Interim Team Rector of Harden, Wilsden, Cullingworth & Denholme

This job has now expired

These four parishes form an important joint benefice within the Bradford Episcopal Area and the Diocese of Leeds. We are looking to make a full-time three year interim appointment to this role. The purpose of this being an interim appointment is to bring about the necessary changes to build a platform for a sustainable and flourishing ministry in the benefice into the future, including agreeing the relationships and structures between the four churches.

For an informal chat please contact the Archdeacon of Bradford, Ven Dr Andy Jolley on 07973 458403 or

Closing date for applications is: Wed 20th March 2019 with interviews on Fri 5th April.

The joint benefice came into being five years ago and in that time there have been some positive developments which have helped the team ministry to become established. In particular, these include new forms of worship (Messy Church and Café Church at St Matthew’s, the Jesus 4 All service at Denholme) and good Alpha courses held in Wilsden and Denholme. Relationships with the schools in each village, and links with the various community and uniformed organisations in the villages, are good and there to be built upon. In Denholme this is in the context of an encouraging local ecumenical partnership.

While the Benefice came into being five years ago, the constituent parishes have continued to run with a great deal of independence, with the clergy working with particular congregations rather than all of them. There is a Team Council, but it has not yet had a significant role. There is now an appetite to work more closely together and to share best practice. There is also a recognition that the structures need to be adapted to work well for future incumbents and a willingness to embrace this challenge.

An interim appointment is being made to identify and implement the changes needed between and in the four churches to grow more confident disciples, enable greater church growth and see more of God's transforming work in the four villages.

There are seven key tasks for the Interim Team Rector:

  • Deepening the relationships between the four churches and their PCCs, and developing appropriate structures to enable them to support and encourage each other more, make good decisions together, and realise more of the potential synergies between them.
  • Ensuring there is a coherent, attractive and workable pattern of worship across the four villages.
  • Working with the congregations of the four churches to grow them, particularly by developing outreach and ministry among families, children and young people, and working a ‘mixed economy’ of new forms of church and worship alongside traditional ones.
  • Working with the ministry team, taking lay discipleship and lay leadership to the next level, thereby building stronger foundations for future ministry at the end of the interim period.
  • Establishing whether the income of the churches in the benefice can grow sufficiently to be able to meet the full costs of mission and ministry in the benefice and also make a contribution to the costs of mission and ministry in less economically advantaged parts of the Diocese.
  • Helping the congregations to develop relationships within the villages in entrepreneurial and creative ways, to engage strategically with the life of the communities, and contribute to a vision both for the villages and for the place of the churches in the villages.
  • Helping the parishes to develop and articulate their identity in a new and developing relationship with each other, setting them up so that they know what kind of skills and experience they are seeking in a new Team Rector.

We are looking for someone who has

  • a proven track record of commitment to and delivery of church growth and of growing new and younger disciples
  • a proven track record of growing the confidence and gifts of God’s people
  • experience in the typical range of parish ministry
  • a track record of nurturing and developing good relationships with the local community
  • a track record of demonstrating team leadership in a collaborative model
  • experience of identifying and managing change sensitively
  • experience of co-ordinating and embracing different styles of worship in a ‘mixed economy’, including those appropriate for children, young people and families.

For more information about this application process, please use this link

Our vision as the Diocese is about confident clergy equipping confident Christians to live and tell the good news of Jesus Christ. In appointing to this post, we are therefore looking for someone who is a visionary and enabling leader for the next chapter in the life of the benefice, and has a joyful and confident faith which has inspired a track record of church growth, both numerically and spiritually.

The Deanery of Aire and Worth, now two years old, is comprised of parishes similar to those of this benefice, many of whom are experimenting with mixing new approaches to worship and mission alongside inherited patterns. The new incumbent will therefore find a group of creative and supportive colleagues in the Deanery chapter, all of whom will be deeply familiar with the joys and challenges that each other faces. The new post holder will therefore be expected to work with a spirit of generosity in sharing wisdom and insights about ministry within the Deanery of Aire and Worth and across the Episcopal Area.

Leading your Church into Growth (LYCiG) and Jesus Shaped People (JSP) are two excellent initiatives born in the Bradford Episcopal Area and now adopted in other Dioceses. They have enabled church growth and developed confidence in congregations. Newly appointed clergy are required to book onto a LYCiG conference within 12 months of their appointment, and ideally to attend with some people from their parish. Experienced mentors and training are available to new incumbents to make the most of LYCiG and JSP.