What we do 

The Team Vicar Writes... 

I’ve been in post as your Team Vicar for just over a year. Now that I’m familiar with what I’m supposed to be doing when and where (well, most of the time!) it’s very enjoyable. But in the busyness of all there is to do, it’s easy to forget that actually, I’m only supposed to be ‘part-time’ (ie 4 days a week) as Team Vicar. For the equivalent of the other two days, I am the Framland Deanery Ministry Development Enabler.  So - as several people have asked me - what on earth does that involve?!
Well, as it says on my job-specification, the main aim of the role is to work with others, clergy and lay-leaders, “To place mission and outreach at the heart of the Deanery”. This means that we will shape our life together to serve our communities better; we will undertake activities and initiatives with an explicitly missional purpose and engage proactively with our communities at a personal, parish, and deanery level. In order to do that, it is necessary “To identify, develop and use the gifts of all our people” across the Deanery. Therefore, working in collaboration with others, I am tasked:
·   To promote the potential of lay people, providing opportunities for lay training and education, lay leadership development, and vocational exploration;
·   To provide continuing training for Readers, Pioneer Ministers, Pastoral Assistants, Youth/Children Workers and other lay leaders, taking account of the expectations from the national church, Diocese and local needs;
·   To provide appropriate support to clergy within the Deanery and particularly in the development of the Deanery Matrix.
As Deanery Ministry Development Enabler, I report to Stuart Burns, Leicester Diocesan Director of Mission and Ministry at St Martin’s House. I attend the Department meetings as and when I can, and this is very useful both in communicating our Deanery updates to the Diocesan Team and in helping to make connections between people, events and resources that we can access for our local training needs. So, for example, I met with Stuart and others, and with our Area Dean Peter Hooper, in helping to plan and prepare for the Diocesan Leadership Programme at Launde Abbey (16 - 20 April) which included a lot of work on how best to implement our cross-deanery roles. 
All the clergy and lay leaders involved in the development of the new way of ministering across a large Deanery are on a journey of exploration and discovery. There’s no magic wand to make everything function flawlessly as fast as we would like it to! Already there are fresh initiatives springing up, but in the first year, it might have seemed to observers that not much has happened.
 Actually, I think Jesus’ parable about the secret growth of seeds is relevant here: “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4: 26-29).
Please pray that in due course there will be a healthy harvest for God’s kingdom as a result of seed that’s been scattered, and even now is growing, here in the Framland Deanery.

Yours in Christ’s love,

mary  Revd Dr Mary Barr
 

 

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