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The Diocese of Worcester covers 671 square miles and includes parishes in Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, plus several more in northern Gloucestershire, south-east Wolverhampton and Sandwell. It has 175 parishes, 280 churches, around 120 stipendiary and 30 non-stipendiary clergy and 170 Licensed Lay Ministers (Readers). There is also a growing number of Authorised Lay Ministers (ALMs), who are being trained to both support and resource ministry in their own locale. The diocese is divided into the Archdeaconry of Worcester, with six deaneries, and the Archdeaconry of Dudley, with seven deaneries. The vacancy is within the Malvern Deanery, which is in the Archdeaconry of Worcester.
The Bishop looks to appoint applicants, who will work collegially with clergy and lay people in the deanery, to encourage and sustain the wider mission and ministry of the church. It is normal for a priest to have a ministerial interest wider than that of the benefice itself, which can occupy around 10% of total working time. The perception of Worcestershire is that of an affluent area, free from social disadvantage and an attractive place in which to live; in reality, there are pockets of deprivation within the county, some of which are within the Chase Team.
As a diocese, we are committed to mission in every aspect, seeking to bring the good news of God's love in Jesus to all who live in our cities, towns and villages, and to make the gospel relevant to their everyday lives. We are developing creative new patterns of ministry in these changing times. Although there are fewer stipendiary clergy than in the recent past, more people are offering licensed and authorised lay ministry than ever before. Differences in ‘churchmanship’ are not divisive in this diocese, which possesses a genuine ‘family feel’.
We are implementing an imaginative ‘Kingdom People’ vision and resource, which seeks to help churches become better at their core task of proclaiming the Kingdom. As Kingdom People, our vision is for a church that enables its people to be:
- Deeply rooted in prayer and study of the scriptures.
- Renewed and transformed by regular worship.
- Equipped to witness to the gospel of love, compassion, justice and freedom.
- Dedicated to helping children, young people and young adults to belong and be nurtured in faith.
- Devoted to growing deeply in discipleship, offering our time, talents and money to God.
- Resourced and released to minister to others.
- Ready to engage with and serve our community.
- Committed to making our buildings fit-for-purpose, as a both a spiritual and community resource.
For further information, please go to the Diocese of Worcester website (www.cofe-worcester.org.uk).