This was never going to be a quick process and it was known right from the start that it was unlikely that there would be a new Rector resident in the Rectory before the beginning of 2021.
We found out back in February when the Norton Fitzwarren and Staplegrove PCCs met with the Archdeacon that, at least for the time being, we would remain a two-parish Benefice, although that might be reviewed over time.</span>
We wanted to seek the views of as many people in the Benefice as was possible, then develop plans for the future for our Churches and for them to be discussed at a public meeting last May. This proved impossible, but a small group of us has been seeking views and opinions, and meeting together regularly from our homes using ‘Zoom’ or socially distanced outside. A Profile of our parishes, including setting out the expertise and qualities sought, is now complete and this will be used to advertise the post, hopefully quite soon. At the time of writing, our Profile has been agreed by the Archdeacon and there will be a meeting of both PCCs by Zoom to agree the journal and nominate two representatives from each Church for the selection process.
We have made the Profile as comprehensive, interesting and professionally presented as we can. If you would like to see a copy can can click the link to read it online. At the last count there were 32 vacancies for incumbents in the Diocese, so it was important to show that being a Rector at Staplegrove and Norton Fitzwarren is an attractive proposition.
These are the worst of times to be without a Rector to give us spiritual support, and although recent events have slowed things up somewhat it still might be possible that a new Rector could be in post by early in the new year.
So please pray for a successful outcome and that the right person is brought to us. We must accept that as our Church reopens things are unlikely to return to the way they were before, certainly in the short term, and maybe never. By trusting in our faith and seeking God’s will, together with our new Rector, we will come out of the world-changing events of 2020 and by making the necessary changes we can keep our Church and our Benefice thriving.