Christ Church is currently in a period called interregnum or vacancy, which describes the time between Vicars.
During the vacancy, most responsibilities in the parish lie with the church wardens, Janet Boyce and Rachel Skeath, supported by the Church Council (PCC).
The process for appointing a new "incumbent" is overseen by the Archdeacon. In our case this is the Venerable Simon Gates, Archdeacon of Lambeth.
Many parishes in England also have a 'patron' who has certain rights of appointment of the incumbent. Our patron here in Gipsy Hill is the Church Pastoral Aid Society (CPAS). If you want to know more about patronage, the CPAS guide can be found here.
CPAS will work with the parish and the Archdeacon to manage the process of identifying and appointing the next Vicar here.
This process involves the following:
- The PCC and congregation will be invited to spend some time thinking and praying about the life of the parish.
- Those collective thoughts are then shaped into a "parish profile" which sets out information about the parish and our church life here, and outlines the parish's hopes and vision for the future and for the character of the person they hope will come to fill the role of Vicar.
- The PCC will elect two individuals as parish representatives (sometimes called "Vicar Pickers") who take the main role of working with the Patron and Archdeacon in the recruitment process.
- The role would then be advertised by CPAS and in the Church Press.
- Shortlisted candidates are then invited for a formal parish visit where they will meet the parish representatives, wardens, other members of the PCC and wider parish before the interview itself.
- Once selected, a new Vicar would be announced at the church. Then they may have to work a notice period before joining us.
During this time of change we hope to continue to operate as normal. At Gipsy Hill we have a strong team and volunteers, who will continue to run our various ministries.
Please do pray for the church at this time, for the team and for the process to appoint a new Vicar.
If you have any questions about the process speak the us the Church Wardens, and any questions about the day-to-day running of the church speak to Luke our Curate.
Janet and Rachel