A note from Pat Cook, Churchwarden
As you will know, our vicar, David Williams, retired at the end of September. Several people have asked me about how we find his successor, so I thought you might be interested to learn how we go about selecting a new vicar for our Benefice and what the job entails.
Firstly, we do not have someone moved into the village by the Church authorities, as some have thought. It is up to the Churchwardens and Parochial Church Councils of the four parishes to advertise, shortlist, interview and appoint.
For reasons best known to the Church of England (and there is much speculation about these), we were not able to begin the process of finding a successor to David before he actually vacated the vicarage in the middle of November.
Prior to that the Churchwardens of the four parishes had prepared a ‘profile’, which describes the four parishes and includes a job description and a personal specification. We had also created an advertisement which has been placed in The Church Times and on the Church of England vacancies website.
You may not be aware that the job is non-stipendiary, ie carries no salary. All the incumbent gets is the vicarage for free. Any applicant therefore needs to have an alternative source of income. The job is also part-time, three days a week, including Sundays. In essence this means half a day a week for each of the four parishes and services and admin on a Sunday. This is a big ask for anyone.
In early December we had a meeting with Bishop Colin, the Bishop of Dorchester, (who is currently Acting Bishop of Oxford while Bishop Stephen is on secondment for three months), the Area Dean and the Lay Chairman, Peter Foot of Faringdon, to start the process. As patron of the benefice, Lord Faringdon is also involved in the selection.
The closing date for applications is next Tuesday 4th February. As yet, we do not know whether any have been received. If they have, interviews are due to take place on 5th March. However, if there is no-one, or no-one suitable, we may have to go through the process again (and again) until we find the right person for us. We pray that we will.
We shall try very hard to find that person to lead us into the coming years. We hope that the village will support him or her when they join us.
I hope this is helpful. I will keep you posted as to developments.