The Beacon Team

The Parish Churches of

in the Deanery of Kendal in the Diocese of Carlisle

The Beacon Team has been in existence now as a Formal Team since the end of 2006 and is situated in and around the northern side of the town of Kendal, which is in the South of Cumbria on the fringes of the Lake District.  

History of Team Ministry in Kendal Deanery

In 2003 Kendal Deanery instituted a review to examine how best to allocate stipendiary clergy for the Deanery. The conclusion reached was that larger rural groupings were undesirable because of the strain placed on the clergy and that the better solution would be the creation of teams.

The Beacon Team Development

Even before this review, the parishes in the Beacon Team had a history of co-operation.  The incumbents of united Benefice of Skelsmergh with Selside and Longsleddale, Burneside, and Kendal St. George had met from time to time to discuss matters of mutual concern and see how they might assist each other.  One of the first fruits of this collaboration was joint Confirmation Preparation and a shared Confirmation Service.

After the proposals were accepted by the Deanery, these parishes began to work more closely together and the Archdeacon of Carlisle, Ven. David Thompson (now Bishop of Peterborough) became the embryonic Team’s consultant.  Advent Sunday 2004 saw all six parishes come together to commit themselves to each other and to the continued exploration of Team working.

When the United Benefice of Grayrigg with Old and New Hutton became vacant through the retirement of its Priest in Charge, Grayrigg joined with Kendal St. George and Old and New Hutton became part of the Helm Team based on the churches to the south east of Kendal.  A further retirement saw Burneside’s Incumbent become Priest in Charge of Skelsmergh, Selside and Longsleddale and another step was taken towards becoming a fully-fledged team.

A draft scheme was then drawn up by the Church Commissioners and considered by all the Parishes.  It was readily accepted by everyone involved and came into effect at the end of 2006.  Thus a Team, with a Team Rector and Team Vicar was created, resourced further by two Assistant NSM Priests and a Lay Reader.  A further retirement left the Team looking for a new Team Vicar who was appointed in 2007.  

Much work was done to create a sense of Team Identity, alongside the already well-established sense of belonging to a parish.  The Team has also played a significant part in the Christians Together in Kendal and District organization, under the guidance of the Diocesan Arts Chaplain (one of the NSMs in the Team) in forming the Kendal Community Theatre, which produced a highly successful Passion Play on the streets of Kendal in Holy Week 2012.