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St Mary's Church

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South Cotswolds Team Ministry

South Cotswolds Team Ministry<

The South Cotswold Team is made up of 17 parishes with 22 churches. A parish can be both a group of churches or a single church. For example, Fairford and Lechlade are single-church parishes, Kempsford with Whelford, The Meyseys etc are groups of churches.

In previous days there would have been a priest in charge of each church but nowadays this is becoming increasingly rare and most priests are in charge of a group of churches - this priest is called the Incumbent and has responsibility for the group of churches. The Team Rector, as Incumbent of all those 17 parishes and 22 churches, shares this Ministry with the Team Vicars, who are licensed to serve right across the Team.

Some ways in which the Team works together :

  • Team Council. The Council is the accountable body for the Team; representatives of clergy and parishes meet to discuss Team policies, make plans for services and other joint events.
  • Confirmation preparation. Centralised under the direction of the Team Youthworker. Young candidates from all the villages meet as a peer group of up to twenty, which encourages them to speak more freely, feel part of something meaningful and also ensures that each one hears the same message. Adult candidates continue to be prepared individually.
  • Team services. These are held at least three times a year in different churches or venues (one was in the Trout Inn!). They are great opportunities not only to worship together, often with a guest speaker of some note, but are also a great encouragement to small congregations. Joining in worship with, say, 180 people when you are used to being one of a select group of perhaps eight brings a new dimension to worship.
  • Team calendar. This is circulated to all the parishes and details events right across the Team. It is noticeable that a crossing of parish boundaries is beginning to take place as people access worship or events which are of interest to them.
  • Team policies. The Team Clergy have worked together to ensure a consistent approach to Ministry; for example the remarriage of those who have been divorced is now (subject to guidance issued by the Bishop) the policy across the Team.
  • Team Youthworker and Children’s Worker. Many of you have already seen them in action and they act right across the Team. They are financed by contributions from most of the parishes; we hope that all of the parishes will be able to support this work in the future.

There are many other things that could be said and are planned, but suffice to say that these are some examples of a much greater sharing of resources and expertise by lay people and clergy across the Team.

All the above will enable us, as a Team of Christians working together, to face the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Groups of parishes and Vicars

The Ampneys: (Ampney Crucis, Ampney St Mary, Ampney St Peter, Down Ampney, Driffield inc. Harnhill, Poulton) Rev'd John Swanton (Team Rector)
Bibury and Winson, Barnsley: Rev’d Tim Hastie-Smith (Team Vicar)
CHEQS: (Coln St Aldwyns, Hatherop, Eastleach, Quenington, Southrop) Rev’d John Partington (Team Vicar)
Fairford: Rev'd Caroline Symcox (Team Vicar) & Rev’d Denise Hyde (Associate Priest)
Kempsford with Whelford: Vacancy
Lechlade: Rev’d Andrew Cinnamond (Team Vicar)
The Meyseys: (Meysey Hampton and Marston Meysey, Castle Eaton): Rev'd Jean Brown

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