Welcome to our Benefice Profile

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1 St Laurence, Winslow Welcome to our Benefice Profile St James, Great Horwood Winslow, Great Horwood & Addington, Buckinghamshire

2 Index 1. Welcome to Our Benefice Profile 2. Celebrating the Benefice 3. Our Churches 3.1 St Laurence, Winslow 3.2 St James, Great Horwood 3.3 St Mary s, Addington 4. Our Challenges 4.1 St Laurence, Winslow 4.2 St James, Great Horwood 4.3 St Mary s, Addington 5. Our Worship 6. Person Profile 6.1 Personal Qualities 6.2 What We Can Offer 7. Buildings 7.1 Churches 7.2 Rectory 8. Finance 9. Helpful Websites 10. The Claydon Deanery 11. The Diocese of Oxford

3 1. Welcome to Our Benefice Profile Our Benefice is located within the Aylesbury, Milton Keynes and Buckingham triangle. We are three churches, each with its own identity and traditions, addressing different communities in the picturesque town of Winslow, village of Great Horwood and hamlet of Addington in rural North Buckinghamshire. Milton Keynes, with its wide range of sporting facilities, theatres, cinemas and vast shopping centre is only 11 miles away. Winslow is a small vibrant market town of 4,000 people, with Great Horwood, 1,000 and Addington, 100 nearby. Our three churches, St Laurence Winslow, St James Great Horwood and St Mary s Addington all lie at the heart of their community and are supported by the town, village or hamlet where they are situated, especially for festivals and local events. The town of Winslow has grown in stages in its history since 792, but has seen substantial expansion in the last two years with further residential development in the pipeline. This includes affordable and social housing together with employment which will provide us as a church with a range of opportunities and challenges as we seek to serve our community. This coincides with the new rail link connecting Winslow direct to Oxford, Aylesbury, Milton Keynes and London in The village of Great Horwood was first recorded in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle of 792. It has a number of conservation areas with 46 Grade II listed buildings. At present there are a number of proposals to build additional houses in the village. The Parish Plan is for approximately 40 new homes, but private developers are also seeking to add to this number. There is a wide range of activities supported by the village, from sporting clubs, the two public houses and groups that use the village hall and scout hut. Addington is a small rural hamlet 2 miles outside Winslow at the end of a no through road, with a total population of under 100. The village has no shop, pub, school or hall, and the only communal building is St Mary s Church. A major feature of Addington is the Addington Manor Equestrian Centre, of international competitive equestrian repute. We have two well-established Church of England Primary Combined Schools, both with Ofsted grading of Good, in Winslow and Great Horwood. Winslow is also home to Furze Down School for children with special educational needs, aged 5 to 19. From September 2013 a new Free School, Sir Thomas Freemantle Secondary opened in Winslow. Buckinghamshire has selective education from the age of 11 with Grammar schools in Aylesbury and Buckingham; both with Outstanding grades. We see all of our schools as offering great potential to our mission to children, young people and families. All three churches are planning for the future and look forward to a new Rector leading us in the spiritual mission, growth and development of our churches in their communities.

4 2. Celebrating the Benefice The three churches in the Benefice are all very distinctive with different strengths and areas of development. We all support each other and during the interregnum we have worked more closely as a benefice, with the Church Wardens meeting regularly which has helped the running of the benefice and the growth of their relationships. All of our churches have friendly and loyal congregations who enjoy welcoming visitors and those new to the area. Church members are very caring towards each other and also to their neighbours and those living in their community. Someone is always willing to help practically or to share a problem. We seek to be at the heart of our communities. Not only are our churches full for festive occasions, members of the community are very generous in their support of our fund raising events and individual appeals. Within each of the churches are active, talented lay people, which has been essential with a Rector seeking to minister across all three communities. This includes those leading and taking part in the services, flower arrangers, bell ringers, gardeners, cleaners, pastoral visitors as well as those leading and supporting work within young families and teenagers, to name a few. The Laity are confident to do their own tasks. People are enthusiastic to volunteer for new activities, one off events and even the PCCs! A very varied pattern of social events brings the community and church members together, joining together for coffee on Sundays and Market Days to Harvest & Roving Suppers, Walks, Burns Night Dinners, open Gardens and fund raising activities including Fairs, Good as New & concerts. These events help our churches reach out to all members of the community not just those who come to our churches on Sundays. The interregnum has allowed us time to reflect and consider how we can support each other, building on our strengths. We have continued to grow and develop during this time with new ideas for mission and outreach e.g. Toddler Time and Messy Church at St Laurence, reviewing the music and looking to develop the choir at St James. We are Parish Teams without a leader which is why we are looking forward to a new Rector.

5 3. Our Churches 3.1. St Laurence, Winslow Our doors are always open during daylight hours and we are very proud of the warm welcome we give to all who visit, whether for a service, to look at our beautiful historic church or use it as a quiet place to sit. Our worship is enhanced by our active, talented, robed choir with an excellent choral tradition, affiliated to RSCM, currently 40 strong with ages ranging from 8 to 80. The young choristers and children from the congregation have their own teaching time, from the Gospel to the Peace using the Roots material. The musical director understands the need for flexibility and cooperation with the new incumbent. The church also benefits from a skilled bell ringing team (8 bells), some of whom are active members of the church. There is also a dedicated Sanctuary team. Groups meeting regularly in the church include a branch of the Mother s Union (25) who regularly support church events, In Touch (discussion group), and a Bible Study home group which is extended during Advent and Lent to encourage those with greater commitments to come for a 4-6 week study. We have also held very popular evening talks such as The Bible and the Taizé Community. We have a very strong flower team who produce wonderful displays especially on special occasions. During a weekend in June 2014 we celebrated Marriage with wonderful floral arrangements in the church interspersed with bridal gowns through the decades. Our social events include Christmas Fairs, Garden Parties, Teddy Bears Picnics, Quiz Nights and Barn Dances. All our fund raising events aim to bring everyone together and it also raises approximately 8,000 each year.

6 The St Laurence Room is used as a focus for the church and the community e.g. Annual Winslow Town meeting, Local Health Authority, many local organisations and private functions. It also has a well equipped office with telephone and WiFi and the Lowrey Suite upstairs for smaller meetings. On Market Day we organise an open coffee morning which attracts over 30 people during which a Toddler Story time takes place in the church. In the autumn we are introducing Messy Church, once a term on Sunday afternoons for young families. Outreach and Mission are very important to us. This includes offering support and practical help to those living in Winslow, delivering invitations to services e.g. In Loving Memory an annual bereavement service, and to those families baptised in Winslow an invite to the regular All Age Eucharist. The Youth Cafe is run like a youth club, led by Aylesbury Youth for Christ and supported by volunteers from the three churches in Winslow. It runs on two evenings a week and regularly attracts 40 young people, something we are very proud of, given the church s difficulty in reaching out to young people today. An area of the churchyard has recently been developed into a Teardrop Garden, in memory of children and young adults who have died in Winslow. This has been very much appreciated by the families involved who were included in its planting and maintenance. The Town Council is very supportive in its grants towards the upkeep of the Churchyard also providing Christmas lights and working together at the Christmas Open evenings. Winslow Churches Working Together is a group representing St Alban s Catholic Church, Winslow Christian Fellowship and St Laurence Church. They work together with a common purpose to do God s work in Winslow. Organised activities include services, Good Friday procession of witness and an annual fund raising activity for a local charity. Members of the Church are also involved in the local Big Society Group which organises various activities including gentle walks, a local transport scheme, regular lunches and Singing for Pleasure.

7 Schools, Playgroups and Toddler Groups use our church building for assemblies, services at Christmas and other times of the year. Assemblies in the schools are taken by members of the church. Church events are publicised by flyers in school bags and consequently well supported. There are church representatives on the Governing Body of the Church of England primary school. Winslow Parish News (the Church magazine) with a circulation of 1,100, including Church and town news, together with the use of the St Laurence Room, (the Church hall) are important ways in which we are able to reach out into the community, as well as providing valuable financial support to St Laurence St James, Great Horwood Music Group - we have a thriving group of young and older musicians who lead the music at our Come & Praise service on the 2 nd Sunday of the month. St James Bible Study - this is a lay led house group which has started to meet weekly, themed around the church year; eg Lent group etc. Praise service on the 2 nd Sunday. Breakfast - we serve hot bacon and sausage rolls, with coffee and orange juice from 10.30am prior to the Come & Children s Corner - on the 3 rd Sunday provides Sunday school activities for children during the Sung Eucharist. Focus Parish Magazine - the Church publishes Focus a parish magazine with articles and events relating to village life as a whole and with prominence given to the Christian message. The magazine is delivered free of charge to every household in Great Horwood and Singleborough. It is funded by advertising. Bell Ringers - a small team of bell ringers is established and the 6 bells are rung regularly for weddings and for some services with support from the team from Winslow. Social and Fund Raising Events - a wide range of events take place throughout the year, including Burns Night, Lent Lunches, Open Gardens, Church Fete, Tower Open day, Harvest Auction, Harvest Supper, Christmas raffle and various music concerts. Refreshments are also served after church services.

8 G.H.A.S (Great Horwood and Singleborough) Youth Club for Young People aged 11yrs- 16yrs - originally set up and run by members of the church family, it runs on Monday evenings and offers a variety of activities ranging from table tennis, Wii games, softball tennis, craftwork, giant jenga, etc, etc. Additionally because we are affiliated to Action4Youth we have been able to purchase activities on offer from them which have included sumo wrestling and Mod Roc, plus the i van and sports cage from Bucks County Council. The young people also get involved in the Community and we organise for them to weed the Churchyard on a club night, followed by takeaway pizzas St Mary s Addington Numbers in Addington are too small to support a Sunday school, youth group or other church organisations. We do have occasional fund raising events, such as a stall at the Winslow Show, or other events in the Church though these are limited a little by lack of toilet and fresh water facilities on site. The Church is supported by members of the community with monthly cleaning and flower arranging rotas. The churchyard is cared for by a combination of parishioners efforts and routine grass mowing by a local contractor. The church is opened every day; walkers on the North Buckinghamshire Way which passes the church often stop by for a time of quiet reflection. The Parish benefits from an investment which generates around 3,000pa of income; the total additional income from collections and donations etc comes to around the same again, and the investment income enables St Mary s to routinely meet its Parish Share in full. Preservation of the capital of the investment is of paramount importance. Major maintenance work carried out on the church buildings in recent years has depleted the Parish s remaining capital resources but the building is now generally in good condition and it is not currently anticipated that further major maintenance will be required for some time.

9 4. Our Challenges We recognise that the changing profile of Winslow s population (characteristic of the national trend) will mean that the three Churches in the Benefice, together with the other denominations in Winslow, will need to address changing circumstances and work more closely together. We are good at events where people come to us, but not very strong at engaging in mission involving us going to them. We recognise the demands placed upon all parish clergy and recognise and are committed to lay ministry continuing to grow and develop, especially if we are to reach out to young families St. Laurence, Winslow How do we reach out and encourage young families to be part of our worshipping community? At present we have a variety of services each month including Sung Eucharist, All Age Eucharist, Evensong, BCP Holy Communion and Eucharist with healing. Children and young choristers have their own teaching time during the sermon time and toddlers time takes place on Wednesday mornings. How can we all continue to grow in our faith? We would like to continue to develop study groups at particular times of the year e.g. Advent and Lent and explore other ways in which we could learn about the teachings of Jesus and God and deepen the prayer life of the church and community. How do we reach out to those in need? Although we are aware of the importance and are active in the participation of Pastoral Care, we have no organised Pastoral Scheme. We therefore need to review this. How do we enable everyone to use their God-given gifts and skills? The interregnum has given us time to reflect on the importance of Stewardship which enables gifts and talents to be uncovered, supporting the life of the church and our work in the community. We also need to increase our income to fully pay our Parish Share and maintain upkeep of the fabric. We have struggled over the past years to pay our Parish Share in full. We need a Parish Priest who will help us take Parish Share seriously. Is now the time for a lay-led Stewardship campaign? This could include those on the electoral roll, the community and organisations such as Rotary, Lions, British Legion and the Town Council.

10 4.2. St. James, Great Horwood How do we improve the music in our Eucharistic services? We have a thriving music group of young and old musicians playing a variety of instruments at our Come and Praise service. This has made this our most popular service, while we struggle to get a choir and enjoy the music at our Sung Eucharist services. We would like to continue to develop our relationship with the Church of England School in the village. This works well with church members on the Governing Body and Assemblies led by church members. The school also uses the church for the major festivals. We would like to continue this by looking at ways to involve the school community with church activities such as the choir. We are looking to enhance the presence of the church within community as the Rector resides in Winslow. This can be achieved by visiting the School, Community events, the weekly Post Office and Coffee morning and home visits St. Mary s, Addington St Mary s has over the past century had a tradition of higher church which appeals to a proportion of the congregation, including some from outside the parish; some however feel that the anglo-catholic style is much less accessible and off-putting for many. The style of the majority of services has over the past few years gently become more accessible. The challenge remains to continue the trend towards accessibility and inclusiveness whilst not upsetting those few long standing members of the church who prefer the traditional anglo-catholic approach. The church is well attended by residents of the village for the major festivals, but numbers (excluding the visiting members of the St Laurence Choir) are regularly quite poor for the regular monthly services. A significant challenge lies in widening the appeal of regular attendance, and we are generally open to new innovations that will achieve this. We would welcome the widening of the presence of the Church in the life of the village community, with informal visits of the Rector and attendance at the occasional events held in the community.

11 5. Our Worship Our Benefice has three churches which all have mixed ages in their congregations. The present service pattern is: St Laurence Winslow St James Great Horwood St Mary s Addington 8am Holy Communion BCP 1 st and 3 rd (12) 9.30am Sung Eucharist 1 st, 2 nd, 4 th and 5 th (90*) 10am All-Age Eucharist 3 rd (90*) 8am Holy Communion BCP 4 th (5) 11am Sung Eucharist 1 st & 3 rd (20) 11am Come & Praise Family Service with Breakfast 2 nd (35) 11:15am BCP with Hymns on 4 th Sunday (15-25) 6pm Evensong 2 nd (45*) 11am Morning Prayer 5 th (16) *Numbers incl. Choir. The Church congregation increases to 200 plus for special services at Christmas, Easter and Remembrance. Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals Baptisms, thanksgiving, wedding, funeral and memorial services are held in all three churches. Services St Laurence St James St Mary s Weddings Funerals Baptisms Electoral Roll including 22 resident outside the parish.

12 6. Person Profile The following qualities have been compiled from comments made by members of the churches in a short survey. They represent the core feelings and expectations of the congregations We need a Rector whose personal qualities and skills include: a desire to relate and get on with people an enthusiasm and willingness to become involved in the wider community and be a presence in all parishes an ability to embrace the traditions of Anglican worship and eagerness to explore new approaches to worship a commitment to working with lay people and experienced in making full use of people s talents an ability to enable people to grow spiritually and take forward the church s mission work experience of being a leader and team player, understanding the importance of delegation compassion and approachability someone who is a good listener, valuing other opinions excellent administrative, organisational and communicational skills including IT 6.2. We can offer: lively, vibrant, supportive communities within the church and beyond members of the church communities who help support in a variety of ways including cleaning, gardening, small maintenance. Working parties are regularly organised for larger jobs keen, enthusiastic lay people willing to help lead services, study groups, youth work etc congregations eager to grow and willing to support changes for this to happen well maintained, historic church buildings, a church office and an attractive four bed roomed modern vicarage sited in a large garden paid secretarial help and a benefice account for expenses good/outstanding nursery, C of E primary and secondary schools, including selective schools beautiful countryside surrounding the Benefice

13 7. Buildings 7.1. Churches St Laurence, Winslow The latest quinquennial report indicated that there were no urgent repairs required to the building. Over the last few years substantial money has been spent on the tower, roof and organ. At present we are considering tendering for quotes to update the electrics and improve the heating system. St. James, Great Horwood The last quinquennial noted the church was in reasonable repair. The main area of work at present is the repair of a boundary wall for which fund-raising has taken place and a faculty is being obtained. St. Mary s, Addington The church was shown to be in generally good order at the last quinquennial inspection, particularly so following recent investment in refurbishing the tower s stonework. The three bells are ringable by swing chiming only, and the refurbishment of the frame and bells that would be necessary to allow full circle ringing is beyond our means (and a lower priority) at present.

14 7.2. The Rectory This very attractive detached house, located in Winslow is surrounded by a large but easily manageable garden. It has large light rooms including four bedrooms, another large upstairs room lined with bookcases, a lounge, a kitchen and utility room, a separate dining room and large study. There is a cloakroom downstairs and a shower room and bathroom upstairs. The garden of about half an acre is laid out mainly to lawn and is well cared for. A ride-on mower has been provided by the parishes. There is a direct path from the rear garden to the churchyard and church. There is an integral garage and parking for several cars. 8. Finance The Benefice Parish Share has been very challenging in recent years. We are expected to meet the negotiated reduced Parish Share this year with the full share phased in over the next four years. St Laurence St James St Mary s Income Costs Share Paid ,932 25,931 35, ,179 30,179 35, ,262 7,291 10, ,235 8,183 10, ,321 6,063 3,386 (100%) ,462 7,168 3,553 (100%) 9. Helpful Websites

15 10. The Claydon Deanery The Claydon Deanery consists of two teams (Claydons and Swan, and Schorne) and one united benefice (Winslow, Great Horwood and Addington). Within the deanery there are many small and medium sized villages and the market town of Winslow. The deanery includes a number of places of interest including Buckingham Railway Centre, Waddesdon Manor, and Claydon House. The Deanery holds four synod meetings a year. The Deanery Chapter also meets regularly. Ministry provision in this deanery is varied with both the teams making good use of House for Duty Team Vicar appointments and local lay ministry caring for particular village communities. The growth of Aylesbury to the west and the development of Aylesbury Parkway Station has had a small effect on the deanery, however this will be increased should planned development in Waddesdon take place. This deanery will also be affected significantly by the development of HS2 which will greatly impact a number of villages in the deanery, as well as the length of the deanery through construction work. Chapter meetings are informal, an opportunity to share food and fellowship and to air any areas of concern. The Area Dean is always available to offer help and support as needed.

16 11. The Diocese of Oxford The Diocese of Oxford serves the mission of the Church in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The Diocese comprises more than 600 parishes, with over 800 churches, serving a diverse population of more than 2 million people located in all types of settings. Our Diocesan Bishop is the Rt Revd John Pritchard who has announced that he will be retiring in October His ministry has been very influential in focusing the whole Diocese on the centrality of mission to the life of the church. Due to the size and complexity of the Diocese, we also have three Area Bishops who exercise considerable strategic & pastoral oversight for their Archdeaconries. The Bishop of Buckingham is the Rt Rev d Alan Wilson who has been the Area Bishop since For the past 5 years, Living Faith has directed our Diocesan vision and values. Living Faith places holistic mission and spirituality at the heart of daily life. It contains five key values which inform our strategic directions: sustaining the sacred centre; creating vibrant Christian communities; making disciples; making a difference in the world; shaping confident collaborative leaders. These values are built on the principles of not neglecting the past but building on it; not so much about strategy but culture; not top down but liberating the local; not targets but directions; not about structures but about relationships; not one size fits all but flexibility and not about complexity but elegance. Each year has seen a focus both at Diocesan and benefice on one of these key strands. In 2014 the emphasis is on Shaping Confident Collaborative Leadership. This has included a highly successful and significant clergy conference in March attended by over 360 priests and also a conference for LLMs (Readers) in June. The finale will be in September for our Grand Day Out as people from all across the Diocese gather in Oxford. It will also provide a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Bishop John s ministry here. Full information on Living Faith for the future can be found at We are currently exploring and consulting on how Living Faith needs to be taken forward into the future. It is expected that all clergy appointed into the Archdeaconry of Buckingham will want to commit themselves to this Diocesan vision and its strategic directions.

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