Benefice of Lyndhurst and Emery Down and Minstead

Meeting held at 7.30 pm on 1st February 2018 at Christ Church Emery Down

  1.  A. Apologies were recorded for all absent members of the three PCCs.
  2.  B. Present:

Bill Andrews (Chair), Karen Flack, Hilary Bates, Isabel Yeo, Liz Randall, Kay Nicholson [Minstead].

Sara Hall, Jennie Hawkins, June Foote, Lucy Elms [Emery Down].

Sheena Watkins, Sue Ramsay, Cecilia Mills, Mike Wright, Suzanne Middleton (Secretary), Peggy Nicholls, Sue Fisher, Terry Wood, Shelley Gammon, David Heron [Lyndhurst].

The Archdeacon opened the meeting with a prayer.

He explained that he was present to explain the content of the agenda, answer questions, but not to lead the discussion as decisions made tonight are PCC business.

Item 1 and 2- “Agreement to support Suspension of Presentation”, Shelley Gammon asked why was Emery Down included in the decisions to be made. The response was that Emery Down had made the decision at their recent PCC meeting.

Item 3 Up to this point meetings have been concerned with preparing the Profile and Role Description but tonight will hopefully agree those documents and then things will move fairly swiftly. The Profile and role description form the basis of the process.

Item 5 there are two ways to fill a vacancy- The traditional way was a single individual would be presented as a candidate .The Bishop would be the person to do this in the current day. The individuals application form would be looked at, scored and then  an interview would take place.

The more modern way is more familiar to all of us – put an advert in paper and see who applies.

The choice of which way to go is entirely that of the PCCs.

About ¼ of appointments are filled by Bishops introduction. However, the PCCs might still ask to see a field of candidates. Going out to advert gives a broader field of candidates. But it’s slightly slower. If we have 1 candidate then the date would be 21st February.

The Archdeacon confirmed that the Bishop did have a suitable candidate in mind.

Mike Wright asked how long before they would be available. The answer was 3 months normally.

Sara Hall, asked if the person is interested in us? This was confirmed

Lucy Elms asked if we go down this route we could still advertise if we do not feel they are a suitable person to appoint?  The answer was Yes

Suzanne M asked would we know the Bishop had put forward a candidate if we decided to go for an open advert?  The answer is no

Liz Randall –asked can we know why they want to move?  The answer was no, not before the interview.

David Heron asked why can’t we do both processes?  The answer was that the emphasis of the first process is based on discernment – is God calling you here?  With the other process it can be more of a beauty parade.

David said he’d thought of people he knew who might be suitable and that’s why he asked.

Mike Wright asked if this person knows enough about the Benefice to be interested?  The answer was yes.

Item 4 is the item regarding who represents us in the interview process.  The interview is chaired by the Bishop or their representative; the Patron or Patrons representative may attend; the PCC reps make the decision on behalf of their PCCs.  An Area Dean will be involved in the process but they don’t have a say.

The representatives will shortlist the candidates against the role description.  They will formally score with a mark out of 10 against each item in the role description.  This will identify strengths and weaknesses.  Then they will develop questions to address important matters.  They will then interview.  This gives the chair the opportunity to sit back and observe.  Any of the three parties could veto an appointment.

Failure to appoint means we go through the process again.

When the decision is made an offer is made on the day.  With the candidate given 24 hours to decide.

Are allowed up to 2 lay representatives per PCC.

Item 6 asks for a joint meeting, and 7 asks for a written statement.  This may be used if there are any problems to discuss.

Item 8.  This was discussed last time round but was not required. At a vacancy, for theological decisions we can ask not to have a woman candidate.

Lucy Elms asked could we ask to interview the preferred candidate and then if not appointed could we have a joint meeting?  The answer was that it was unlikely that we would need that.  These meetings are normally regarding disagreement about the level of resourcing.

Suzanne M asked if the people involved in the tour of the Benefice would be invited to give feedback. If there was any relevant feedback, eg concerns, to give then it should be given to the Archdeacon.

Sara asked is the CV simply a list of dates and places or is there more information involved.  The Archdeacon explained that it is a standard C of E application form giving information about what they have been doing in their current role, the theological streams that have been involved with and then a statement about how they meet the role description.

Liz asked is there a limit to the shortlist?  The response was that it was unusual to interview more than 4.

Suzanne M asked about references. It was confirmed that these are taken up before interview, there are usually three, including a confidential one from the Diocesan Bishop.

The offer made is subject to satisfactory background checks and checks on eligibility to work in the UK.

Terry Wood asked regarding 21st Feb, is there a date for the PCC to get together to look at the application in advance.  The answer given was that this would take place on the same day.

Bill Andrews asked about the time of interview in February.

It was confirmed that this would be in the afternoon. The morning session is for the candidate to look around and have lunch with the PCCs and then the interview takes place mid- afternoon.

Having answered all the questions above the Archdeacon left the meeting at this point.


  1. Minstead PCC were asked if they agreed to support the Suspension of Presentation. 3 were in favour, 1 abstention, 1 against. Vote carried.
  2. Lyndhurst PCC were asked if they agreed to support Suspension of Presentation. This was unanimously agreed.  Vote carried.

Consequently all three PCCs had agreed by majority to Suspension of Presentation.

  1. The latest version of the Profile and Role Description had been posted on the website. All present (with the exception of David who hadn’t yet seen it) agreed.

By a majority vote the Parish Profile and Role Description were agreed.

  1. In deciding whether to request the registered patron to consider advertising the vacancy. 16 were in favour of asking the Bishop to present their preferred candidate.

Therefore, it was decided by majority not to advertise at this point but to interview the Bishop’s candidate.

Item 4.  Lay representatives nominated by the PCCs.  These were agreed to be:

Lyndhurst:  Suzanne Middleton and Terry Wood

Minstead: Karen Flack

Emery Down: Lucy Elms

All are available on 21st February.

Item 6 Not required.

Item 7 Not required.

Item 8 Not required.

The meeting closed with thanks to all for attending.