Possible parish opening ...for an accepting evangelical Church of England priest, following the retirement in September of the Rev George Day.
The parish of St Barnabas, Joydens Wood, in Rochester Diocese, on the London/Kent boundary, will very soon be seeking a new vicar, when I retire in September. The church is accepting of gay relationships, and indeed has two lesbian couples, one couple in positions of leadership, and the other couple recently confirmed, and so the PCC is looking for a new vicar who will continue this approach. As regards churchmanship, the draft job/person spec says “we have enjoyed open evangelical-style ministry for the past five years but would be open to some difference in style of churchmanship so long as we have a pastor who will inspire us and foster gifts in the congregation.” My own hope is that an open evangelical can be found for this vacancy, rather than finding any need to have too much “difference in style of churchmanship”, and that is why I am making this known through the Accepting Evangelicals newsletter.
The church is set on a mainly owner-occupied housing estate from the 1960s, with a more recently built estate also within the parish, again mainly owner-occupied, but both areas with some social housing. There is an excellent multi-purpose church building. The church has grown over the last 5 years and the average age has dropped considerably. So, there is now a thriving congregation, average number on Sundays about 55-60. There is plenty of potential for growth, numerically and spiritually.
We have the support of our excellent archdeacon in trying to find somebody who fits the situation here, but he is aware of the fact that accepting evangelical clergy are limited in number. The patron is the Bishop of Rochester, the post currently vacant, although we now have a bishop designate in James Langstaff.
The PCC has drawn up a draft parish profile and job/person spec. and the members of the PCC are anxious to do all that is possible to keep the length of interregnum to the minimum. So, although there is considerable limitation on what can be done prior to the start of the interregnum, if any member of AE is interested in finding out more, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be very happy to give some more information, or to ask the churchwardens to send you a copy of the draft profile.
More information about the church is also available on our website www.joydenswoodchurch.webeden.co.uk