Our search for a new Priest in Charge

Although it is the Bishop who offers the post after due process with parish reps and others through the interview process it is the Deanery who work through a process to determine a Deanery plan for the considered best provision of ministry for all areas. This becomes part of what is called the Deanery Plan, which in our deanery was begun in 2017, starting from grass roots. Once that plan is formulated it goes to the Episcopal College to be considered and approved or not.

18 months ago that Plan took into account a Priest for our Benefice in the appointment of Rev’d Anne Charlton in November 2017. However her subsequent and unexpected resignation has complicated matters a bit, in that the Deanery thought that our position was settled for a number of years. So basically our Benefice now goes back into the discussions as to whether it is best practice to include a Priest for our Benefice or not. The deanery have various groups (for example the Deanery Chapter) discussing the way forward but a decision is not imminent. It just so happens that at the present time there is a much wider discussion as to how best to enable all parishes to flourish into the future.

For our Benefice there are some possibilities:-

1.      We join with Mevagissey and St Ewe with or without St Mewan. This it has to be said is our probable long term future.

2.      The project called Transforming Mission which has taken off in Falmouth could be extended. St Austell is one of the towns that may well get involved in that further down the line. If that is the case Transforming Mission will be centred at St Austell as a resourcing church, but only in terms of supporting, not taking over the responsibility for parishes, although it is envisioned that all ministers, lay or ordained will work closely to support each other and the parishes in considering what would work in each place. We will become part of that group. It will make pioneers of all, growing from those who know the parish best and are led by the Holy Spirit.   

3.      Because of this uncertainty it is possible that the vacancy could be advertised as a short term post of 2 or 3 years. After that whatever long term decisions have been made would come into effect.

Nothing will be known until at least June of this year but it could be longer than that. We are producing the Parish profile so that it is ready for whenever the post may be advertised. Once the fundamental document has been agreed and put together any subsequent minor edits can be made.

The Rural Dean was very honest in her assessment of our position, it may not be particularly encouraging but it may be the future of the Church in this country let alone rural Cornwall.

In the meantime as we await the considered decisions of others and to use a concept from Jane Horton at the Quiet Day, we should not forget our place to be pioneers, and not just settlers within our community.