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Living God's Love logo


Living God's Love...

.is an invitation to journey

It's an opportunity to discover new things about God, ourselves and the world, to look with fresh eyes and explore new ways.

In particular, it is a call to the parishes, schools and people of the Diocese of St Albans to Go Deeper into God,Transform Communities and Make New Disciples.

Click here for current Mission Action Plan (MAP)


There's an exciting job going at great St Mary's Church …we are recruiting a new Parish Priest! Here's a bit of background: The Incumbent, a person who holds an office or post, is in charge of the Parish.

There have been quite a few previous occupiers of the job. When Domesday was compiled in 1086, the entry for Sabrixteworde (Sawbridgeworth) records, among the other notables of the Town, the ‘Priest'- if you are thinking of applying, don't worry, the vicarage has been modernised since those days!

In the 13th Century the office of Church­warden emerged into formal legal recognition. Churchwardens (there are normally two) are members of the congregation who assist with the day to day running of the Church. As in other parishes up and down the land, Church­wardens have ultimate responsibility to recruit a new incumbent.

Our job today is to connect with the person called to minister in Sawbridgeworth. This entails identifying the current challenges within the Parish, and, here's the tricky bit, what they are also likely to comprise over the next decade or so.

For example, we will be growing as a Town through new housing developments  which means more lovely young families.

But, at the same time, our population is rapidly aging (by next year half the UK population will be over the age of 50).

The numerous needs and challenges in Sawbridgeworth, now and future, need to be articulated so the right person identifies with their mission.

Our process will include consultation with a wide range of people who live and work in our Town, to help us identify the shape of the mission' our new Incumbent will join us in developing.

The media frequently highlights falling Church attendancee across the UK. This doesn't mean the needs of parishioners the Church ministers to are diminishing, indeed, if anything they are growing.

What's true however, are the resources Churches provide to help their communities are eroding - a sad result of shrinking congregations. However, growth is still happening in many Churches, but the way many people engage with Church is changing. Our Incumbent will be helping us to reach people in new ways, so one of our questions will be, what will this look like?

Christian writer Paul Bradbury, in his book `Home by Another Route' puts forward:
 "the main task of the leader will not primariy be one of strategy or organisation, but firstly­ being attentive to the Spirit, and secondly nurturing the kind of environments where others can be attentive to the same Spirit”.

We look forward to hearing your views on the needs in our community, so we can nurture, together with our new Incumbent, the kind of environments where we all can be attentive to the Spirit.

Anthony Heard and Shona Passfield, Church wardens.

Feedback please to:

anthony@sawbridgeworthchurch.org.uk   shona@sawbridgeworthchurch.org.uk    

Our process will include consultation with a wide range of people who live and work in our Town, to help us identify the shape of `the mission' our new Incumbent will join us in developing.

Details of the dates are in the calendar of events ("This Week") here on the website and in Church & Town. If you would like to know more about what is available for children or adults at Great Mary's, then do please contact us. Our contact details are HERE.