At the meeting for the Benefice churchwardens and PCC members on 15 March, Archdeacon Gordon outlined the role of a Team Council in the appointment of the Team Rector and Vicar of Oakham. The Team Council was part of the Scheme when the Team was set up, but has not been properly constituted; this meeting had been called so that (a) representatives of the parishes in the Benefice could approve the Parish Profile and the Person Specification, written by the Oakham churchwardens; (b) four lay representatives from the Benefice could be chosen to sit on the Patronage Board to appoint the new Team Rector and Vicar of Oakham.

Parish Profile and Person Specification

After some discussion, the Parish Profile was approved, with the incorporation of the Person Specification and some minor corrections and additions, and the Person Specification was also approved with one amendment.

Lay Representatives

The full Patronage Board will consist of Bishop Donald, Archdeacon Gordon, the historic Patrons (Lincoln Cathedral, Viscount Downe, Lady Gretton and Evan Hanbury, with one vote between them), four lay people chosen by the parishes in the Benefice: two from Oakham, one from the northern group of parishes and one from the southern group. Following discussions in the parishes, the following names were put forward as potential lay representatives: from Oakham – Alison Long and Des Cooke; from the northern parishes – Sir Laurence Howard; from the southern parishes – Jennie Page. All four were approved and appointed as lay representatives to the Patronage Board, with Sir Laurence Howard, Des Cooke and Jennie Page being co-opted onto the Team Council.

Advertising and Interviews

The Archdeacon will work with the local members of the Patronage Board to prepare the advertisement which should appear in the Church Times on 13 April and 20 April. Interviews will take place on 21 June and if all goes well it is hoped that someone might be in post during September. However the advertisement can be put onto the diocesan and other websites as soon as the Profile is completely finished and the advert prepared.

What next?

Everyone can contribute! Please keep praying for the people who are involved in the recruitment process, and for all who will take an interest in becoming Team Rector and Vicar of Oakham. Pray that all will discern their way forward, that the Patronage Board will do its work well, and that God will send us someone who will help us become who we’re called to be, both as a church and as individual followers of Jesus Christ.