Support during vacancies & for new incumbents
The Vacancy Consultation
This is a process offered to all Parishes / groups of Parishes at the point when the Incumbency becomes vacant. It precedes the writing of the Benefice Profile/Statement of Needs. The Vacancy Consultation sets the scene for the Benefice Profile and contributes towards it.
The Diocese offers two Facilitators to enable the people of the Parish /group of Parishes to have a series of conversations about the needs of the local community/ies, what should be the hallmarks of a local Church and what God might be calling the local Church to be in the next five years.
The Facilitators do not offer their solutions - they listen and record what the people of the area are saying to one another. At the end of the session the Facilitators write a report of all that has been recorded and offer it to the Parish / group of Parishes.
The process of the Vacancy Consultation takes about three hours. We have found that it is best done on a Saturday morning or after a Group Service on a Sunday (when it fits well round a "Bring and Share Lunch"). The report of the session is usually offered to the Churchwardens of the Parish / group of Parishes within ten working days of the Consultation.
The process is administered from the Local Ministry Office in Ludlow.
The Diocese offers an Induction for those Clergy new to the Diocese or in their first position of responsibility.
It is envisaged that this Induction will take place immediately preceding, or following, Licensing. It will take the form of a conversation with an experienced minister in a multi-Parish Benefice. It might include experiencing a typical Sunday, to acquaint new-comers to the complexities of the Diocese associated with worship in large, sparsely-populated areas.
In addition, new incumbents are offered a Mentor for their first six months.
The Local Ministry Office is involved in the process of setting up Inductions in conjunction with the Continuing Ministerial Development Officer, Revd Nick Helm.