So, what next? A lot of people have asked when the new vicar starts or who we’re getting. Unlike most organisations, Church doesn’t work like that.
The job of Vicar isn’t just a job, it’s a relationship. The people left behind need time to mourn and to adapt. It’s a time to take stock and rediscover who we are before we think about the appropriate next step.
In the first place, the ‘powers that be’ will also think about what our future might be, including if we will even get a new vicar.
If they decide we will, the Church council will start work on a Profile of the parish and a Job specification which will have to be approved by the Bishop (with possible re-writes) before an advert can be created to go in the Church press. This certainly won’t begin before the autumn and can take some time. There could be a good few months of this before that advert appears.
Assuming there are applicants the interview process can begin. Some churches have had to go back to the beginning and re-think as no-one has applied.
Once a candidate is successful, he/she may have to give up to 3 months’ notice to the parish where they are working.
If things run smoothly, it is still likely to be over a year before we get a new vicar.
Meanwhile, All Hallows will be run by people who attend there, with the oversight of the Area Dean (Mark Fraser, Vicar of St Luke’s). Sunday services will continue, sometimes taken by a visiting minister, others by our lay minister or a few times members of the congregation.
The congregation has a firm commitment to the community around us, so don’t imagine we’ll fade into the background. The absence of a leader can give others the chance to flourish and we have already started seeing signs of this as we prepared to go into vacancy.
The future is both daunting and exciting at the same time ….. watch this space!