All Saints, Birchington is a single parish benefice comprising three churches in different settings. St Mildred’s, the smallest of the three, is in Acol. It is very much a country church with traditional harvest festivals and country church celebrations. The church owns the land on which the Acol village hall is built and holds events in the hall.
All Saints in Birchington is an ancient building located on the main road as you go through the village. Many community and parish events are held here and in the church hall (Church House).
The churchyard has three unknown sailors’ graves and our most famous past resident, Gabriel Dante Rossetti, is buried there. In the church there is also a beautiful window dedicated to him.
St Thomas is the seaside church at Minnis Bay and is the most modern. Recently changes have been made to include audio visual aids to make the church adaptable. Kearns Hall sits behind the church and is used extensively by the local community and the church.
We are seeking to appoint a Priest who will work with us to grow our mission to our communities. We are committed to supporting you and to working together.
We are delighted that you have taken an interest to take time to learn about our Parish and the communities that make up the three churches. The PCC has enjoyed the process of gathering together this profile and realising all the work that God is doing in our Parish.
We eagerly await our new priest in charge and moving forward together.
At a recent PCC Vision Day preparing for new ministry we identified three priorities:
• to embrace change
• to develop youth ministry within our communities
• to minister to the vulnerable
Therefore, we are looking for someone who will support and lead us and who:
• actively shares leadership and will work with us to secure change
• recognises and affirms us and nurtures our gifts
• works with us to further develop our mission plan
• develops our work with young families
• develops and shares our churches’ teaching ministry and developing discipleship
• is a good communicator
Our new Priest in Charge will support and lead us to:
• value our diversity and help us to grow in unity
• develop our appeal to young families
• engage with our communities in mission
• A welcoming church family, prayer, friendship and fellowship
• shared commitment to meeting our challenges
• encouragement and financial support to take annual retreats and professional development opportunities
• a modern vicarage with plans for a partial refurbishment
• paid administrative support in a designated parish office
• a newly established ministry team which includes two readers, three retired clergy and other lay ministers
• an active community with excellent transport links to London, Canterbury and other parts of Thanet
• diversity of a busy village centre, a popular seafront and a modern rural community
• fantastic sunsets
The role and responsibilities of a Priest in Charge of a Benefice.
At a recent PCC Vision Day preparing for new ministry we also identified three key priorities: to embrace change; to develop youth ministry within our communities and to caring better for the vulnerable.
We are looking for someone who
• will relish the opportunity to facilitate change
• has strong communication skills and is able to convince people of God’s plan for developing our benefice
• can inspire, develop and lead members of the parish in lay ministry and joint action within the benefice
• can enable spiritual and numerical growth
• is comfortable with a range of worship styles
• is keen to engage children, young people and families and encourage them to join in the life of the church
• can work with established traditions whilst developing for worship designed to reach out to our communities
Preaching and Teaching:
• can teach with inspiration and clarity
• will minister to the existing congregation and the wider communities identifying opportunities for spiritual development
• will help us to be courageous in growing the kingdom
• will help us engage further with local organisations
• will develop our work and partnerships with local churches, particularly those in the Seamarsh group
• will encourage us to build on and develop further our links with our church school and other local schools
The person we find to fulfil this role will:
• have a deep and mature faith
• be a prayerful and spiritual leader
• be collaborative
• be compassionate and empathetic
• be enthusiastic and resilient and have a sense of humour
• be keen to be visible in the local community
• care about people and God
Canterbury Diocese, the oldest diocese in England, stretches from Maidstone to Thanet, the Isle of Sheppey to the Romney Marsh and includes 328 churches in 253 parishes, along with 103 church schools, organised in to 15 deaneries and three archdeaconries, Ashford, Maidstone and Canterbury.
Whilst the Archbishop of Canterbury is the diocesan bishop, day to day oversight of the diocese is delegated to the Bishop of Dover. The Queen has approved the appointment of the Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, as the next Bishop of Dover.
Rose will succeed the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott who retired from the role in May this year. She will be consecrated in a service at St Paul’s Cathedral on 19 November and installed at Canterbury Cathedral on 30 November.
Encompassed by the statement: living faith, building community, transforming lives, the Diocese of Canterbury is committed:
● To grow the church numerically and spiritually.
● To re-imagine ministry.
● To build partnerships that enrich communities.
In 2017, after over a year of prayerful conversation and discernment, our Synod further refined these priorities for the next season of our life together in mission ‘Changed Lives→ Changing Lives’. We committed ourselves
● To be a people renewed in missional prayer across our Diocese.
● To grow our Diocesan Ignite ministry, which is reaching the most marginalised in our communities with the good news of Jesus Christ.
● To specific evangelism and discipleship initiatives with teenagers.
● To ensuring that the extensive lay and ordained leadership training opportunities which we currently offer meet the outcomes of our priorities.
● To develop an innovations hub which offers resources to equip local mission.
Ministry is well underway under each of these priorities.
To facilitate the achievement of these objectives, the work of the diocese is focussed into four key ‘frameworks’:
All these are supported by our Diocesan staff team.
These frameworks replace the traditional concept of Boards and Committees and represent a flexible way of working for the Diocese with communication and collaboration at its heart.
Mission Action Planning
The Diocese uses Mission Action Planning as a process and planning tool to help deaneries, benefices and parishes prayerfully review and choose, plan and act on mission activities that will help further the objectives of the Diocese, Deaneries and benefices are supported to this end by Deanery Mission Accompaniers.
We are looking to the way ahead with faith and hope as we seek to be a people united in Christ, celebrating our diversity and reaching out to local communities with the good news of the kingdom.
Further information www.canterburydiocese.org