The right vicar for the job

Something for the weekend…

Recruiting and retaining staff is not always easy, but a village in Essex has found that its employment package is not quite enough to attract the right vicar for the job. So the villagers have taken to Youtube to highlight their offering.

The parishes of St Andrew’s in Bicknacre and St Mary’s in Woodhame Ferrers have been without a vicar for 16 months, so decided to take matters into their own hands by making a ‘vicar vacancy’ video.

The production features a series of typical events that a vicar would normally preside over, such as a wedding and christening. However, instead of a vicar, the scenes feature a life-size cardboard cut-out of a vicar highlighting the parishes’ plight to fill the hole left in village life.

The video opens with a narrator, standing in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church, telling the audience: “Here we are in St Mary’s churchyard. It’s a beautiful churchyard as you can see, but we have a grave situation – We have no vicar.”

The position is for a house-for-duty associate minister, which means that the person taking the role would not be paid, but would have use of a four-bedroom detached church house. They would be required to work two days per week, plus Sundays.

Nick Kitchen, church warden, said that, although there is no remuneration package available, potential candidates would benefit from being located close to London, Maldon and Chelmsford for commuting purposes, and that the villages offer great local facilities, including pubs, parks, a village shop, and Chinese and Indian takeaways.