IT IS far from your average parish profile. Any job-hunting priest considering applying for the vacancy at Christ Church, Fulwood, in Preston, must ensure that they hate olives and celery, never organise “boring” services, own a dog, and always high-five children when they leave the building.
The unusual job specification was drawn up by a group of teenagers, after Christine Hedley, who chairs the PCC, decided that the youth group should be consulted in writing the parish profile.
Other items on the checklist include “being funny but serious when needed”, liking sports, being kind, and “modern and funky”. The young people also specified that men or women could apply, as long as they had previous experience with children.
Ms Hedley said: “We agreed that our youngest church members and our Pathfinders group, comprising older children, should be consulted for their views on the attributes of our new vicar. The list was brought together during a regular Sunday service by about a dozen of our young people, and is now a part of our parish profile for the vacancy.”
The Archdeacon of Lancaster, the Ven. Michael Everitt, said that he was “delighted” at the inclusive approach to recruitment exemplified by Christ Church. “The voice of the young is equally important as the voices of older members of our churches, and involving them in this way is empowering for them and exciting for the diocese to see as well.
“I will be praying for a successful recruitment process for Christ Church, and look forward to meeting their new, funky, high-fiving vicar in due course.”