St Peter’s, St Paul’s & St Andrew’s Blackley - Rev Eddie Roberts
St Mary’s Moston
In 2012, the Victoria Avenue Mission Partnership (VAMP) was launched with the objective to make it a bit different. Draft protocols were put together which bound the clergy team to levels of support in clergy absences and vacancy. The emphasis of the partnership is mission, with activities to date, including hosting a well-attended Alpha course, singing carols in the community, holding an event of witness in a local park and hosting Baptism preparation evenings with a team from across the partnership.
The clergy are cross-licensed across the ‘team’ and regularly meet to plan and pray, cover services, swap pulpits and provide support around all kinds of services including funerals.
The mission partnership started with three clergy for four parishes and the target in the deanery plan was to reduce to two clergy. The four-year partnership has worked really well in Blackley and has allowed Rev. Eddie Roberts and his team to support St Andrew’s in vacancy and very recently he was installed as Rector. With the new appointment to Moston the Partnership will be at the target set for 2025.
What does the future hold? There is definitely a desire in Blackley for the Moston part of the partnership to develop closer links. Currently they plan service for all of the churches, sharing liturgy and resources. They have arranged the staffing for all of the services for St Mary’s for the coming months and are keen to continue that close working should our new incumbent so desire. The reduction in clergy in Blackley will give access to diocesan funding for an administrator, which could possibly be extended across the whole partnership.
The team in Blackley consists of one incumbent, one second year curate, two associate SSMs, one second year placement student, four readers, two readers in training, one SSM in training and several ALMs who have varied and active ministries.