Our Minister Vacancy

    St George’s congregation has entered a new and exciting time in its 110 year history, as it looks for a minister to build on its strong foundation and lead an enthusiastic, experienced and motivated lay team.

    We believe St. George’s Church is at the heart of the community of Mill Hill, and is in a fantastic position to spread the word of God through new and innovative methods.

    The man appointed will need to be;

    • Pastorally sensitive to the varied needs of an established Congregation that includes a wide mix of ages and backgrounds.
    • Capable of bringing new people into the Church through imaginative forms of outreach such as working in local schools and with our uniformed group families. 
    • Has a heart for working with young people, teenagers and young adults.       
    • Able to present the Gospel in a clear and engaging manner, relating the Bible to growth in Christian discipleship and spiritual maturity.    
    • Able to initiate new forms of worship, within the overall Anglican ethos of the Free Church of England.  
    • Be an enabler, someone who can build ministries/teams and help to equip all members of the Church family at St. George’s for works of service in the wider community.  
    • Loyal to the vision of the Free Church of England, namely the Evangelical Catholic faith of the English Reformers.    
    • Either a presbyter ordained in a Church whose Orders the Free Church of England recognises, or, if not already so ordained, prepared to be so. 
    • Willing to play a full and supportive role in the life of the Diocese and wider Free Church of England.

    Our Services

    There is currently one service each Sunday, at 10.30am. Once a month this is a service of Holy Communion (congregation circa 20-25) led by a visiting Minister. Our Family Service and Church Parade is held once a month (congregation circa 80 -100), 
    Morning Prayer (congregation circa 20-30) and finally our lively Café Church (congregation circa 50-60). 

    All services are currently organised by the Church Wardens and the Café Church Team. We have a long standing Lay Reader who currently reads at all services except Café Church. In addition the Church is blessed to have 4 members who regularly deliver sermons/family talks in the absence of a serving Minister along with many other willing participants for the reading and prayer rotas. 

    Our approach

    We are a congregation that isn’t afraid to try new things, an example being our popular Café Church services, led by a team of volunteers, which has more than doubled our congregation at that service. Our members have embraced our efforts:

    “Definitely one off the best services I have been too, it was fantastic, really enjoyed it” Elizabeth
    “Loved it and the Facebook story leading up to it thanks all who took part definitely do it again x” Elaine.

    Our 140 young people are a major influence on the work of the Church through our Sunday School, Youth Group and Uniformed Groups.

    We have a number of volunteer-led small groups that promote fellowship, including Prayer Warriors, Book Club and Tea, Laughter and Chat Group.

    We use social media to help spread the work of the Church to the wider community.

    Website: http://stgeorgesblackburn.btck.co.uk/  
    Twitter: @stgeorgesbburn
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stgeorgesblackburn/

    Our witness

    It is our conviction that the Word of God should direct and guide every aspect of our lives.

    Within the current context of doctrinal and moral confusion in society and parts of the wider Church, the Free Church of England seeks to be faithful to the teaching of the whole of Scripture, even when this is counter to current social assumptions. Thus, for example, the
    teaching of the Free Church of England is that:

    Holy Matrimony is the exclusive commitment of a man and woman to each other in conjugal love (Genesis 2:20-25; 1 Corinthians 7:1-5). It is intended to be a life-long union (Matthew 19:3-12), in which children may be born and nurtured (1 Corinthians 7:12-14). A pattern for marriage is shown in Christ’s love for the Church (Ephesians 5:22-33).

    In 2012 Convocation (the governing body of the Free Church of England) passed a motion reaffirming this position and stating that
    it ‘does not consent to any premises of the Free Church of England being used for the registration or blessing of same-sex unions, nor are the clergy of this Church permitted to take part in such ceremonies.’

    Similarly, guided by the New Testament and the Tradition of the Church, the Free Church of England admits only men to the historic Orders of Deacon, Presbyter and Bishop, and to the public teaching office of Reader.

    The new Minister would be expected to be loyal to these positions.

    It is normal FCE practice for the president to robe for Holy Communion. Clergy also robe at Morning and Evening Prayer, weddings, funerals and baptisms. Robes are not always worn at Family Services, Parade Services or Café Church.

    Teaching at all services is Bible based, usually following either the appointed readings (from the Revised Common Lectionary) or sometimes a series. Teaching is given by the Minister and visiting clergy. The Diocesan bishop visits and preaches occasionally. 

    A little history

     St. George’s was opened on 23rd April 1907 by the Revd. Henry Sobey. The mortgage for the land shows weavers, spinners and mechanics signed the mortgage deeds. The building was built on land at Archibald Street (later to be renamed St. George’s Avenue).
    Over recent years the Church has had a considerable amount of improvements to ensure the building is fit for purpose. A complete renovation was completed in advance of the Church’s centenary in 2007 and more recently a stainless steel kitchen and new side windows have been fitted. Most of the renovation and repairs are carried out by members of the Church Congregation.

    Neighbouring Christian activity

    Mill Hill currently has 3 additional places of Worship in addition to St. George’s. St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church which has its own infant and junior Schools. St. Aiden’s Church of England, again with its own infant and junior schools. Finally Blackburn Gospel Hall. Just outside the Mill Hill boundary.
    St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church and St. Francis Church of England are also not far away.

    The Wider Context and Support

    St George’s Church is a constituent member of the Northern Diocese of the Free Church of England. It is represented at Diocesan Synod (which meets twice a year) and at the annual Convocation by the Minister (when there is one), Churchwardens and two Lay Delegates who are elected at the Annual Congregational Meeting in February. 

    Both the Northern and Southern Dioceses of the Free Church of England have subscribed to the Jerusalem Declaration and are members of GAFCON. The Bishop of the Diocese is a member of the GAFCON UK Panel of Reference. The new Minister would be expected to be supportive of this.

    Since the 1870s the Free Church of England has been in communion with the Reformed Episcopal Church in the USA and Canada. We are also in communion with the Reformed Episcopal Dioceses in Germany and Croatia.

    The Provincial Council of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) has declared that it is in full communion with the Free Church of
    England, recognizes her congregations, clergy, and sacraments, and has pledged to work together for the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ and the making of his disciples. The Free Church of England has extended the right hand
    of fellowship to the Right Revd Andy Lines, the recently-consecrated ACNA Missionary Bishop, and looks forward to developing a constructive working relationship with him.

    Within the Diocese there is a twice yearly residential Clergy Conference, usually with a guest speaker, for mutual encouragement and
    learning. Pulpit exchanges among the presbyters of the Diocese are common. Clergy are encouraged to be involved in other groupings that support them and their ministry. 

    Mill Hill, Blackburn.

    Population size : The latest results from the 2011 Census show that the population has risen to 6387.

    Age structure (Graph)

     This shows the 6387 population of Mill Hill broken down by age and sex. 27.9% of its population is aged 0-19, compared with
    28.7% for Blackburn with Darwen as a whole.

    Ethnicity: The 2011 Census shows that Mill Hill has an estimated 5823 White residents (91.2% of its population), down from 5979 in 2001.  

    The Process

    The appointment will be directed by the Diocesan Bishop (the Right Revd John Fenwick). Informal conversations about the post are welcomed; please contact the Bishop (01229 584997), to whom completed applications and names of referees should also be sent at: jrkfenwick@gmail.com .

    Additional Information

    General information about the life and work of the Free Church of England can be found on the website: www.fcofe.org.uk .

    Books on the Free Church of England include;

    Frank Vaughan, A History of the Free Church of England otherwise called the Reformed Episcopal Church, 1st ed. Bath, 1936, 2nd ed. Bungay 1960, 3rd ed. Wallasey 1994.

    John Fenwick, The Free Church of England: Introduction to an Anglican Tradition, London, T & T Clark/Continuum, 2004.

    John Fenwick, Anglican Ecclesiology and the Gospel: The Renewing of a Vision, Anglican House Media Ministry, Newport Beach, CA,
    USA, 2016.

    Copies are available via the website: www.fcofe.org.uk