St George’s Parish Church, Beckenham
(Diocese of Rochester)
The Parochial Church Council’s (PCC) vision for St George’s is of:
· a church which stands in the heart of a lively community as it has done for centuries
· a church whose worship, music and liturgy seeks to be the very best that we can offer, within a healthy, evolving 21st Century liturgy
· a church which warmly welcomes all who seek to find a home there
· a church to which all may feel that they belong, and in which they feel that what they have to offer in terms of worship and service is valued
· a church whose clergy and lay people go out to witness to the love of God and the claims of the Gospel
· a church prepared to take risks in its search to provide an identifiable, visible, Christian presence in an increasingly secular environment
· a church to which those of all ages come to experience the Christian faith and to encounter the living God.
Description of the parish
St. George’s Beckenham is situated in the London Borough of Bromley in the Deanery of Beckenham and the Diocese of Rochester. The Parish has approximately 5000 households with a total population of just over 12,000.
The type of housing varies considerably, from very large detached to modern terraced houses; from four-storey blocks of flats to expensive apartments.
Some flats are occupied by older people and are designated as retirement homes; others are occupied by young couples with both partners going out to work. There is some sheltered housing for the elderly. There is one Council development in the parish of about 200 units.
There are excellent rail links (under 30 minutes) to the City and West End of London, very good bus services and a tram link to Croydon. Beckenham has many leafy roads and is regarded as a pleasant place to live. The High Street (the north side of which is in the parish, while the south side is in the parish of Christ Church) has high quality shops and a variety of excellent restaurants, clubs and public houses which attract a wide clientele.
The nearest major shopping centre, including department stores, is in neighbouring Bromley. There are local authority, Roman Catholic and private schools. Bromley Road Infants School is adjacent to the church. There is some commercial development. Beckenham Cricket Club, Beckenham Place Park and Golf Course are within the parish.
Many worshippers at St George’s (and church officers) live outside the parish. Numerous parishioners commute daily to London and there is a high turnover in population. There are quite a number of young families in the district. A significant number of the congregation have a professional, administrative or business background, but also many are retired and live on quite low incomes.
Because of its position and history, St. George’s Church is a very significant building for the whole of the community. There has been a church on the site for over 900 years. The church is open every day and many people come in to sit, think, pray or light a candle.
Built in 1885 the present building is claimed by many to be the finest modern Parish Church in Kent. The church is a Grade 2* listed building and consists of a nave, with narthex, servery & toilet at the west end, north and south aisles and transepts, tower, chancel with organ chamber, choir vestry and sacristy on the north, and chapel on the south. It has one of the best organs in the south east and a fine bell tower with a ring of 10 bells. After sustaining bomb damage in 1944, the windows in the north transept were designed and replaced by the highly acclaimed local artist Thomas Freeth.
Apart from the liturgical life of the church St George’s is also a well used and frequented venue for music and arts events, some ‘in house’ and others from external groups. Our ‘Arts@StGeorges’ is a well established part of the life of the church and particularly the annual festival week draws large audiences of sometimes 500 +.
The Quinquennial in 2014 identified only minor works and the church is in a good state of repair.
Significant plans to build a block of toilets (adjacent to the North Transept) and refurbish the servery area have been agreed in principle with the Rochester Diocesan Advisory Committee. Arch.angel Architects have been appointed by the PCC to manage the project. Funds are available.
Situated in the Knoll, the Rectory is only a few minutes walk from the church. The house is detached and has five bedrooms, bathroom, study, lounge, dining room, kitchen, utility room and downstairs cloakroom. It is in a good state of repair.
The Church Hall
Situated on the north side of the green it is only 200 yards from the church. The Hall has a stage, various rooms on both floors and two kitchens. It is a valuable resource in respect of income and outreach.
The average adult attendance at services is as follows:
Sunday 8.00am - 20
Sunday 9.30am - 150
Sunday Choral Evensong - 45
Weekdays various times - 40
Approximately 40 children and young people are involved in worship or children’s activities on Sundays. There are 287 persons on the Electoral Roll.
8.00am Said Eucharist with homily
9.30am Parish Sung Eucharist (Family Eucharistic Service is held on the first Sunday of each month)
5.30pm Choral Evensong (BCP)
7.00am Morning Prayer
5.00pm Evening Prayer
7.00am Morning Prayer
5.00 Evening Prayer
7.30pm Eucharist (including laying on of hands on first Tuesday of each month and Contemplative on the third)
7.00am Morning Prayer
10.30am Eucharist (followed by refreshments)
5.00pm Evening Prayer
7.00am Morning Prayer
5.00pm Evening Prayer
Confessions are heard by appointment
Other services take place to celebrate Saints Days and Festivals. Theme services are held on special occasions, including the distinctive Candlelit Christmas Carol Service which features a live tableau depicting the nativity, and the Christingle Service on Christmas Eve. Both services are very popular and attract very large congregations.
The Liturgy is Affirming Catholic and fully choral and is taken from Common Worship apart from BCP Choral Evensong on Sunday evening.
St. George’s is proud of its fine liturgical tradition, the quality of its music and bell ringing.
The worship is enhanced by ceremonial, a strong team of servers and a very good choir under a Director of Music who is a professional musician and liturgist.
The St George’s Choral Foundation makes provision for a number of Choral Scholars. The Director of Music is supported by an Assistant Organist and Organ Student.
The music is traditional and of a high standard. Several members of the choir are also competent organists.
On about four Sundays in the year the choir sings at different cathedrals in the UK. It also regularly broadcasts and tours at home and abroad.
A separate junior choir leads the worship at the Family Eucharistic Service on the first Sunday of the month where the Common Worship liturgy is made more accessible.
· Rector (vacancy)
· Assistant Curate (stipendiary, female second year)
· Associate Rector (non stipendiary, female)
· Assistant Priest (non stipendiary, female)
· Readers: two (female)
· Director of Music (male)
· Lay Assistants at the Eucharist: 20 (male and female)
· Sacristan (male)
· Servers (male and female)
· Strong body of Sidesmen/Women & Deputy Wardens
The Staff Ministry Team meets weekly to review the past and plan the future
Spiritual / Teaching
· Junior Church – Sunday 9.30am (except first Sunday) ages 4 to11.
· ‘Upper Room Group’ for young teenagers on second and fourth Sundays at 9.30am.
· Confirmation classes (junior and adult).
· Permission for children to receive communion before confirmation.
· Julian meetings
· Monthly discussion group.
· Lent course (last 2 years using the Pilgrim Course: Follow, 1 and 2).
· Occasional talks and other lectures.
· St George’s News – monthly magazine.
· Coffee in church after 9.30am service every Sunday and after 10.30am service every Wednesday.
· Mini Music in church Mondays 10am
· Social Committee who organise social events.
· Babies and Toddlers Group – weekly in term time.
· Pre-school group – five days a week in term-time and daily after-school club.
· Bell ringing – before 9.30am and 5.30pm services, weddings and other occasions plus weekly practice.
· Stay and Play.
· Flower Arrangers.
· Friends of the Churchyard.
· Family Service Committee.
· Arts at St George’s – Website (www.stgeorgesartsfestival.com).
· St George’s Players
· St. George’s Chamber Orchestra (www.sgco.co.uk).
· Weekly lunchtime recital (Fridays).
· Fund raising concerts
· Saturday coffee concerts.
· Church Website (www.stgeorgesbeckenham.co.uk).
· Safer Neighbourhood Committee
· Guided Tours (summer or by arrangement)
An Administration Secretary is employed in the Parish Office Monday – Friday between 9.30am and 3.30pm. He deals with all matters of administration, including the Rector’s correspondence, production of weekly pew sheets, orders of service, rotas etc. The Administrator is also the electoral roll officer.
The Honorary Treasurer oversees the church accounts and the work of the paid accountant.
The Honorary Planned Giving Secretary is responsible for annual covenants, gift aid and stewardship.
The PCC Honorary Secretary produces minutes of PCC and Standing Committees and may deal with PCC correspondence.
The Parochial Church Council
The PCC’s Annual Report is available from the Churchwardens.
The PCC is a registered charity (number 1129429). The annual accounts can be viewed on the Charity Commission’s website.
A stewardship campaign entitled ‘Graciously giving to God’ was successfully completed in 2015.
The Church Fields Charity makes financial provision (where possible) for the repair and maintenance of the fabric of the Church buildings. The Rector and Churchwardens are ex-officio Trustees together with four other Trustees. The Charity owns a property which can, when available, be used by the PCC as a house for any Curate.
The Incumbent of St George’s is paid the Diocesan recommended maximum stipend. Under the Guaranteed Stipend Scheme all fees are payable to the PCC.
The PCC pays the council tax on the Rectory and all reasonable expenses including travel and telephone. The Incumbent is expected to make a contribution towards the cost of personal telephone calls.
St George’s is a member of Churches Together in Beckenham.
The Deanery of Beckenham includes 11 Parishes stretching from Penge in the north to Shortlands in the south. The Deanery is rich in its diversity and embraces a great breadth of churchmanship. It produces a Deanery Advent Study book and manages a Deanery Emergency and Pastoral Support Fund for parish use.
The Rector is an ex officio Trustee of the Beckenham Parochial Charity.
New Rector of St George’s Parish Church, Beckenham
The new Rector will be an experienced, energetic, charismatic, robust professional leader with urban or suburban experience, spiritually and pastorally motivated to engage with the wider community. He or she will have a collaborative and enabling style of leadership.
Intellectually, the candidate will be of sufficient calibre to embrace a multi-faceted congregation in a community committed to a centre of excellence in all aspects of its activities.
This is a physically demanding post.
The work and person specifications divide into four main categories:
· Within the Affirming Catholic tradition of Anglican spirituality with its emphasis on the sacraments.
· An enthusiastic supporter of an excellent musical tradition while encouraging congregational participation in worship.
· Able to lead and work collaboratively with members of the Staff Ministry Team and PCC in developing the present and pioneering the future.
· A flexible attitude to the Family Eucharist on the first Sunday of the month.
· Sensitive to the needs of families, children and young people in worship.
· Provide theologically stimulating teaching, with first class skills and energy to communicate faith.
· Encourage and enable teaching and learning groups.
· Ability to train an Assistant Curate if the situation arises.
3 Mission & Pastoral
· Committed to extending the mission of the church in the community and able to maintain and further develop links with schools, shops, offices and other businesses within the parish.
· Supportive of the use of the church buildings for secular and community activities.
· Possession/demonstration of an open attitude towards weddings, infant baptism and funerals.
· Able to innovate and lead in caring for the whole congregation and those in need, including the nursing and residential homes in the parish (with regular home communion as necessary).
· Engagement with other Christians in the community (including the Copers Cope Road Resident’s Association through events on Beckenham Green).
· Give active support to the Deanery and Churches Together in Beckenham.
· Skilled in collaborative team leadership and personal time management.
· Possesses the skills required to manage and collaborate with individuals and groups from different backgrounds and with different responsibilities both salaried and unpaid.
· Ability to recognise talents and opportunities and enable them to be developed.
· Able to prioritise and delegate.
· Financially competent, aware and responsible
St George’s Church, Beckenham Page 11 of 11