The rural parish of St. George’s Pontesbury has the large village of Pontesbury itself at its centre, surrounded by countryside with farmsteads and hamlets. With a population of over 3,500, the village is on the edge of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty.
St. George’s Church is at the centre of the village and the parish, with Ministry and Lay teams working well together in order to provide a range of worship and social opportunities and to take Christian mission to the wider community.
A new housing development, will provide us with an opportunity for outreach to a new and establishing community whilst at the same time meeting and maintaining the needs of our existing worshipping community. We have an enthusiastic and flexible congregation who have engaged in a positive way to new varieties of worship and outreach and we are excited by the possibilities brought with a new incumbent to lead us.
Our Deanery Mission Action Plan being developed collaboratively by the Deanery Clergy, has at its heart the idea that we will increasingly work more closely together across the Deanery in delivering worship, outreach, training and the taking of the Occasional Offices. We would like to be in a position where each of the incumbents will have focus on a particular aspect of Deanery wide mission.This could include the following, with additional areas being identified, particularly if applicants bring specificskills and experience:
Children and young people (the new Westbury incumbent), The missing generation (ages 21 – 50), long-term Shropshire residents, people moving into the deanery, those who attend life services, training & formation.
Or aim is to more and more blur the edges between Benefice boundaries and to share the expertise and experience of clergy, readers and laity.
If you want to be part of a flexible and forward-looking clergy group, enjoy working collaboratively, and would enjoy the challenge of helping to develop our mission, this could just be the role you are looking for!
The Rector of Pontesbury will be responsible for maintaining and developing the good links made with the Westbury Benefice during the interregnum so that there is mutual support in all aspects of services and mission.
The Rector will work closely with, and provide practical support and mentoring to, the Rector/Pioneer Priest appointed to the Westbury Benefice.This will enable the Rector of the Westbury Benefice to spend 50% of his or her working time in developing and implementing a Deanery wide youth mission action plan, which is seen as a key part of our Deanery Mission Action Plan.
As part of our developing Deanery Mission Action Plan, it is envisaged that each incumbent in the Deanery will takeresponsibility for a key area of mission across the Deanery, determined in fellowship with the rest of the Deanery Team. Some additional areas may be identified if applicants bring particular skills and experience.
Each Priest in the Deanery is expected to make adequate time for reflection, personal faith and professional development, and to enable others assisting in the church’s ministry to do the same.
We seek a person to join us in our vision who:
Encourages and enables others to participate fully in the life of the church
The welcoming and caring atmosphere in our church community is a great strength.We are fortunate in having a prayerful, hardworking and loyal congregation; many being ready to assist in any way, in services and pastorally in order to support clergy.Several display strong leadership skills, using their own work and life experiences to support their willingness to assist. We have a good fundraising team who are ready and willing to spend time and effort in supporting fund-raising activities.
We have a strong core leadership team which includes; Families Worker, Retired Clergy, Lay Leaders and organist. St. George’s has a strong musical tradition which is an important part of worship. The church choir provides a strong choral lead to services.
As a church, we see the challenges we face are also the opportunities to grow our church and mission. We are already seeing signs of success in attracting new volunteers through our engagement with young families. Another challenge is the “missing generation”: young and not-so-young parents who do not worship regularly. We seek to reach out, through new and existing mission, to the growing population within the benefice whist continuing to meet the worshipping needs of our present congregation. We welcome new opportunities and ways of worshipping.