Vicar designate of the proposed plurality of the two parishes Skerton St Luke and Skerton St Chad

Posted 14 days agoExpires in 17 days
Skerton, Lancaster

We seek your love and leadership to support us as we grow in confidence as a United Benefice and as we grow God’s kingdom in Skerton, Lancaster. As the new Vicar designate, we need your spirituality and skills to nurture our congregations of all ages; and your vision to bring inspiration to both parishes in a time of change as the newly formed joint benefice. You will be ably supported by a dedicated lay team, with outreach through the many groups and organisations we serve by providing a home and sense of belonging – as we live our Diocesan Vision 2026, Healthy Churches Transforming Communities.

The Parishes of Skerton St Luke and Skerton St Chad are now to become a plurality in Lancaster, just north of the River Lune. Our churches serve a rich mixture of social backgrounds, from dense (and in places depressed) social housing to more splendid detached accommodation. The visionary move to establish a mission church at St Chad’s to serve the mid-war housing boom requires no less vision today, though the difficulties (and joys) are more diverse today than they probably were then. St Luke’s shares a similar profile, and in many ways, neither parish is an easy area. There are social problems within the area with some deprivation (UPA parishes). We believe Skerton is also the friendliest area of Lancaster!

Over recent years the social profile of the parishes has changed with new, more expensive houses which have attracted young families and professional people and which offer additional scope for outreach. This is also reflected in the age profile of the worshipping community with some young families, a good number of men and a very wide age range.

Both churches are very friendly and welcoming. St Luke’s was the first church in Lancaster to receive the Child Friendly Award from the Diocese whilst St Chad’s recently won a national award for its work with older people. Both churches are child and young person focussed through their services and activities, not least with uniformed groups.

They are liberal catholic church parishes. Indeed, St Chad’s sees itself at the heart of the parish, as a witness of the Gospel and a thriving joyful community in Christ. This is also reflected in the commitment of St Luke’s to its community. Both churches work with an extensive number of groups by way of outreach and social responsibility, which either meet in or are linked to both churches. This means that we have significant outreach into the community. These include uniformed and other youth groups, as well as dementia groups, dependency groups, and social groups.

The historic City of Lancaster has much to offer as you would expect of a vibrant University town, with its arts, museums, eating places, parks and open spaces. Skerton and Lancaster are also very well served by their schools, college and both universities. Lancaster is surrounded by beautiful countryside with good motorway links to the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the local fells. Nearby Morecambe is a seaside resort where the sunset and view over Morecambe Bay to the Lakeland Fells is a sight well worth travelling to see – just a five minute drive.

We are praying that our new vicar designate will help us develop and embed our response to the Diocesan initiative Vision 2026. We want to walk together as we develop our mission and outreach to make all welcome, especially the newcomer. Our new Vicar will, we pray, help us make a difference in our community.

We believe that we are a Christian community that has in recent years moved in the right direction; there is much on which we can build. We also acknowledge that there is still much to do. We are seeking someone who can recognise and support this and can help us make our vision a reality.

We pray for a priest of energy and enthusiasm to serve the needs of our large and busy parishes; a person of vision and mission who, with the support of both congregations, will build an effective church life serving the people of Skerton in the future.

Above all, we are seeking a vicar who will help us to continue to discern, through prayer, what God is seeking us to achieve. We believe that all things are possible if we work with God.

Our ideal vicar designate would be:

  • Confident in your faith and provide us with clear collaborative leadership in our discipleship. A prayerful and sensitive leader in worship and mission who is ready to help our congregations to grow.
  • A good communicator to all ages with a genuine love and interest in people; family orientated, empathising with the needs of the young and the not so young.
  • A good shepherd - a people person - in practical terms, a person who visits and is a good listener. Who shows warmth, caring and understanding of our congregation and community
  • An encourager of lay leadership. A person who can discern people’s gifts and encourage them to flourish. Someone to help us give our best.
  • Someone to help us build on our commitment to outreach and pastoral service, who recognises the strengths and potential of our traditions in worship and music
  • Someone who is willing to build and develop new foundations of ecumenical relationships with other churches in the parish.
  • Have organisational abilities to lead, manage and grow our complex benefice
  • Someone with a good sense of humour.
  • Our young people were asked to describe the person they would like to be our next vicar. They said they hoped that person would support their group and take an interest in them, be friendly, be interesting, be lively, be modern, be interested in sport, be musically minded and perhaps play an instrument. But even if you don’t tick everything on this list, they would be delighted to meet you!

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

For an informal conversation please contact the Bishop of Lancaster, The Rt Revd Dr Jill Duff, via secretary Mrs Judith Henderson, on telephone 01254 503099, email


Area Dean of Lancaster & Morecambe Revd Cindy Rigney, tel 01524 793125, email

For information about Blackburn diocese please clickhere

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

Closing date: Friday 5th July 2019

Interview date: Friday 26th July tbc

An enhanced DBS check will be required