You may all be wondering how things are going with our recruitment process. Well, things are rarely rushed in the Church of England, but I can report that things are moving along a bit more quickly now.
I hope you have now all seen our Parish Profile document at the back of church, describing the history, ministry and possible future visions of the church within the very diverse and ever changing parish of Roehampton (you can access the copy on our website here). The profile is now being used as a basis for an advert that we hope will appear in Church Times between late November and early December. This will hopefully mean we can draw up a shortlist in January, interview in February and announce an outcome sometime after that.
In the many meetings about the appointment we have had so far, we have felt humbled to hear how Bishop Christopher very much “believes” in the parish, and considers investing in our ministry here important for the diocese’s aims. We have also spent much time with the Archdeacon, John Kiddle, clarifying the exact way a new incumbent will need to able to strike a balance between continuity with the past and driving forward an array of new initiatives and outreach to those not yet part of our community. We also hope that whoever assumes this role will be joined in due course by at least one other staff member and also enjoy the support of other churches and specialist teams in the deanery and beyond within a wider diocesan initiative.
The next thing to happen is clarifying exactly who will represent the PCC on the interview panel. This is expected to consist in Bishop Christopher and two others from the diocese, together with three people nominated by the PCC. And in case you were wondering who had the casting vote, the answer is that no appointment will be made if there is fundamental disquiet on either ours or the Bishop’s part! So, do please pray that as we enter this more concrete phase of the process, that we will be able to word our advert in just the right way and attract those who are seeking to discern their next move and who might fit in here very well. Pray too that as we whittle down the list of applicants and call some for visits and interviews, we may all sense God’s leading.
Finally, we had a lovely prayer vigil on Saturday October 19th to bring this journey before God, with some pictorial mediations on the life of Moses and the crossing the the Red Sea. We hope to have another vigil as we get a little further on in the process, and no doubt a great celebration when we all arrive safely on the other side!