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All Souls Parish Church, Harlesden
Draft Parish Profile
All Souls Church and Community Mission Statement
• Christ’s love for us and everyone, our worship together, the ministry we all share, and developing our spiritual lives
• Ourselves, including our Portuguese speaking congregation, a richly diverse and inclusive church family
• Our children and young people; giving time to them and encouraging them to grow spiritually together
• Our links in the wider community – especially churches, hospitals, schools, and vulnerable people
• To give thanks for diversity and celebrate it
• To reach out to those who have yet to find Christ
• To encourage young people to remain active in all areas of church life
• To give opportunities to all people to share in worship, ministry, and mission
SECTION ONE: SUMMARY OF PROFILE
Welcome to our Parish Profile. In this document we set out a description of our church, our parish, and our mission. We hope this will form a good basis for helping you to discern if we are the right church for you to lead.
Who are we?
We are an Anglican church in Harlesden Town Centre. Our worshipping community consists of two congregations – an English-speaking congregation of about 140 regular Sunday worshippers and a Portuguese speaking congregation of about 20 regular Sunday worshippers. We are a very sociable, welcoming church, inclusive to all, which values it close sense of community.
Where do we come from?
We come from all over the world. Harlesden has welcomed immigrants for over a century – the Irish, the Windrush generation, West Africans, and East Africans and more recently Poles, Portuguese, Brazilians, and other nationalities. Many of these groups have been welcomed into our community. Our style of worship reflects these many backgrounds (charismatic, evangelical, bible based) but the dominant ethos is modern Anglo-Catholic.
What point have we reached?
Over the years we have developed a strong tradition of shared ministry, through discernment, training, and support. People are used to taking responsibility and although they will expect the Vicar to provide vision, encouragement, and support, they will want leadership to be shared.
Where do we go from here?
We are keen that the very slow decline in regular Sunday attendance over the past years is arrested and we begin to see growth, both in numbers and in personal discipleship. We would like to see social media and other virtual tools used as a springboard for mission. We need teaching, practical guidance and leadership to achieve this. Also, we are aware that considerable rebuilding will be required post-pandemic.
What are our greatest challenges?
To the south of the parish a major development has begun which will result in huge growth in terms of population and building. A new transport hub at Old Oak linking the Elizabeth Line and HS2 is releasing large tracts of land on which these developments are taking place. It is expected that Old Oak Station will open in 2030. This is an exciting challenge.
What do we need from our new Vicar?
We are looking for a Vicar who will build on what has already been achieved and help us meet these challenges and to move on to the next phase in our journey. We will expect her or him to be a person of prayer, with a strong personal faith and leadership skills. But it is essential for the appointee to be a collaborative team player who can nurture, motivate, and affirm the talents and contributions of others. It is critical they have a real gift for preaching and teaching and can relate the Bible intelligently to contemporary life. Whilst building and being nourished by, the church community it is vital they have an eye to the wider community in Harlesden and beyond.
SECTION TWO: THE BROADER CONTEXT
All Souls Church and its hall and Vicarage occupy a prominent site on the corner of the High Street and Station Road in the centre of Harlesden town centre which is well served by underground, national rail, and bus services. The parish is remarkably diverse and one of the largest in the area, encompassing Harlesden town centre, residential areas to the north and large areas south of Willesden Junction. Here there are large depots used for railway operations (including the site of the Crossrail depot currently under construction), waste processing, the large Cargiant second-hand car operation and many other industrial and business uses on the Hythe Road estate and fronting Scrubs Lane. There is a number of small housing areas off Old Oak Lane and Victoria Road.
Key Statistics use 2020 data when available
Population residential areas to the north and large areas south of Willesden Junction. Here there are large depots used for railway operations (including the site of the Crossrail depot currently under construction), waste processing, the large Cargiant second-hand car operation and many other industrial and business uses on the Hythe Road estate and fronting Scrubs Lane. There is a number of small housing areas off Old Oak Lane and Victoria Road. Parish partially in OPDC area where major development is proposed (Old Oak and North Acton.)
Key Statistics use 2020 data when available
Population 18017 (2011 census)
Demography (>5% difference compared to Diocese as a whole)
Religion >8% more Christian.
Ethnicity 16% less British; 8% more Caribbean; 5% more African Language 9% less English; 5% more Portuguese
Staff Vicar 1, LLM 2, LMs 2, LaEv 1, PsAs 2, (Total 8)
Electoral Roll 242
Usual Sunday Attendance (USA) 136
USA Trend 2010-20 - slight decline until pandemic
Income & trend 2010-20 £130,000pa. Trend is stable
Expenditure & trend 2010-20 £120,000. Trend is stable
Church (capacity 250) Hub Modern s/c entrance to Church (capacity 30) Adjacent Vicarage (including s/c glebe flat) Hall at rear of church (capacity 150) 3 bedroomed flat above Hall Disabled access and toilets to church and hall.
Schools in Parish
John Keble CoE Primary (Parish school shared with neighbouring Forward in Faith parish), Convent of Jesus and Mary Catholic Secondary School, Newman Catholic College, Donnington Primary School, Capital City Academy.
Rosemary House is the only Care Home in the parish. It is supported, independent living.
Churches Together in Harlesden and Stonebridge, Harlesden Community Forum, Grand Union Alliance, Brent Bereavement Service, John Keble Primary School, Cursillo, Chaplaincy Team at Central Middlesex Hospital and Willesden Centre for Health and Care, Rosemary House, Kingswood Centre in Kingsbury, Inclusive Church, St Michael’s Nursery.
Development proposals in the parish
Of all the parishes affected by the Old Oak development, All Souls will see the most change. In response to consultations on the proposal the church has hosted several meetings related to the developments and planning, including the Grand Union Alliance, a network of community organisations who are actively involved. Initial proposals by the Old Oak Park Royal Development Corporation have failed but consultations on plans for development and building continue apace, albeit in a piecemeal fashion. There have been strategic discussions at PCC and Diocesan level concerning how a Christian presence may be resourced within the new development, possibly in partnership with other churches. In the longer term a review of the parish boundary would be required as it is already a large parish in terms of area and population.
SECTION THREE: THE VICAR WE NEED
- Able to lead (to preside at) worship in a way that unites and inspires us. We regard worship as central to our Christian living, nurturing us for the week ahead. We like our worship to be joyful, sincere, reasonably relaxed, and Eucharistic.
- Preaching and Teaching. We like our preaching and teaching to be concise, clear, researched, bible centred (but not fundamentalist) and above all committed and from the heart. Our new Vicar will not preach every Sunday, or do all the teaching, but will be expected to model excellence. At the interview the applicant will be expected to preach an 8-minute sermon to the panel, for an all age congregation, on a passage of scripture which will be given nearer the time.
- Pastoral care. We would like our Vicar to be our pastor – carefully and sensitively reaching out to us in our time of need. We have a pastoral team to assist in this task, but Vicar will be expected to show oversight and to support the team in this important work.
- Children and young people. Our new Vicar will need to provide evidence of an ability to inspire, resource, and support a large team of volunteers involved with working with children and young people. They are responsible, under the Vicar, for leadership of the crèche, Sunday School, Youth in Action (our teenagers group.) He or she will also lead Mass and Assembly at John Keble School and will be ex-officio on the Governing Board. The ability to relate to children of all ages is required.
- BAME issues, sensitivity, and awareness. We would like our Vicar to have a passion for justice and especially for racial justice. Brent is the most ethnically diverse borough in the United Kingdom and the congregation at All Souls are overwhelmingly from a BAME background. Many have been disadvantaged by this in terms of health, education, and opportunity. We would like to see people from a BAME background encouraged and promoted into leadership roles both within and beyond the church. We would welcome BAME applications for this post.
- Discernment, development, and encouragement of ministries within the church. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” We rejoice in the many different gifts expressed in various ministries within the church, prayer group, servers, readers, intercessors, preachers, cleaners, musicians, sacristan, leaders of children’s groups, welcomers, and so on. And, ministries to the community – visiting Rosemary House, Central Middlesex Hospital and Willesden Centre for Health and Care, supporting John Keble School and our mental health drop-in, and nail cutting service. All need support and encouragement.
- Excellent administration skills. Knowledge of computer and word processing, of finance and budgeting would be an advantage. There is no parish secretary/ administrator and the new Incumbent would be required to deal with all day-to-day administration of a busy parish.
- Willingness to learn Portuguese. We would like to new Vicar to be able to speak Portuguese or be willing to learn it to support the evening Portuguese speaking congregation.
- Track record in mission and church planting. The parish is likely to more than double in population in the next ten years because of planned developments to the south. We would like our new Vicar to see mission in this area as a priority and develop a plan for it.
SECTION FOUR: OUR CHURCH; PEOPLE, BUILDINGS AND RESOURCES.
Our Church. There are two services on Sunday – 10am Sung Mass and 6pm the Missa (in Portuguese.) A shorter said Mass at 8.30am was experimented with but was not successful. On weekdays there is a Mass on Thursday at 10am and a Prayer Group gathers on Thursdays at 7pm. John Keble School visit the church for Mass either at the beginning or at the end of term. There is a Mass at John Keble every Wednesday at 2.30pm in term time. Church attendance fluctuates considerably, often depending on the weather. There is a serious issue with lateness; and commitment, some members attend every Sunday and others monthly or even less. Attendance at Christmas Services is poor.
People. We are ethnically diverse, from a variety of social and work backgrounds (professional, skilled, and semi-skilled, retired), we are homeowners and renters and from every age group. Although the parish is a large one in terms of population, we are nevertheless a gathered congregation, coming from all over London and beyond (only just over 31% of those on the Electoral Roll are resident in the parish.) Some come from afar a field as Luton, Watford, and Stratford.
The Church itself dates from 1879 and is Grade 2* listed. In 1979 the enormous nave was demolished leaving the octagon and chancel we now have. In 2007 a large self- contained entrance foyer was built at the East End and the Church re-ordered. The fabric of the church is in reasonable condition, considering its age, and The Quinquennial (2019) revealed no unpleasant surprises. The building has been well cared for, as indeed, has the magnificent organ (built in 1905.) However, a building and organ of this age and size will always require considerable attention and financial outlay. It is to the credit of the PCC and congregation that they have managed to keep on top of this and indeed, make improvements. It will continue to be a challenge.
The Hall and Hall Flat (above the hall) were built in 1950 something. It adjoins the church on the south side and is a functional and unattractive building. The Hall is well used and brings in a considerable sum of money annually to help the parish finances. The hall flat is pleasant and spacious with three bedrooms but reached by an unattractive outside stairway at the back of hall.
There are carparks to the front of the church and to the rear (off Avenue Road.) The rear (or Hall) carpark is in very good condition having recently been resurfaced and landscaped. Both carparks bring in an income.
A small parcel of land to the north of the church is leased to TfL for traffic signals. This also brings in a small income.
The Vicarage is adjacent to the church and is a large, attractive building, contemporary with the Church (and probably by the same architect.) It is a three-storey building. The Ground Floor has a large entrance area and toilet, a study, and a large family room with kitchen. A few steps down from entrance hall is a small wine cellar! On the First floor is a large Reception Room, two bedrooms with hand basins (and one with a walk-in shower), a bathroom and separate toilet. On the Second Floor there are three more bedrooms and a toilet (with hand basin.) Between the Vicarage and the Hall and Church is a large, beautifully laid out, secluded and sheltered garden, and a parking space for the Vicarage. There is a two bedroomed flat adjoining the Vicarage (3a Station Road.) This was part of the Vicarage until 1979 and is now let by the Diocese.
Stewardship and Finances. There are 80 people in the Planned Giving Scheme and a further 20 people contributing monthly through the bank. The Stewardship Recorder and a churchwarden record planned giving contributions fortnightly and loose collections (plate) are counted weekly by two people. Currently Gift Aid is collected annually (by the Vicar) except for those in the Parish Giving Scheme (about 5 people) where it is collected monthly. Currently the Vicar does the banking. The parish finances are robust, and the premises well used to give a substantial income in rents.
Expenses. These are paid monthly in arrears on the production of receipts. The study in the Vicarage contains a computer (PC), a photocopier, scanner, and printer. The telephone is owned (land and mobile) and paid for by the parish, with the Vicar contributing for personal calls. There are site contracts for gas and electric supply to get the best price, but the Vicar reimburses the parish for the Vicarage utility use (except for water.)
Holidays and Days off. Holidays are taken in line with Diocesan guidelines. Parishioners are respectful of the Vicar’s weekly day off. An annual retreat is encouraged.
Training. The parish supports ongoing training and ministerial development and will provide time and some financial support for this. The parish will also provide financial support for parishioners who wish to do training that will be of benefit to the parish mission.
SECTION FIVE: WHAT WE SAY ABOUT OURSELVES.
In this section the results of a survey (quotes etc) of what people think of their church, what they would like to see in a new Vicar, and what they would like to see changed in the future.
Appendix One: Census data (2011)
Appendix Two: Deprivation Data (2019)
Appendix Three: Map of parish
Appendix Four: A brief history of the parish
Harlesden 170 years ago.
Holsden Green was just a few big houses and farms until 1840, when the railway was built. Irish immigrants escaping famine in the 1840s came to build canals and railways. Harlesden grew slowly, but by 1870, streets of small houses for railway workers, laundries and bakeries started to appear.A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in 1847, and in 1858, St Mary’s Willesden, started an Anglican mission. By 1867, the population had grown to nearly two thousand, and the Revd Clement Alford rented a room from the Methodists for Sunday services. This later became a fruit shop and is now a public house. It is adjacent to the Methodist Church in what is now called Harlesden Plaza. In 1869 a temporary church was erected, and the Revd H C Atwool took over in 1873. All Souls parish was created in 1875, and stretched from Stonebridge to Kensal Green.
The new church.
On 26 April 1879 the Bishop of London consecrated the new church. The octagon which crowns the centre of Ely Cathedral had just been restored, and the roof of our octagon was inspired by its superb craftsmanship and design.This fine church was designed by E J Tarver, seated 471 and cost £4291. Among those who paid for it were All Souls College Oxford, the London and North Western Railway, several City Companies, Mr and Miss Taylor and the Vicar’s father, Josiah Atwool. This was a “high” church, with an elaborate and very prominent altar. Above the apex of the roof soared a beautiful lattice-work spire, surmounted by a cross. This was removed in 1957. A church school and Vicarage were built next to the church. In 1890 the church was enlarged (to 800 seats) by a five bay nave.
The 20th century
In 1900 All Souls high church tradition was changed to “low church”, due to riots and disturbances organised by the Protestant Alliance against Fr Hubert Carlyon, who died suddenly. After this there was a period of quiet respectability, and the church was prosperous, possibly appealing more to businessmen than to the “large numbers of railway servants and others of the working classes” for whom the church was built. Mission churches were built which have since been closed: St Luke’s Willesden Junction (1893 -1963) and St Peter’s College Park (1909 -1967). Parishes were created for St Michael’s (1892), St Matthew’s (1905) and St Mark’s (1915).
In 1923 a large hall was built in Acton Lane (replaced by the County Court in 1965.) The present halls were built in 1966, on the site of the church schools which were closed in 1932. Since 1965, the parish has had responsibility for John Keble School, Crownhill Road, which was founded by the Sisters of the Church in 1886. In 1929 the church was redecorated and the sanctuary panelled, but the first cracks in the nave which had been added in 1890 were reported in 1934. By 1968 it was near collapse but plans to restore or even demolish the church were not carried out. There were rarely more than 35 people at any service.
In 1974 the Revd Maurice Nesbitt said in his farewell as Vicar “around the Jubilee Clock East meets West and Africa meets Europe…If the changes over the next ten years continue as fast as they have over the past ten, it is difficult to imagine how the English way of life and worship can be adequately maintained.”
The way of worship changed under the new Vicar, Fr Edward Burton, who re-introduced “high church” worship, welcoming and encouraging the participation of a large number of Anglican immigrants from Jamaica and elsewhere, so the congregation grew. The nave was replaced by a new west end and the church was re-ordered in time for the centenary of its consecration in 1979.
The 21st century
Fr Michael Moorhead came in 1989 and many further improvements have been made to the building and its surroundings. In 2006 a beautiful contemporary entrance area was built with kitchen and toilet facilities adjacent. The foyer and church are used by a wide variety of community groups during the week, while on Sundays there are normally 150 people at Sunday Mass, with children, teenagers and young adults fully involved in this lively church where West Indians, Africans, Asians and white Christians worship together. In 2014 a Mass in Portuguese was started for the many Brazilians and Portuguese immigrants who have moved into the area.
Appendix Five: Quinquennial
Appendix Six: Accounts
Appendix Seven: Shared Ministry Arrangements at John Keble School
SHARED MINISTRY ARRANGEMENT FOR JOHN KEBLE SCHOOL
BETWEEN THE PARISHES OF SAINT MATTHEW WILLESDEN AND ALL SOULS HARLESDEN.
John Keble School was founded by the Sisters of the Church and when the Religious Order withdrew, the School was handed over to the London Diocesan Board for Schools. The parishes of All Souls and Saint Matthew’s responded to the offer of providing Pastoral and Religious support and the Parishes have provided Foundation Governors since and continue to do so.
The Pastoral and Sacramental care, whilst not limited to the Incumbents of the two parishes, is their principal responsibility as far as celebrating the weekly mass and preparing candidates for First Holy Communion and Baptism is concerned. In recent times, the incumbents have split the Wednesday mass rota between them and rotated the annual First Holy Communion classes and Mass between the two parish Churches. Similarly, it has been the custom to use both churches for beginning and end of term masses.
It is the expectation that this pattern continue as the parishes of All Souls and Saint Matthew’s may, from time to time, welcome new Incumbents and it is the ardent hope and expectation that they will work together amicably and with the best interests of the whole school community in mind, embedding the tradition of weekly mass at the School and providing Governors from their communities.
In addition to this, the Incumbents may agree, with the Head teacher (and/or if necessary with the LDBS) to invite other properly licensed clergy of the Church of England to share in this sacramental ministry.
As we seek to continue preparing the children of the School for worship in the Church of England as it is, we hope and expect that differing ecclesiologies will be no barrier to this and that the incumbents will work together as conscience allows for the good of the school community and the extension of the Kingdom of God.
Therefore we commend this arrangement to future Incumbents of the parishes as well as to their PCC’s and Patrons, as well as those responsible for interviewing the prospective incumbents as an instrument of shared ministry and a guide to the good administration of this established ministry.
Fr Michael Moorhead, All Souls Church Fr Andrew Teather, St Matthew’s Church.
(For and on behalf of the PCC) (For and on behalf of the PCC)
Mrs. Catherine Allard. The Ven. Catherine Pickford.
(Headteacher) (Archdeacon of Northolt)
SIGNED, the 9th of September, 2021.