Vicar, St James' Porchester
Our parish is situated in an expanding suburban area on the North-Eastern edge of the City of Nottingham in Gedling Borough Council. The parish includes parts of Mapperley, Carlton and Gedling. On one side of the parish boundary the main city centre of Nottingham is close and at the opposite side there are still signs of a surrounding parish with rural countryside villages including the newly created Gedling Country Park.
The Western edge of the parish is the main shopping area and a central hub of community life. This lively community focal point has a range of businesses from supermarkets, restaurants, takeaways, local branch library and a community centre run by the Borough Council. There are no manufacturing industries within the parish boundaries, but there are at least three small farms, one of which operates a growing farm shop just outside the parish boundary.
There are four primary schools in the parish and one special needs school, one local secondary school lies just outside the parish boundaries. Members of the congregation are school governors for some of the schools
The population of the parish has been estimated to be around 11,000 and is almost totally residential. There are currently multiple residential developments in progress on the northern edges of the parish. The demographic mix of the parish comprises mostly of a predominately white community. The parish mainly consists of people who work in skilled and semi-skilled occupations, and has a low level of unemployment. The providers of employment are outside of the parish either in the city centre, NHS hospitals/communities, schools etc. due to the area being housing rather than industrial areas.
Our theme verse for 2018, Isaiah 43:19, says “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” We believe that this time of vacancy is the start of the next step in our growth as a Church and as a parish.
St James overarching vision statement is: ‘Growing God’s faithful people, Celebrating God’s generous harvest, Sharing God’s sacrificial love.’ We have developed a seven-year vision, which is structured along the lines of the Diocesan Vision of Growing Disciples ‘Wider, Younger, Deeper” approach.
Significantly more people joining the church (across all the different services) including more men, those in business, socially disadvantaged.
Significantly more people joining the church from the local area
Significantly more people in the total number in the congregations – everyone matters not just new people! [Back door closed as well as front door open!]
New worshipping community that is disability and dementia-friendly.
Significant number of adults being baptised and confirmed
Significant increase and retention of young people 10+ -18
Significantly more younger adults aged 18-30
Significantly more younger families
Significantly more people participating in dedicated prayer.
Significantly more people joining nurture courses
Higher proportion of the congregations engaging with discipleship initiatives – e.g. home/study groups, short courses, study days
Significantly more people involved in social justice issues or projects
Specific Development Priorities - Wider
Improved use of social media so it becomes a natural part of how we communicate
Identifying men’s ministry team
Specific Development Priorities - Younger
Clarifying children & families’ ministry priorities
Develop Muddy Church activity for more active children
Build relationships with families that are not yet part of the church family but who attend church-based events
Specific Development Priorities - Deeper
Creating clarity about the stages we offer from visitor to enquirer and enquirer to disciple
Helping the whole congregation explore their own personal baptismal calling
The Ideal Candidate
We are looking for someone who –
Can help us to grow disciples, especially in areas of the parish and with age profiles (13-45 year olds) that we are not currently reaching.
Is outward focussed and will develop contacts on the “fringe” of church on the journey towards a mature faith.
Will help our congregation to grow deeper in faith through preaching and teaching.
Is a collaborative team player, able to nurture, motivate and affirm the gifts and contributions of others.
Has a love for prayer and a desire to encourage others to pray.
Is friendly and approachable with a sense of humour!
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.
Click here to find out more about our work