Incumbent - St Paul's, Astley Bridge

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Astley Bridge, Bolton

St Paul’s Church stands tall in the heart of Astley Bridge in Bolton and is home to a vibrant, diverse, loving and passionate Christian Community, seeking to “Know Jesus and make Him known.”

St Paul’s, encompasses a wide range of ages, backgrounds and worship styles and we are dedicated to helping people know Jesus. It is a joy and privilege to have so many children and young people as part of our Church community and recognise how vitally important it is to invest time, money and resources into nurturing and supporting them, this is reflected in our recent appointment of a part-time youth worker.

The closing date for applications has been extended to 9th February 2019

The interview date is 19th February 2019

We are seeking an Incumbent who:

  • is a person whose faith is vibrant, robust, prayerful and deeply rooted in the love of Christ.
  • is willing, able and eager to share leadership and to develop both lay and ordained vocations.
  • is gifted in making disciples and enabling us to do the same.
  • Is creative and collaborative and will be able to pioneer new and exciting ways of being Church in the neighbourhood.
  • understands the strategic investment and opportunities for mission and ministry within schools.

Deanery View shared by Lay Chair on behalf of the Deanery Mission and Pastoral Committee:

St Paul's has a strong congregation and is well located, but as one of our stand-alone parishes with a single church and only one stipendiary clergyman is in a vulnerable position while the post is vacant, and in the context of falling clergy numbers.

Our forthcoming Deanery MAP is likely to look at finding ways to link it with one or more other parishes to strengthen this position. Attempts have been made previously (including outside the Deanery) but without success and the strategic overview of the MAP process can be seen as an opportunity to address this. In the meantime, we believe it needs a new incumbent with strong organisational and strategic skills to take St Paul's into the future, following the success of the new plant in the Oldham’s area.

Such a skill set and outlook would also be beneficial in a new Area Dean, given that the previous Area Dean was the incumbent here, and there is an element of synergy in bringing the roles together in this appointment, which has been recognised at all levels while considering the vacancy.

To build up the faith of the Church by:

  1. nurturing lay and ordained leadership; to work collaboratively, encouraging each member to fulfil God’s calling on their lives.
  2. encouraging and facilitating mission and outreach into the local communities building teams to actively engage in existing and fresh ways.
  3. encouraging and developing further the environment where the gifts and talents of children and young people are utilised within the church and community.
  4. maintaining and developing the close links with the “Forward as One” CE Academy trust. To hold an ex officio role on the board of Trustees and an ex officio role on the local governing board of St Paul’s CE Primary school.
  5. developing a structure of discipleship that will enable Gods people to grow the depth of their relationship with God and with each other.
  6. to the suitable candidate the post of Area Dean may be offered by the Bishop of Manchester.

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

Spirituality and Tradition


  • Person with a personal faith that is vibrant, robust, prayerfully and deeply rooted in the love of Christ.


  • Open to the outworking of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Experience and Understanding


  • Experience of collaborative ministry; willing and able to share leadership.
  • Understanding of how to develop and grow team ministry and ministers.
  • Passionate about outreach and innovative, able to think outside the box.


  • Experience of developing fresh expressions of worship – forward thinking.

Skills and Competencies


  • Preacher with a heart for sharing the gospel message.
  • Able to nurture and develop all member ministry across diverse age range.
  • Good communicator: able to share in an accessible way.
  • Able to develop links with the wider Parish community and building up the links already established.


  • Experience of working in schools or the supervision of youth or children’s workers.
  • Experience as a school governor.
  • Experience of raising up both lay and ordained ministry.

The Diocese of Manchester extends over most of Greater Manchester and Rossendale and is characterised by its extraordinary diversity of communities and cultures. The vibrancy that this gives to life makes it a joyful and hopeful place to pursue God’s mission. The overall vision of the Diocese is to establish:

A worshipping, growing and transformative Christian presence at the heart of every community.

and we firmly believe there is an opportunity to do so at this point on our journey of faith.

Our Mission Goals are to be a “Church for a Different World” which is:

  • Growing – growing new disciples in missionary church communities which are younger, more diverse, active and spiritually engaged.
  • Nurturing – increasing vocations, nurturing new and existing disciples, increasing financial giving.
  • Serving – present for all, speaking and acting prophetically for justice, supporting pastorally especially the vulnerable, deprived and excluded

Guided by this vision, the Diocese is engaged on a process of strategic planning for the future, led by the Fit for Mission Strategic Programme Board.

The Bishop has the resolve to appoint in this Diocese only clergy who have a clear sense of calling to the particular post and are committed, under God, to the Diocesan vision, and its values, inspiration and goals. We believe that mission and ministry are properly undertaken collaboratively, working with neighbouring parishes, specialist and sector ministries, and ecumenical and wider community partners. Clergy will be expected to work collegially with other ordained ministers and lay people to encourage and sustain the wider mission and ministry of the church. Clergy and parishes are expected to undertake a process of ‘Mission Action Planning’.

Clergy are expected to encourage and enable the gifts and ministries of all God’s people and especially to help individuals explore any possible call to ordination (including Ordained Local Ministry), Reader Ministry or Authorised Lay Ministry.

Education is a major factor in the life of the diocese and its mission to young people. There are almost 200 church schools and a growing number of academies. Unless there is very good reason, where there is a Church School in the parish the minister of that parish is expected to carry out conscientiously the role of ex officio Governor; as part of a wider ministry in the school, although the minister is encouraged not to act as Chair of Governors. In the case of benefices with several schools no member of the clergy should act as Governor of more than two schools.

We are committed to promoting the well-being of clergy, and in a 2018 survey 87% of all the clergy who responded either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement, ‘I enjoy ministry in the Diocese of Manchester’.

It is normal for a priest to have a ministerial interest wider than the benefice itself that takes something in the region of 10% of their working time.

Except where required under the terms of the House of Bishops Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests 2014 we are committed to ensuring that the Diocese does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of criteria unrelated to their ability to function as a priest in the benefice.

All ministerial appointments in the Diocese are subject to enhanced DBS Disclosure and we are obliged under the requirements of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 to request documentation which will satisfy its requirements of proof of eligibility to work in the UK.