It’s a seemingly obscure term that can sound puzzling. But the word ‘interregnum’ has been around for centuries and describes an interval of time, or vacancy, when leadership is absent in an organisation or church.
We are currently in an interregnum at St Peter’s. The retirement in February 2021 of our much-loved, longstanding vicar (the Revd Julia Porter-Pryce) after 18 years of service, sees the start of a search for a new vicar to take the church forward.
The process can take up to a year. It involves our parochial church council (PCC) working closely with the area’s bishop to find a candidate who can take the church forward.
We hope to have a new vicar in place by the end of 2021. You can read the advert for the new vicar here. We are prepared for it to take bit longer if necessary.
Here are the steps St Peter’s is taking in 2021 as we move into this period of renewal:
Creating a ‘Parish Profile’
St Peter’s parochial parish council (PCC) puts together a document describing the church and its congregation, and lays out its hopes and challenges for the future. This document forms the basis of the ‘job spec’ for the new vicar. The post is open to Church of England vicars from any part of the UK.
Commissioning our parish representatives
St Peter’s commissions three parish representatives to represent the church in its search for a new vicar. These three people work with the Bishop of Stepney, Rt Revd Joanne Woolway Grenfell, and the Area Dean, Revd Andrew Wilson, to shortlist and interview candidates over a period of months.
Working with the Bishop of Stepney
St Peter’s is part of the Diocese of Stepney. To find a new vicar, we are working closely with the Bishop of Stepney, the Rt Revd Joanne Woolway Grenfell and the Diocese of Stepney. Bishop Joanne and the Diocesan office help the parish representatives advertise the post, create an shortlist of candidates and interview them.
Once a shortlist has been created, candidates are invited for interviews and may choose to visit the church.
The new vicar starts
Once a candidate has accepted the role of vicar at St Peter’s, he or she will be installed by the Bishop of Stepney in a special service at church. We hope it won’t take too long to arrive at this important milestone, but the process can take up to a year.
The installation of the new vicar will be an important neighbourhood event! Just as any other service at St Peter’s, everyone and anyone will be warmly welcomed to join, regardless of faith or belief.