ALL SAINTS WIGAN TEAM APPOINTMENT OF RECTOR OF WIGAN AND TEAM VICAR

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1 ALL SAINTS WIGAN TEAM APPOINTMENT OF RECTOR OF WIGAN AND TEAM VICAR * * * * * * * * Team Profile and s for All Saints, Wigan and St George, Wigan

2 CONTENTS Page ALL SAINTS WIGAN TEAM 3 ALL SAINTS, WIGAN 5 ST GEORGE, WIGAN 9 TRANSFORMING WIGAN 12 * * * * * * * * THE MARKET PLACE Page 2

3 ALL SAINTS WIGAN TEAM The All Saints Wigan Team came into being in March 2015 after several years of planning. This was a response to the need to reduce clergy numbers in the Wigan Deanery and to explore new ways of providing ministry and mission across 12 parishes around the Town Centre and beyond. Following the retirement of the former Team Rector, we need to appoint a new Team Vicar, and Rector of Wigan, with responsibility for the Parishes of All Saints and St George, Wigan TEAM MISSION STATEMENT The All Saints Wigan Team is Christ centred and inclusive, within which the 12 parishes work together for the mission of God in this part of Wigan. THE AIMS OF THE TEAM ARE: To work together as the Church of God To encourage and support the ministries of the different parishes in the team To pray and worship together To encourage and develop the role of lay people To explore fresh expressions of being church To share resources and to learn from one another CONTEXT The Team is part of the Deanery of Wigan in the Diocese of Liverpool. It covers the following twelve parishes: St David, Haigh St John, New Springs St Mary, Ince St Catharine, Scholes St Anne, Beech Hill St George, Wigan St Elizabeth, Aspull St Stephen, Whelley Christ Church, Ince St Michael, Wigan St Andrew, Wigan All Saints, Wigan There is also a Church Plant (Gateway) in Wigan Town Centre, which is based in a shop unit in one of the Town Centre Shopping Centres. In addition, the Diocese has been successful in securing a grant of 1million for a seven-year project called, Transforming Wigan. The aim of this exciting project is to enable the Church in the Deanery to be both fit for mission and sustainable in the future. Revd Tim Montgomery, Director of Mission, is leading this project. Page 3

4 TEAM STRUCTURE The Team consists of 5 stipendiary clergy and 1 NSM Team Vicar. There are currently two vacancies for two Team Vicars and once the vacancies are filled, the Team Rector will be appointed from within the Team. Other ordained staff as of August 2015 comprise: 1 Stipendiary Assistant Deacon (shared with Gateway Church) 1 non-stipendiary Curate 1 OLM There are 9 licensed and active Readers in the Team some of whom are available to work across the Team s parishes. RESPONSIBILITIES Each incumbent is named as responsible for particular parishes in the Team and is also licensed to work in all of the Team s parishes. TEAM COUNCIL Each parish has its own Parochial Church Council. The wider Team is represented by a Team Council with one lay representative from each parish as well as all the clergy. The Team clergy have a business meeting monthly and meet each week for Morning Prayer on Tuesdays. SCHOOLS Within the Team s boundary there are: 6 Voluntary Aided Church of England Primary Schools 1 Voluntary Controlled Church of England Primary School 5 Local Authority Primary Schools 2 Roman Catholic Primary Schools 1 Church of England High School 1 Local Authority High School 1 Roman Catholic High School All of the Church of England schools have continuing strong and developing links with the parish churches and Incumbents are Foundation Governors of the schools in their parishes. Wigan Deanery High School and Sixth Form College Wigan and Leigh College Wigan University Technical College HIGHER EDUCATION Page 4

5 The Parishes of All Saints, Wigan and St George, Wigan All Saints Wigan All Saints Wigan (known colloquially as Wigan Parish Church) is the oldest church in Wigan being mentioned in the Domesday Book Dedicated to All Saints, the parish once covered an area of over 40 square miles. It now covers a small area chiefly in the centre of town. The church stands on the crest of a hill in Wigan Town Centre. It is at least the third building on the site, most of the structure being erected in the rebuild of The church has had major restoration work done at frequent intervals, the last being completed around The building is now in a good state of repair. The Parish population is now about 4000 housed mainly in private terraced property along with some social housing. The Town Centre is well endowed with shopping and commercial properties. The church seats over 600 people and is used for numerous large gatherings throughout the year, including the Civic Remembrance Day Service, St George s Day Service for Uniformed organisations, the Team Confirmation at which last year saw 90 candidates from the Team parishes confirmed, School Services for children from the Deanery High School, and Wigan and Leigh College Graduations and Staff briefings. Over the last two years a major project in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund saw two 15 th Century Altar Pieces displayed in one of the church chapels, a project which cost around 90,000. In addition there is a small building known as the Bluecoat School, now used for meetings and refreshments after the Sunday Services, and the Song Room which contains the parish office and toilet facilities. The Rectory is situated a short walk away from the church in a residential area and is a five-bedroom detached property with large rooms. There is a small area behind the property with a patio, small garden and car parking. You can find more about the Church on our website: Page 5

6 PARISH VISION The setting up of the All Saints Wigan Team and the diocesan initiative to transform Wigan gives all of the churches in the Team an opportunity to make far-reaching and fundamental changes to the church s mission in Wigan. With declining church congregations everywhere, more of the same is not enough. Our vision, led by some recent group sessions involving many members of the congregation, is: To grow our church in numbers and spirit so that we present a meaningful representation of the work of God and the church in our modern society. To support and engage in the new wave of thinking around mission which the Transforming Wigan initiative will encourage and develop. To reach out to people for whom regular worship and church life has never been a priority. To offer a place of sanctuary in a busy town centre for those in need and to do it with a handshake and a smile. To maintain the long established traditions of our church and its role in the town while continuing to change with the times. To develop a new warm and friendly meeting place in church for groups and individuals to use. Already the PCC has set aside around 20,000 for this venture and is in discussion with our church architect. To provide a high level of pastoral care for members of our church family, especially in times of personal need. ELECTORAL ROLL AND FINANCE There are around 200 members on the Electoral Roll and this number has remained reasonably constant for a few years with new names coming onto the Roll as others are taken off. The church s finances are very sound. Last year our income and expenditure were both over 130,000 and the accounts showed an overall profit for the year of just over 5,000. There is a well organised planned giving scheme with almost 50 members on standing orders. In addition another 80 families take weekly envelopes. Our routine expenditure is dominated by the Diocesan Quota which is more than 50 percent and utility bills and insurance make up a further 25 percent. Since the quota system began, we have never missed a payment. Currently the balance sheet shows assets of 180,000 which includes the value of a twobedroom house we own which is currently rented out to a member of the All Saints Team. Page 6

7 TRADITION AND SERVICES Regular Weekly Services Average attendance Sunday 8.00am Holy Communion (BCP) 10 Sunday 9.30am Parish Communion (Common Worship) 80 Sunday 6,30pm Choral Evensong (BCP, Taize & Iona) 25 Wednesday 12.30pm Holy Communion (CW) OCCASIONAL SERVICES to Sept. WEDDINGS BAPTISMS FUNERALS As with other churches Easter and Christmas are very busy times with several daily Services during Holy Week and Carol and other popular Services around Christmas. We are a traditional church but, under the guidance of the previous Incumbent, we breathed new life into and improved those established traditions. There is a good choral tradition with a very competent Director of Music, a famous organ and a small but very capable robed choir. We have two churchwardens and a deputy warden, a 20-plus strong team of sidespeople, an efficient team of servers and a Virger and Sacristan. ECUMENICAL AND CIVIC LINKS There are excellent and friendly relationships between all the churches in the Wigan Town Centre area. The outgoing Rector was a strong voice in the foundation of Wigan Deanery Ecumenical Partnership, a group of churches of all denominations which meets regularly. Joint Services and events such as Easter vigils and Town Centre carol singing have been held. The church has always had a leading role in the civic life of Wigan. Its position dominating the skyline in the Town Centre, its size and its ecumenical traditions has meant most of the town s Civic Services are held here with the adjacent cenotaph being the civic focus for Remembrance Sunday and the church always full to capacity for the Service which follows. In recent years the church has hosted many of the First and Second World War anniversaries and is regularly used for smaller Services by war veterans. We still have a traditional walking day around the town centre. The Rector plays a leading role in the Town Centre civic and commercial life, currently chairing the Town Centre Partnership Board, a body leading the redevelopment of an important area of the Town Centre. He is recognised by the council as the church voice for them and is the natural contact for other organisations, such as the local media, if they want information or views. In recent years local councillors have delivered financial support for minor church repairs. World War One Civic Remembrance Page 7

8 With mission in mind, the church opens its doors to visitors regularly on Wednesdays and Saturdays with people from all over the world calling in for a look round our beautiful building or just for a quiet moment. In Lent and Advent we aim to keep church open most days including holding weekly Bible Study groups. We have permanent food collections for Town Centre relief bodies and a year ago set up a café in our Bluecoat School for families struggling to feed their children during the long summer school holidays. This was such a success that the church has joined with partners to open a full time café, called Fur Clemt, in a deprived area of Wigan. ORGANISATIONS AND GROUPS The church has a very vibrant, experienced and lively PCC. Its officers have been in post for many years as have many of its members. Recently the church became a charity in its own right and the PCC members became its Trustees. They take their stewardship role of the charity very seriously, especially their financial scrutiny. Four other specialist groups are operating under the auspices of the PCC supporting the church and the diocese on Outreach and Mission, Use and Maintenance of Buildings, as well as Pastoral and Worship issues. We have a very successful fund-raising group which has been operating for over 10 years and last year raised more than 14,000 towards general church funds. Other groups include an active Mothers Union, bell-ringers, children s bible group, flower arrangers, specialist stitchers and Scout Group. As a recognised excellent music venue, the church also hosts many music events throughout the year. Around a dozen folk concerts are staged each year and other one-off concerts by choirs, bands and orchestras are held. Recently a leading North West choir staged an opera in church. Show of Hands Concert SCHOOL LINKS The parish no longer has a church school but, as patron of several parishes in the Wigan Deanery, the Rector has a close liaison with many church schools. The Deanery High School is within the parish boundaries. Strong historical and current links exist, the school and church using each other s buildings on a regular basis. The Rector will automatically be a foundation governor of the school and the last two Rectors have begun their governing role as vice-chairman before stepping up to be chairman until they retired. The school, which has around 1500 pupils, is in the middle of a 14½ million rebuild which is due to be completed in Page 8

9 St George, Wigan St. George s Church is situated in the Town Centre of Wigan. Its population in the 2011 Census was 97,000. Wigan is a close-knit community where Everyone knows everyone else. The parish is home to several local primary schools e.g. Mabs Cross, St. Mary s and St. John s Roman Catholic School. There is a mix of urban and rural, with famous landmarks of Wigan Pier and Haigh Hall Plantations respectively. Mesnes Park has been beautifully restored recently and the town boasts several examples of interesting architecture. Further attractive features are the town s shopping facilities, with specific regard to the Grand Arcade, Town Centre shops and the DW Stadium, home to Wigan Warriors (Rugby League) and Wigan Athletic (Football). Famous people are Dave Whelan and Billy Boston of the sporting world and Sir Ian McKellen of acting fame. A statue of George Formby adorns our new arcade and a statue of Billy Boston is shortly to be erected. Transforming the physical environment and culture of Wigan is currently a major priority, despite the austerity cuts. Currently, we have one traditional Sung Eucharist at 11 am each Sunday, with additional Services as appropriate e.g. Christmas and Lent. THE CHURCH AND ITS PEOPLE We have a small, but very loyal, hardworking congregation of approximately 25 communicants, (38 on the Electoral Roll). To date, we have 19 Gift Aid donors. Eighteen months ago, the church had financial difficulties but an appeal to the congregation resulted in a significant increase in giving. The small donations and collections scheme has allowed members of the congregation to contribute to the upkeep of our building and church community. The Gift Aid Secretary, the church Treasurer and two members of the PCC record and check all donations. Church members range from age three to 90, most of whom reside outside the parish boundary. Several lay members of the congregation are responsible for bible readings and three members are authorised to administer the wine at Holy Communion. Sunday School takes place upstairs each Sunday, in the middle of the Holy Communion Service. There are two leaders and five young people (at the most). Sessions involve bible stories, drawings, writing, prayers and songs. Children also make presentations, to the rest of the congregation, on key events such as Harvest, Christmas and Mothering Sunday. Two of our young people have recently followed a course leading to the receiving of Holy Communion, supported by all members of our congregation. Page 9

10 In addition to the formal Sunday Services, Bible Studies and prayer meetings take place, as appropriate, during the church s calendar. The Women s Fellowship (15 regular members) meet on a monthly basis. A short Service precedes the meeting; speakers are invited to talk about their work, or the charitable organisations they support. As a group they have supported the project in South West China s Children, Derian House and the Bethany Project. All the donations raised are given to church funds at this present time. To raise money, this group has organised coffee mornings, bingo evenings, concerts with choirs, to name a few. All these events were thoroughly enjoyed and the last concert raised 750 for church funds. At these social events, friends and fellow Christians from nearby churches have given their support. Communion Services are held for the group before some meetings: Maundy Thursday and at the start of a new session, usually in August. An outing is always arranged for a Christmas meal. Last year a coach party of 34 people went to Rivington Barn. Most recently, in June, 24 people went to a restaurant for the last meeting before the summer break. In the past, we have made our church available to other Christian bodies requiring temporary accommodation: Queen s Hall Methodist Church, St. John s Roman Catholic Church and, more recently, The Redeemed Church of Christ (Alive Church). THE CHURCH AND ITS COMMUNITY Given the small numbers of our regular congregation, we have very few weddings and baptisms. Over the last five years we have had 3 Weddings, 10 Baptisms, 28 Funerals and 1 Wedding Blessing. Similarly, we have a limited range of activities taking place in the Church buildings: charity shop to raise funds for church, Women s Fellowship events, Wigan Civic Trust monthly meetings, music concert at Christmas, clergy group weekly meetings for prayer and discussion. As members of a United Benefice, we have a good relationship with All Saints Parish Church and have shared Services throughout the year. The church is represented on the Deanery Synod and the new Partnership Council. With regard to services to the community, the previous Incumbent and curates have visited the sick at home, in hospital and in local care homes, taking Holy Communion to those in need. Church members have also been involved in the Town Centre community, with the support of the Rotary Club, when raising funds at a charity stall during the summer and winter months. Our church has supported local and national charities e.g. NSPCC boxes, Christian Aid envelopes and the Bible Society. It is hoped that, despite financial pressures, we may continue to support those in need, beyond our immediate commitments. Page 10

11 THE CHURCH AND ITS BUILDINGS Our church is a Grade 2 listed building, consecrated in In the mid 1960 s, a decline in industries, large scale demolition in the town and a new road system had a dramatic effect on our church members: families moved away. In 1980, fire rendered our church unfit for purpose and complete restoration was required. Our congregation kept the faith and our Services were held in St. George s School until the church building was fully restored but with reduced seating. Falling birth rates led to the closure of the school. Our current building is in reasonable condition. Our worship area is in need of decoration but remains fit for purpose and a very sacred place to us. People take responsibility for the monthly newsletter, cleaning, flower arranging, attending to the communion vessels and vestments, ordering of provisions, candles, palm crosses etc. We have recently refurbished the kitchen area of the narthex and embarked on the decoration of the toilets. (Members of the congregation volunteered to do this). The church is welcoming, warm and well lit. It has two adjacent car parks. The scope for new mission and ministry activity within the buildings is currently limited, as the priority is to consolidate and build upon the progress made during the last 18 months, where we have proved ourselves capable of meeting the cost of building maintenance, including repairs, routine costs of heating and lighting etc. We have received support from the diocese, in terms of reduced Parish Share, but will need to sustain current efforts if the share increases. We have always paid our Parish Share to date, more recently in the face of considerable difficulties. Gateway MARKET PLACE Page 11

12 Transforming Wigan There are three key goals undergirding the strategy to fulfil the vision: Transforming Wigan is a Church of England initiative to renew the life of the Church in Wigan in order to transform the whole community through the fullness of life offered by Jesus within the Kingdom of God. 1. To RENEW the spiritual heart of the Church in Wigan, raising new hope among the Christians living out their faith every day. 2. To REORIENTATE the churches to be outward focused, able to both live out and speak out the good news of Jesus and bless their communities with the serving-love of God. 3. To REVIVE the spiritual heart of life in Wigan, playing a key role alongside other partners to bring fullness of life in every part. Transforming Wigan is led by the Director of Mission in Wigan, the Revd Tim Montgomery. Tim has been in post since March 2015 and is helping the church leaders (lay and ordained) to get positioned for the transformation agenda ahead. There will be significant change in this period ( ) to all areas of our traditional ways of being and doing church. You can read more about this project on the Diocesan website at: As we embark on this journey we are setting a radical agenda for our key clergy leaders (which includes this post) that will require them to allocate more of their time, energy and leadership to developing opportunities to grow new churches within a new Worship Community framework that serves more of the people in their locality. We are working towards a one-third: two-thirds model to enable these lead clergy to give a third of their time to the existing traditional ministry of the church(es) they serve and twothirds to developing new worship communities to extend the Kingdom of God in Wigan. This will require a major commitment to identifying and nurturing new ministries to serve and grow both the traditional and new churches. Collaborative working within the Team and the Deanery is an essential requirement as we journey together in this adventure to renew discipleship, re-orientate churches and revive faith in our deanery. Page 12

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