St Mary The Virgin Horsell

Vacancy Updates

Vacancy Prayer: God our Father, you have welcomed each of us in Jesus and called us to be in His Body in this place. Send us your Holy Spirit, at this time of uncertainty and change, to fill us with vision and energy, and faithfulness in prayer, that we may be true to our calling to bring new life to our community. Guide with your heavenly wisdom those who are to choose a new incumbent for this parish, that he/she may be a wise and gentle shepherd of your people; ready to serve us with joy, to build us up in faith, and to lead us by example in loving obedience to your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday 6th November:

We have received six applications in response to national advertising in the Church Times. At the shortlisting meeting with the panel on Tuesday 27th October it was agreed that we should interview three of the strongest candidates. These interviews will be held on Wednesday 11th November via Zoom. There will be an informal discussion between the candidates and a small group via Zoon on the previous evening (Tuesday 10th November). This group, representing various areas of our parish and community life, has been chosen by the Parish Representatives, Mike and Jennifer.

Tuesday 25th August:

It has been a long time since we have brought you up to date. However we are pleased to let you know that the process is to restart late in September. The Diocese has waited until they are willing to advertise nationally and there is a greater chance of having face to face interviews. The timetable is as follows:

 Advertise post from

 Monday 28th September

 Church Times Fridays

 Friday 2nd, 9th, 16th and possibly 23rd October

 Closing date for applications

 Sunday 25th October

 Shortlisting

 Tuesday 27th October

 Interviews - meet the PCC and others

 Tuesday 10th November

 Interviews with the panel

 Wednesday 11th November


All the dates and times are subject to Covid-19 restrictions. Bishop Andrew is acting as both the Patron and the Lead Bishop for this process.

The Parish Profile has been updated, taking into account that Peter Brown will have left and we have been asked to submit a summary of our activities and pattern of worship during Covid-19.

Please continue to pray for the PCC and Parish Representatives at this important time.

Mike Couper & Pam Rowe (Churchwardens)

Mike Couper & Jennifer Richards (Parish Representatives)

Wednesday 6th May:

Following a conversation with the Archdeacon of Dorking (Martin Breadmore), there is more information about the process of the Vacancy. During March, when the church was closed intil further notice, the advertisement for a new Vicar was removed from the Church Times after two weeks. The Diocese decided that there would be no further recruitments because of the lockdown.

It has been decided that once things resume a 'new normal', the vacancy will be readvertised (hopefully for four weeks, as planned before). Thereafter we should be able to continue with the shortlisting and interviews as planned.

As you will understand, there is no idea of any dates yet. As soon as we hear more, there will be another update.

Sunday 15th March:

On Sunday 1st of March the PCC agreed the Parish Profile - please ask Mike or Pam if you need a paper copy. Also agreed was the choice of the two Parish Representatives - Mike Couper and Jennifer Richards. They will be very much involved with the shortlisting (Monday 20th April) at Willow Grange. There are then two very important days. Wednesday 29th April when the prospective candidates will be invited to look round the parish, and join invited people from the parish over a meal and have the opportunity to chat. The following day will see the interviews taking place (Thursday 30th April), and we are very grateful to Peter and Elaine Brown who have offered us the house for the day. The reason behind what seems a long time is the position of Easter this year.

Sunday 23rd February:

There has been a lot of hard work put in during the last month.

The Parish Profile Team has been extremely busy, meeting regularly and sorting out the information needed to provide an attractive, prayerful draft copy. This has resulted in a booklet with a Statement of Needs, as well as a section asking ‘What would we like from our next Vicar’? We have ensured that we continue our Christian journey as both individuals and members of our church family. We have been blessed during the time that Sarah has helped us.

This has been sent to both the Archdeacon (Martin Breadmore) and Area Dean (Jonathan Thomas) for their opinion and help. We have been given more ideas to include in the Profile.

The PCC will be looking through the draft copy on Monday 24th February at a special meeting. On Sunday 1 st March there is a special meeting of the PCC (Section 11) when the Profile and Statement of Needs is approved. The two parish representatives are also chosen.

  • The next task is to have the advert ready by the 6th March. All vacancies are routinely advertised in several ways:
  • In the monthly Appointments & Vacancies list circulated in the Diocese
  • On the Diocese of Guildford website
  • On the National website for Christian ministry posts Pathway
  • For two consecutive weeks in the Church Times

The closing date for applications is 3rd April. Shortlisting takes place on Monday 20th April, followed by two days of meeting the candidates and interviews, on Wednesday 29th April and Thursday 30th April. Hopefully, with your prayers and help we will then be able to announce the name of our next Vicar (this also may take a few weeks, as both churches must announce this on the same days).

Keep reading the Vacancy Prayer, and pray for both the interview panel and the person that God will have chosen to be our next Vicar.

Sunday 26th January:

As many of you will know various legal requirements occur during a Vacancy. As a result of this a small Management Team has been set up to meet once a month. Each member has been chosen because of their area of responsibility in the church:

  • Michael Couper & Pam Rowe - Churchwardens
  • Marcus Brookfield - Children & Families Worker, including Messy Church
  • Helen Gravette - Parish Administrator
  • Jennifer Richards - Welcome Team, Messy Church
  • Rev Peter Brown - Associate Minister
  • Rev Jonathan Thomas - Area Dean

We have had two meetings so far and we have reviewed and discussed the following items:

  1. Rotas for all services and regular church activities
  2. Arrangements for future PCC Meetings and the APCM
  3. Plans for a Vision Workshop led by the Diocesan Missioner David Senior
  4. How the Vacancy affects Faculty process
  5. How the Vacancy affects plans for the St Andrew's Room extension

The collective task of the Management Team is to:

  • Be faithful in praying for the life of the church during the vacancy
  • Ensure that worship is maintained to a high standard
  • Ensure that life groups or home groups are maintained
  • Ensure that pastoral care of parishioners is maintained
  • Ensure that safeguarding policies are monitored and maintained
  • Co-ordinate the parish diary and especially pastoral offices
  • Ensure that parish administration is maintained
  • Consult with the Area Dean or Archdeacon on any issues of concern

After the Vision Worshop on Saturday 11th January 2020, a small team has been formed to put together the Parish Profile and Statement of Needs:

  • Mike Couper & Pam Rowe
  • Adrian Harvey
  • Jennifer Richards
  • Jenny Spencer
  • Lucy Leach
  • Marcus Brookfield
  • Brian Rowlatt has offered to help with the layout
  • Helen Gravette has offered to type any of the sections

We had our first meeting on Wednesday 22nd January to look at the process and the sections that we are obliged to complete. We also looked at the contributions from the various groups and activities that are so vital to our Church life and growth. Many thanks to those who have produced some valuable information and thoughtful phrases that reflect our busy life at St Mary's.

It is the team's intention to keep the whole congregation informed of the process, as it moves towards the interviews in April.

Please make use of the Vacancy Prayer and specifically pray for the members of the Parish Profile Team.

  • St Mary the Virgin
  • Church hill
  • Horsell
  • Surrey
  • GU21 4QQ

01483 772134
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