Pew news 14th July 2019

I would like to update everyone on our recent attempt to appoint an assistant minister.  As you may know, we were advertising through April and May. We received applications from three good people.  However, those of us handling the process (Charles Rutter, Dawn Watson and I) didn’t feel able to appoint.  Through the process, I became clearer in my mind that we don’t so much need a generalist who can do some youth work, but a youth specialist who can offer some general ministry.

I am intending to bring a revised job description to the Church Council in September with a view to advertising for a full-time Youth Minister during the autumn.  Ideally, we would have someone in post by January.  I’m very happy to hear your thoughts about any of this in person. 

As I look to the longer term future of Christ Church, I would like to highlight a factor I believe holds us back.  At some point soon we need to find a way of addressing it.  The issue?  We have no second clergy house. 

For better or for worse, the Church of England has a tradition of housing its ordained ministers.  Other churches pay a housing allowance.  But the C of E has a focus on ministry in the community.  So ministers are required to live in the parish “for the better performance of their duties”. 

In the past, we have come close to receiving a training curate, but our lack of a house has counted against us.  Likewise, if we were to employ an Associate Vicar (a fully-fledged minister), we would need to house them, in a property we either own or rent. 

The difficulty seems insurmountable given local house prices. But we have a great God who loves to make his church flourish and grow.  So please join me in praying for a second clergy house.  How might God provide:  An appeal among the church family?  A will, written to the church’s benefit?  An investor able to give us a favourable rental arrangement?  Jesus has these and infinitely more options at his all-powerful fingertips.