Vacancy Meeting – The initial meeting between the SMAAA ministry team (PCC and worship
committee) and the Diocese took place on the evening of 25.10.17. In attendance from the
Diocese were; Archdeacon Christine, Area Dean Nick Hay, Transition Manager George
Rendell and appointed Reviewer Sandra O’Shea. The meeting was to discuss the vacancy
following David’s resignation as incumbent of SMAAA. David is still technically vicar until his
induction on 2.11.17. Following David’s induction the Area Dean and the two
Churchwardens (John & Andy) are technically joint incumbents until a new vicar is
Report Stage – The Diocese has appointed Sandra O’Shea to prepare a report on the Parish
which is the next stage. This is a usual step in an interregnum. The report will essentially be
a snapshot of the parish at this time, including a “SWOT” analysis (detailing strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats). As part of this stage, Sandra has asked the PCC to
provide names of 12 people representing a cross section of ages/time spent as members of
the congregation. Report is prepared and then checked/amended by Churchwarden initially
then by the PCC. Then its submitted to Bishops staff. Timescale for this step typically 6-8
weeks but also depends on speed at which SMAAA can work.
Decision by Diocese – The Bishops staff will consider factors such as the size of the parish,
mission opportunities and financial constraints of the Diocese. The Diocese is financially
over budget at present so this will be a factor in appointing a successor. Archdeacon
Christine confirmed that there is absolutely no plan to close SMAAA or withdraw support.
The options therefore are (i) replacement like for like/full-time (ii) replacement part time, or
(iii) replacement part-time sharing with another parish. This stage usually takes two months
before the vacancy is announced.
Vacancy – The role is advertised. Candidates apply. Candidates are shortlisted and then
interviewed. The interviews are carried out over two days. First day is meeting the PCC and
congregation in social settings. This allows observation as to how the candidates interact
with members of the congregation young and old. On the Second day the interviews take
place involving your two parish reps Ed & Andy. Choice of appointment is essentially down
to Andy and Ed as the parish reps can veto the Archdeacons recommendation.
Appointment – The candidate may have a notice period to work out if they are coming from
another parish. This is typically three months. Following the appointment, the Transition
Manager will continue to work with the parish for a period of six months to ensure
General – Meeting was very positive. It is clearly a transparent process. There will be
genuine consultation and collaboration between Diocese and parish. This is a challenging
process but the Diocese are right behind us to support us however they can. The Diocese
will work as fast as we are able to. The Archdeacon made it clear that there is absolutely
no intention whatsoever by the Diocese to either slow down or hinder the vacancy
process in any way.
Prepared by Andy Lear