministry in every parish that we recognise potential for the most significant further growth. We have a programme over the next seven years to equip 25 resource churches which will be beacons of growth, supporting other churches in training for discipleship and leadership; also helping to plant and graft 75 new worshipping communities.
And we are aiming to welcome 7,000 new disciples into the fellowship of Christ and his Church by 20xx, people who have realised that there is nothing better anyone can do with their life than to become a follower of Jesus.
There’s a lot to discover in the fascinating county of Nottinghamshire: rolling farmland and quiet woods; a cosmopolitan city offering the best in entertainment; two first-class universities; world-leading design and technology companies; fine architecture – and Robin Hood.
Add to that it’s beautiful country parks, stately homes and sporting prowess – it’s home to Trent Bridge, the National Water Sports Centre, and Nottingham Forest – and it’s easy to see why it is such a popular destination for tourists, students, shoppers and sports fans (and we haven’t even mentioned its literary heritage, the mighty River Trent so popular with rowers, sailors and anglers, and the modern tram network that whisks people around Greater Nottingham).
The Diocese incorporates the whole of Nottinghamshire and a small slice of South Yorkshire, and has a breadth of ministry that covers tough former mining communities and city estates, isolated hamlets and villages, and historic market towns.
Working for change
On any one day, people from our congregations will be feeding the hungry, finding shelter for the homeless, providing meals for the lonely, working with the elderly and supporting asylum seekers and refugees – in 2016 the Bishop’s Lent Appeal raised more than £12,000 to help refugees and asylum seekers.
We also support Nottinghamshire Rural Support, a charity that helps farmers and their families, and have pioneered work to reduce debt, including the launch of Lifesavers projects in primary schools, which encourage children to save and also teaches them about finance and budgeting.
We are active in protecting the environment through our Freedom of Creation group – many of our vicarages now have solar panels – and we have a group of Workplace Chaplains who work with employers large and small to support the wellbeing of employees.