The Parish of Harpenden. Appointment of Associate Vicar in Charge of St Mary s

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1 The Parish of Harpenden Appointment of Associate Vicar in Charge of St Mary s Electoral Roll: Parish 661, of which St Mary s District 132 Parish Population: 21,400 Parish Web Site: The Parish covers two-thirds of the town of Harpenden and the village of East Hyde. There are three churches; St Nicholas in the town-centre, St Mary s in the north, and All Saints in the east. The staffing in recent years has comprised the Rector, with particular responsibility for St Nicholas district, two Associate Vicars (who were Assistant Curates in Charge until 2012) with responsibility for St Mary s and All Saints respectively, and a curate-in-training. The staff team meets regularly to plan and share work, and prays together daily. Additionally, there are a number of licensed Readers, an SSM who works mainly in St Mary s and a retired clergyperson. Clergy and Readers comprise a Ministry Team which meets quarterly. Currently there are 2.83 stipendiary posts and a curate-in-training. The clergy operate informally as a team, supporting each other and working together to lead in mission and ministry across the parish. There is a high level of lay leadership across the parish. Each stipendiary staff member has responsibility for a district and also co-ordinates areas of ministry across the parish. The Parish is administered under a strong committee structure. In addition to the PCC and two Churchwardens each of the three Districts has a District Committee and two District Wardens. The associate vicar to be appointed to St Mary s will have key roles in the Parish in addition to responsibility for leadership in St Mary s district. The detail of these roles will be for discussion with the appointee in the light of his/her abilities, interests, and experience. 1

2 Who We Are St Mary s church, although small in physical terms, has a vibrant community at its heart and a distinctive ethos of caring and sharing responsibility for its people and building. We seek to relate to and serve people at the north end of Harpenden while remaining a part of the wider parish. Although a range of social and ethnic backgrounds is represented, the community it serves is predominately professional and many who live in the area commute to London. St. Mary s was originally built in 1869 as a combined chapel of ease and village school and it maintains a strong ministry to children. The main church can seat 80 with additional capacity in the attached hall. The newest (award-winning) extension consists of a larger vestry (also used as a meeting room), entrance hall (with disabled access toilet) and an upstairs meeting room with coffee making facilities. It is well used by both the church and the wider community. The district s house (86 Tuffnells Way) is in a pleasant residential area, a ten-minute walk from St. Mary s. It is a detached three-bedroomed house, double-glazed with gas central heating, garden, garage and a small downstairs study. Plans are underway to add a fourth bedroom. Worship Up until April 2016 Sunday services at St. Mary s have been at 9.15 a.m. (CW Eucharist), the average attendance being 38, many of whom are of retirement age but still serve the church well, and a.m. (CW Service of the Word) where the all age attendance numbers are very variable but average 26. A monthly Family Communion service at a.m. has brought the 9.15 and a.m. congregations together and has been well supported by both congregations (average attendance 67). From May 2016 a five-month trial will take place having one service at 9.30 a.m. each Sunday. The first Sunday of the month will be a service of the word, with a said communion service later in the morning. The other Sundays will be CW Eucharist. 2

3 Since January 2013 Simply Worship has taken place monthly at 4.30 p.m. This is an informal service, led via PowerPoint, aimed at families, and includes craft activities, average attendance 31. St Mary s is well recognised as a friendly welcoming church. It values its sacramental tradition within an easy relaxed style of worship, whilst also embracing alternative forms of worship. St Mary s places particular value on its ability to attract people of all ages to worship. There is a team of 4 voluntary organists who between them play for all our services and a small orchestra plays occasionally. There are no regular Sunday evening services at St. Mary s but clergy take turns leading the evening worship for the parish: choral evensong at St Nicholas 1 st, 3 rd and 4 th Sundays and Parish Evening Worship 2 nd Sunday. Clergy also share in leading mid-week Offices and Holy Communion services throughout the parish. St. Mary s hosts a mid-week BCP Eucharist twice monthly and there is a monthly communion service at local warden-controlled flats. In 2015 there were 8 baptisms at St. Mary s, 0 weddings, 2 blessings of a marriage and 6 church funeral services. Over 460 attended worship on Christmas Eve/Day and Easter communicants in 2016 numbered 78. The parish clergy also share in providing parish baptism services once a month and weddings as booked, both generally held at St Nicholas Church. Since 2000, St. Mary s has been fortunate to have the additional ministry of the Rev d Professor Nicolas Goulding as one of the Associate Clergy. Nick is chaplain to Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry where he also lectures and undertakes medical research. His ministry is greatly valued by all. There are a number of Readers within the parish, including Jenny Goulding who regularly assists in the leadership at St. Mary s and is also a volunteer chaplain at London Luton Airport. To ensure St. Mary's is Living God's Love and in line with the Parish Mission Action Plan (MAP) (see appendix 2) the district have set goals for 2015/6 in each of the four priority groups, making new disciples; growing in discipleship; young people and schools and supporting the elderly (see appendix 1). Children And Young People Children and young people are an integral part of worship at St. Marys. On a Sunday two children's groups, Infant and Junior Explorers, for children aged 3-11years (49 registered), run during the Family Praise service. The monthly Family Communion has proved popular with families and young people. The children bring their own instruments, enjoying musical worship and drama as well as celebrating the Eucharist. There is a children led service once a term and the young orchestra play at many of the church festivals. For the 11+ (25 registered) SAS, a fortnightly parish youth group gives the young people, across the 3 churches, opportunities to socialise and provides exciting ways to learn about and support the needs of others in their own and the wider community. The children of St. Mary's also attend X-site, a large ecumenical termly event, which aims to provide a fun encounter with God. 3

4 In Our District... Pastoral care for our congregation has developed over recent years and members are very supportive of each other. A number of people have taken a six week course about pastoral care and then have become part of a Pastoral Care Team. Rotas have been arranged for those who need help with shopping or transport. Housebound church members receive home communion regularly. A Bible Study group meets regularly, Lent groups are held, and occasional six week courses take place, the most recent being Puzzling Questions. An afternoon social activity group open to all both from the congregation and the local community meets monthly in the church hall. The recent renovation of the Kinsbourne Common Hall has provided opportunities to work together with neighbouring uniformed organisations. In conjunction with the scouts we have started a monthly lunch club, providing elderly people with a fresh cooked lunch and time to socialise, run by a dedicated group of volunteers. A private nursery, with which we have close links, uses our Hall four mornings weekly. A brownie pack also meets in the hall and is invited to major festivals. Other users of the hall include the WI, lace makers and dance classes. There are well-established links with local infant and junior schools, especially with Wood End School, where previous curates have served on the governing body. All the schools in North Harpenden, including Wood End JMI, Roundwood Primary and Roundwood Park Senior are very highly regarded. There is a parish website parishofharpenden.org with sections for each district. The parish produces a monthly magazine, LINK, and a weekly pew leaflet; there is also a Monthly Missive at St Mary s. We have a dedicated publicity group....and Beyond St Mary s has a strong outreach tradition and raised and donated more than 5,000 in 2015 to a variety of causes including the Jeel al-amal Boys Home in Jerusalem, the Bishop s Harvest Appeal and The Children s Society. Fund raising activities have brought the church and the local community together on several occasions and our hospitality has been much enjoyed by those who come. These include the Harvest Supper, the annual fete and quizzes. Other outreach initiatives, in line with our MAP objectives, are the Christmas and Easter Experiences and the Wedding Dress Experience. Leaders from most of the Christian Churches in Harpenden meet regularly and ecumenical activities include the Good Friday March of Witness and an annual interchurch quiz. As a parish we participate fully in the diocesan initiative, Living God s Love 2020 (see link: 4

5 We are seeking someone who: is nourished by their own personal faith and prayer and seeks to help others encounter God. can provide lively and thought provoking teaching to nurture and inspire by interpreting the faith and challenging us to grow spiritually. has developed pastoral and excellent communication skills, with an ability to relate to people of all ages. can encourage and nurture the gifts and talents of the whole congregation and develop lay leadership. values the present but has creativity and vision to develop new possibilities. can help and encourage us to reach out to love and serve the wider community. In return we can offer A church that is proactive, creative and open to change. A strongly supportive and active laity, who expect to work closely with their ordained ministers, developing vision together with trust and imagination. An opportunity to develop ministerial skills in a variety of settings across the parish. Working within a collaborative and supportive ministry team of clergy, Readers, and laity. Good housing and schools. You are welcome to contact for further information: The Rector The Reverend Canon Dennis Stamps The Rectory 9 Rothamsted Avenue Harpenden AL5 2DD For application details please contact the Archdeacon of St Albans Office at tel: Closing date for applications: 12th September. Interview date: 23rd September Appointment to this position is subject to satisfactory enhanced disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service. 5

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