Applications for the North London Pastoral Assistants Scheme have closed for the year 2017/18. If you would like to make an enquiry about the application process for 2018/19, please contact Fr Bruce Batstone: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like to offer a year serving God’s people in some of London’s most diverse neighbourhoods? Are you exploring how God is calling you to spend your life? The North London Pastoral Assistants (NLPA) scheme has a vacancy in Hornsey which is ideal for an enthusiastic woman or man to come and join us from September 2017. Please see below for more details.
We can offer you opportunities in preparing liturgy, leading worship, youth work and community ministry including YMCA chaplaincy. In addition you will receive full supervision, spiritual formation and theology sessions, a retreat in Paris, housing in Crouch End and full expenses.
Hornsey Parish Church is a diverse community with a fairly large congregation representative of the varied place that Hornsey is: young and older; married, single and partnered; straight and gay; British and international. We welcome everyone who wants to come to be part of our family, and we are delighted to be forming part of the Hornsey Churches Urban Mission Scheme along with Holy Innocents, Holy Trinity and St Paul’s.
What is Hornsey like?
Parts of Hornsey Parish are places of much wealth, drawing people from Muswell Hill, Highgate and Crouch End, but it is also a community of deprivation and poverty, sitting very much on the border between West and East Haringey. Within the parish is the ward of Campsbourne, which has recently been described as one of the poorest in Europe, and it is perhaps in our schools where we particularly see that rich diversity.
Are you a team player?
Working in our church means being part of an already thriving pastoral team which includes a full- time curate, two Licensed Lay Ministers (Readers), a part-time Lay Schools Worker, a part-time Youth Fellowship Leader and a volunteer Lay Chaplain who co-ordinates much of our pastoral work and acts as Sacristan . Also, the church has a part-time Halls Manager.
The present parish priest, Fr Bruce Batstone, arrived at the end of 2011 from the Parish of Old St Pancras, where for eight years he worked extensively with their Pastoral Assistant Scheme. Fr Ben, our curate, was originally a Pastoral Assistant in the NLPA scheme!
What experience can you expect?
Like the other churches in the scheme, we offer opportunities to experience all the various aspects of parish ministry. This includes the leadership of worship and prayer, preaching and serving, participating in the life of our church school, pastoral visits, helping in co-ordinating a Winter Night Shelter for the homeless, chaplaincy at the North London YMCA and local Air Cadets, ministry amongst older people and working with our community partners in a variety of ways.
Our congregation includes many families, and working as a Pastoral Assistant here will mean joining a large and committed team of employed and voluntary people who deliver a very high quality programme of Christian formation to our younger church members, from two years’ old up to eighteen and beyond. Our church also has performing arts mission called Stages for Faith, offering opportunities for outreach to the community through regular high quality productions and associated events.
Our musical life is rich and inclusive, with a very good choir and musical director whose talents complement the atmosphere of the services and which we hope are supported by the contemplative feel of the modern church building. Hornsey Parish Church is also the venue for many activities to support Spiritual Formation in the Edmonton Episcopal Area, co-ordinated by Fr Bruce, and as Pastoral Assistant you will be encouraged to help to organise Labyrinth workshops, days to resource spiritual direction, supporting weeks of accompanied prayer and much more besides.
Whilst working extensively in this parish, you will have much involvement in our North London YMCA Chaplaincy and joint projects such as the Homeless Shelter, as well as new projects that such partnerships will always give birth to and nurture.
What do you receive in return?
As the Pastoral Assistant here, you will live in the Crouch End flat with your two colleagues, and meet with them and the clergy each day for Evening Prayer (Morning Prayer is said at the Parish Church with Fr Bruce and the Pastoral Team). You will receive expenses of £125 per week and your utility bills will be paid. A priest will supervise you regularly, encouraging you to reflect theologically on your role. This will be complemented by a monthly theological study seminar and a programme of spiritual formation sessions, equipping you with tools offered by St Benedict, St Ignatius and St Francis (amongst others) to contribute to the experience of discernment that such a year is inevitably about.
Check out the NLPA website: http://www.north-london-pastoral-assistants.org.uk
Check out the Hornsey Parish Church website: www.hornseyparishchurch.org
Read Kayleigh’s Pastoral Assistant Report (From report to APCM 2016):
Working as a Pastoral Assistant at Hornsey Parish Church since September has been an enlightening and vocationally forming experience. I have had the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities, both at HPC and in the parish as a whole, and my experience becomes richer every day with each new challenge.
Church based ministry
I spend a lot of time working alongside our ministry team at church, performing various duties including:
• Serving during Eucharists
• Organising the servers’ rota
• Participating in and regularly leading morning offices
• Taking part in Advent course sessions and leading a session for our Lent course
• Co-leading a Pilgrim Course group
• Fr Dennis and I are currently in the planning stages of the relaunch of Parish Fellowship
• Administrative support: preparing the weekly sheet and other service sheets; updating the church website; various printing tasks and other duties when required
I often visit those in the community who are unable to get to church, with visits including:
• Visiting and taking communion to the housebound
• Hospital visits
• Monthly services at The Priory retirement home where I recently preached a homily
Hornsey Parish Church has a very strong relationship with our church school, St Mary’s, and a large part of my work is focused at both the Church Lane and Rectory Gardens sites:
• Leading and assisting with weekly ‘Big Six’ sessions where we prepare Year Six pupils for participation in a termly Eucharist. The children are heavily involved in the services, preparing the prayers and readings / dramatic performances
• Leading and participating in assemblies at both Church Lane and Rectory Gardens
• Assisting with the teaching of RE lessons on the Sacraments during Lent
• Supporting Naomi with lunch club activities when possible
• ‘Rainbow Link’ morning prayer at Church Lane every Tuesday during term time
A large part of my role outside of schools involves working with young people, something I always find uniquely rewarding:
• I’m heavily involved with our church’s Youth Fellowship which has recently expanded its activities to include a half-termly trip incorporating young people from St Paul’s church. Thus far we have been to Laser Quest and- somewhat less of an expedition- taken a group to see The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Both events were well received and more are planned for the future
• Leading sessions with the Air Cadets whose chaplaincy HPC is responsible for
• Organising Youth Mass
• I have thus far only been peripherally involved with the Youth Forum, but hope to be more so in future
• Soon, I will be preparing to lead this year’s confirmation classes to prepare young people for confirmation
Three days a week, I assist Fr Ben and Patricia with his chaplaincy to the YMCA. The work at the YMCA is often challenging, with residents often in need of a great deal of assistance that we can’t provide, but offering an active Christian presence is hugely important and it shows in the strength of the relationships that are formed with the residents. My duties and responsibilities there include:
• Joining Fr Ben for dinner-time chaplaincy where we eat with the residents and chat with them
• Saying offices in the YMCA chapel on Sunday evenings, Tuesday evenings and Friday mornings
• Assisting with ‘snack and chat,’ a weekly drop in session where we provide food and accompany prayers
• We arrange occasional services and meals at the YMCA. Although the services have not been well attended, it was important that the opportunity was there. The meals were met with great enthusiasm, giving us a lot of opportunity to get to know the residents better
• Attending and occasionally leading a weekly YMCA staff prayer group
• Serving at a Eucharist held for YMCA trustees
I live in the Pastoral Assistants flat in Crouch End with fellow PAs, Stephen and William. Though the vast majority of my work is based in our parish, evening prayer takes place at St Paul’s on Fridays and Holy Innocents on Mondays and Thursdays.
The experience of working as a PA has been hugely important for discerning vocation and it is helped to be so by various opportunities offered for development:
• Regular formation sessions which take place at a variety of locations – including Westminster Abbey and St Mellitus College to date – which provide a lot of helpful information about possible future paths and options
• Monthly theology sessions led by Fr Edward Dowler. These lectures and formation sessions include PAs from the Camden and Tottenham branches of our scheme as well as Stephen, William and myself
• Regular supervisions with Fr Bruce as well as a great many opportunities to discuss any issues or questions that might arise with Fr Bruce, Fr Ben, Naomi and Pam, all of whom I work alongside a great deal
My time at HPC thus far has been both happy and fulfilling and working as a PA continues to teach me a lot about the workings of the church and about myself as a person. I am very grateful for the support and fellowship I have found here and, even if I am unsuccessful in my BAP in May, I know I will have gained a great wealth of experience which will serve me well throughout my life.
P.S. Kayleigh was successful in her BAP and joined Westcott House, Cambridge this autumn.