Bradwell congregation backs plan for interim minister appointment

Bradwell Church members have given their backing to plans to appoint an interim minister to replace the Rev Andy Jowitt who retired in October last year.

The plan is due to be discussed and decided upon by the Stantonbury Ecumenical Council at a meeting in early February.

The minister who will be in post for up to two years will also have a responsibility for heading up a review of the Stantonbury Ecumenical Partnership – how it operates and how it can best serve the north east Milton Keynes area in the future.

Rev Paul Smith

The Rev Paul Smith

The plan was revealed to members of the congregation at a meeting at Bradwell Church by team rector, the Rev Paul Smith, SEP representative, the Rev David Lewis and lay preacher, Rob Coles.

Paul said the idea of having an interim minister post was something which had only recently been adopted by the Church of England and it would give the opportunity to bypass some of the more complicated processes which would delay the appointment of a permanent replacement.

Coupled with that was the recognition that the wider partnership is changing and will need to change – looking at the overall resources, financial and human and ask what our mission as a whole partnership might be.

“Principally we need to look at our smaller congregations and how we use our plant, our buildings and ask ourselves what we can we do, where can we go,” he said.

David said that he is taking pastoral responsibility for Bradwell Church until an appointment is made with Paul looking after the Cross and Stable. Once the interim minister appointment is made that person will take on Bradwell and David will take on Cross and Stable as well as Christ Church. That will leave the interim post holder time to help head up the ecumenical review within the partnership.

Paul said it is hoped to make an appointment within months rather than years with Bradwell representatives consulted during the process. The Bishop of Buckingham makes the appointment but with consultation locally.

David said: “What we will not get is someone who the Bishop parachutes in.”

Because it will be an interim appointment the profile for the advertisement will be much shorter than that required for a full appointment, added David.