St Agatha Sparkbrook with St Barnabas Balsall Heath, Priest in Charge (House for Duty)
Witnessing to Christ in the heart of a predominantly Muslim area, this vibrant parish, affiliated to The Society of St Wilfred and St. Hilda, seeks a priest who will work with the congregations to:
•deepen their prayer and sacramental life and continue to grow as disciples
•develop relationships with the community in a diverse area of Birmingham
•discern and empower a vision for the next stage in the development of the parish
•consider new connections with neighbouring parishes, contributing from the strength of the Catholic Faith in the parish
•build on the existing work with children and to explore ministry among young people and young adults.
There are two churches in the parish: St Agatha’s is a Grade 1 listed, nationally known beacon of the Catholic tradition in the Church of England and St Barnabas is in the heart of the residential area. The largely gathered, welcoming, faithful, and active congregation reflects the rich ethnic and social diversity of the City.
The Bishop of Ebbsfleet writes:
It's not every Church of England parish profile that can say their vicarage is close to an array of 'mouth-watering Balti-belt restaurants'! The profile builds up a strong sense of the identify of the worshipping congregations at St Agatha's and St Barnabas's, their commitment to the Gospel, to one another and to the local populations - so changed from the days of their origins but which they continue to serve. It is so reminiscent of communities around the world I've seen where congregations of Christians with relatively few securities give a joyful witness and self-less engagement in the midst of huge cultural complexity and religious diversity: prayerful, dedicated, fliexible, resilient, hopeful and honest about their needs and gifts.
The sheer size and prominence of St Agatha's as a church building is a constant reminder that this is a bold witness, and one that cannot be put down or set aside without a huge loss to the whole community and the Church of God.
We are seeking to identify a priest who is ready to embrace the challenges of the local context and reach out well beyond it to make new Catholic Christians of all age groups in and for the Church of England. He will lead the parish in active participation in the Healthy Churches Initiative in the See of Ebbsfleet and be able, with lay leaders, to nourish faith and prayer, to set a clear direction for the future, and to encourage others to help build it. In other words a genuine apostolic ministry. I am praying that you will be moved to explore this appointment further with us.
Closing date: 31st August 2021;
Further details can be found here