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.