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Vacancy News & Information

The Benefice is now in a vacancy but we have been advertising for a Priest in Charge.  The deadline has now passed and interviews will take place later in May. Please see the Advert and Benefice Profile.

In the meantime we need to rely on retired priests to take services. The Churchwardens are responsible for ensuring that services are held and, with the PCCs, to ensure that the life of the church is maintained.

Below is a list of news and information about how the vacancy is progressing.

Monday 8 August 2022

Announcement of new priest

Announcement that the Bishop has appointed the Reverend Rona Stuart-Bourne to the post of Priest in Charge.

Wednesday 20 April 2022

Notice of Suspension of Presentation

Attached is the Notice of Suspension of Presentation which is a standard procedure to allow the Bishop maximum flexibility in considering any changes to the shape of ministry in the deanery by way of pastoral reorganisation. Suspension does not mean that no appointment will be made. The Bishop has already told us that a Priest in Charge, who in almost all practical respects will act as if he or she were vicar or rector, will be appointed.

Thursday 31 March 2022

Vacancy Update March 2022

We are delighted to say that the vacancy is now being advertised in the Church Times, interviews are scheduled for the end of May and so we are hopeful that we will have the new person in post by September.

Friday 25 March 2022

Advert for Priest in Charge

Advert for Priest in Charge
X Advert for Priest in Charge

Advert for Priest in Charge

Are you an inspirational, innovative leader who can help us use our strengths to serve our communities, discerning God’s will as we journey together?

If so, our rural Benefice of 3 parishes on the Somerset / Dorset border offers you an exciting opportunity.

Please see the Advert page for more information.

Monday 7 February 2022

Minutes of the Section-11 Meeting

Minutes of a meeting of all the three PCCs to approve the Benefice Profile

Saturday 18 December 2021

Letter from St John's Church Council

In the December magazine, Nicki and Jacquie, our Churchwardens, provided a brief update on what was happening regarding the sale of our Vicarage and the recruitment of a new vicar for the Benefice.

Since then, things have moved on apace, and, as I’m sure everyone will have spotted, The Vicarage in Bathwell Lane is “Sold: Subject to Contract”. This is very good news – especially as we have also heard that the Diocesan Surveyor is actively searching for a suitable replacement home for our new vicar. We are all praying that one such property will soon become available within the village, and that it will provide a warm, welcoming and economical replacement. Maybe, by the time you read this, a new home will indeed have been found.

The Churchwardens across the Benefice have also been working hard to prepare a Parish Profile. This is essentially a job specification for any prospective applicant and lays out who we are, what our strengths as a body of people are, what our challenges are, and what sort of a leader we are looking for. It includes information on all five churches of the Benefice, and details of the types of community in which they are situated.

Members of all five churches were, in October, invited to contribute to this document by offering ideas and suggestions of what could and should be included. All members of the PCCs have now had the opportunity to look at a draft Profile, and, reading it, it is hard to imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to come here!

However, notwithstanding that, there is recognition that there are challenges ahead. That is why we are seeking an inspirational and innovative leader, who can help us use all our strengths to better serve our communities, whilst discerning God’s will as we journey together. We want someone who is optimistic for our future, who, as “The Vicar”, is visible in the community; has a smile for everyone; and can think ‘outside the box’ when it comes to finding imaginative ways of using our beautiful church buildings in different ways – whether in the context of a wider range of services, or more community-based uses perhaps.

The whole legal process from now until we actually advertise will still take a little time. So please, as you read this – and in the days and weeks ahead – remember us in your thoughts and prayers.

Susan Wales
Secretary to the PCC of St John’s

Sunday 21 November 2021

Update on vacancy

Dear Fellow Members of the Churches of Milborne Port Benefice,

We have promised to keep you updated with any information we received from the Diocese about the vacancy.

We have now been informed that the Diocese is absolutely committed to having a Vicarage in the village which is great news for us since clearly they would not be making this commitment if they did not intend to replace the incumbent.

The housing committee for the Diocese visited The Vicarage last month.  They have concluded that it is not financially feasible to refurbish The Vicarage – as discussed at the PCC this would cost over £200k and that is money that the Diocese simply does not have.  £200k is in effect the salary of 7 incumbents for one year and we know the pressure on the Diocese to cut clergy posts.  It is much better stewardship of Diocesan funds to spend the money on clergy rather than on refurbishing property.

The Diocese therefore proposes to sell the current vicarage and replace it with another family home that is more economical to run and manageable.  They absolutely guarantee that this will happen and are actively seeking properties that meet the criteria for clergy housing. By doing this they make the vacant post much more attractive to potential applicants many of whom would have been put off by the cost of running the current vicarage and managing its gardens even if it had been refurbished. 

We wanted to let you know this news before any rumours began to circulate.

It is such a relief to know that the incumbency will be advertised and that the Diocese are doing all they can to help us attract good candidates.

We will also let the congregations know this update on Sunday during the services.

Nicki Edwards, Jacquie Hall, Charlie Beney and Trudy West


Thursday 21 October 2021

Preliminary Meeting regarding the Vacancy

Notes from a meeting on 11th October with the Archdeacon of Wells and others, attended by members of the three PCCs and retired priests. The meeting covered preparation of the Profile and responsibilities during the vacancy.

Benefice Profile Discussion

Thank you to everyone who attended the Benefice discussion and contributed their ideas towards the compilation of the Profile document required for the recruitment of a new Incumbent for this Benefice.

It is not too late to suubmit your comments and suggestions or for those who attended, any additional inspiration you have had.

Nicki prefaced this activity by reminding us of the words of the Prayer of St Teresa of Avila

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.

The following questions were addressed by those who attended on Sunday 17th October and we would love to receive any additional comments and ideas.  What are we good at?

  • What does our community need more of from us?
  • What kind of leader are we looking for?
  • What can we offer our new Vicar?
  • How could the parishes in our Benefice work more closely together?
  • What are the biggest challenges for our community?

We would greatly value your contribution

Many thanks
Nicki, Jacquie, Charlie and Trudy (churchwardens)

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Sarah leaves the benefice

The Revd Sarah Godfrey has now left Milborne Port after 7 years as Rector. She will be licensed as Team Vicar of the Golden Cap Benefice on 7th September.  We wish her well in her new job.

For the foreseeable future, the Milborne Port churches will be in a vacancy.