We are delighted to announce that we shall be appointing an Associate Vicar for Community Development and Mission in 2018, following the extraordinarily generous gift of 7 years’ funding for this post from a member of the congregation. We are absolutely thrilled at this amazing act of generosity and give thanks to God for such a lavish gift. The practical details of the appointment are being finalised and we will be advertising and interviewing before Easter.
An Associate Vicar is an experienced priest who brings particular skills and knowledge to work alongside Simon. The Associate is not a curate – they will have been ordained for a number of years already – and will be responsible for a number of areas of work. These will include:
- Community Development. The Associate Vicar will be responsible for developing St Mary’s commitment to the Common Good in the Parish and beyond, taking leadership of this element of the life of the parish from Simon and the Church Council. They will work with local partners (including the Katherine Low Settlement and the Battersea Salesians), as well as other Church of England churches in North Battersea. We are looking for a priest who has Community Development or Organising skills to help St Mary’s and other churches to respond to the needs of the community (particularly those living in areas of relative deprivation) and to provide support to existing work. This will include, but not be limited to, work with Refugees in north Battersea, which has already begun.
- Growing New Expressions of Church: The Associate Vicar will be someone who can pioneer new opportunities for evangelism and Christian formation. We expect them to develop new expressions of church and faith that appeal to those with whom St Mary’s currently finds it hard to connect, created from within a broad commitment to community development work mentioned above. The gift of this appointment is time: the funding means we are in no hurry to see immediate results in terms of numerical growth. That means the Associate Vicar will be someone who can proclaim the Gospel and build church through investing time and energy into relationships, discerning the presence and work of God in our community, and who brings people together in a manner that creates ways of being church that may differ from the more traditional expressions currently within the life of St Mary’s.
- Traditional Pastoral Ministry. Working alongside Simon, and supporting him, the Associate Vicar will take a full part in the liturgical life of the parish as a priest, with specific encouragement to ensure that our liturgy, prayer and discipleship reflect their own areas of ministry. They will to share responsibility for baptisms, weddings and funerals, and provide necessary cover for Simon when he undertakes duties related to his current national role.
Bishop Christopher has signed off on this appointment and the process of appointment will be led by Archdeacon John Kiddle and Simon. The PCC has committed to house the incoming priest.