Following the Consultation meetings in January, which over ninety members of our congregation attended, there was almost unanimous agreement that we should seek to employ a new Minister on a three-year contract. This Minister would be employed by EMC, supported by the Methodist Connexion and contribute to the work of the Sutton Circuit. The Circuit has generously agreed to allow us to offer the Manse, which Nik Wooller currently uses, as accommodation.
The next step was to prepare an advertisement and an Application Pack for the position. A ten-page Application Pack was put together, which set out the terms of the position, a draft job description, a description of EMC and its current activities, worship style and congregation, as well as five questions, which each candidate was required to answer, as part of their submission. Two advertisements were composed, a long-form advert which was posted on about six web-sites and a shorter version which was placed in various newspapers.
We had over eighty people request the Application Pack which was a fantastic response. However, some of these were Ministers located outside the EC who we could not consider as they required UK work permits.
The closing date was 22 May and by that time we had received twenty two completed applications. Jane Williams, Peter Thompson and Andrew Jennings went through these and selected a short list of five candidates, to be interviewed. Subsequently two candidates withdrew for personal reasons. Each candidate was interviewed by two different panels, had to give a pre-prepared presentation on the “Role of a Town Centre Church in the 21st Century”, composed a bible study from a passage given to them on the day and had a tour of EMC and the Manse. About fifteen Stewards and others were involved in
this process. Hopefully by the time you read this article we will have announced the selection of a new Minister!