Taking on a secondment during a period of lockdown would not have been my first choice, but when the Bishop of Huddersfield called me to ask me, it was clear that he was concerned that the Parish of Kirkburton had been without regular active ministry for several months, and so I was glad to accept his offer. The parish of Kirkburton is technically now in vacancy, and I am not the Vicar, but I have been responsibility to provide more consistent pastoral care. I don’t know how long I will be with you, but it is potentially up to 12 months, while the Church discerns the next steps about who they will work with.
As a curate in the Church of England, I do not have overall responsibility for a parish. I work under the supervision of a more experienced clergy person, whose role it is to ensure that I have received enough training to one day be a vicar of a parish in my own right. It is a bit like an apprenticeship; overtime, I work increasingly more independently as my experience and knowledge increases. I have now been ordained 3 years and am close to being considered to being signed off from my curacy. For this reason, Bishop Jonathan felt that I am a suitable candidate to take on care of your parish.
My curacy is based in the parishes of Cumberworth, Denby, Denby Dale and Shepley, and now also with Kirkburton. Due to an administrative oversight when I was ordained, I am already licensed to Kirkburton, so I have been able to dive straight in to working with the Churchwardens and PCC. I am a priest in the Church of England, so I can take Christenings, Weddings, funerals, and any other kind of service. For this secondment I will be focussing my time on working with our children and young people alongside the PCC and Churchwardens.
I live in the Rectory in Upper Cumberworth, with my husband, Andrew, and our dog, Skye. I enjoy baking and cooking and being able to welcome people into my home.
Please know that I am praying for you and for the whole community. If there is anything that I or the church can support you with, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Rev’d Steph Hunter