Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich

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					 PARISH PROFILE
        OF
ST MARY-LE-TOWER
     IPSWICH



Tower Street, Ipswich



       Website:
www.stmaryletower.org.uk




                           1
Introduction:
St.Mary-le-Tower is the Civic Church of Ipswich.
A church has stood on this site for over a thousand years.
The Borough Charter was read in the Churchyard in 1200.
Situated in Tower Street, running from Tavern Street (a major shopping street) to Tower
Ramparts bus station with access on foot from Hatton Court (off Tavern Street) and Oak
Lane (off Northgate Street).
St. Mary-le-Tower marks God’s presence in a busy town centre.
Its mission is to those who work, shop in, and visit the Town centre.
Its Parish includes the Town Hall, virtually the whole town centre shopping area, banks,
insurance, offices, and a wide variety of businesses. Although only a few people live within
the parish, the congregations come from all over Ipswich and beyond.
St. Mary-le-Tower has a musical tradition of which any cathedral would be proud.

WORSHIP
Sunday Services               8 a.m.       Holy Communion, BCP (said)
                           9.45 a.m.       Paris Eucharist Common Worship (choral)
                          11.15 a.m.       Choral Matins BCP
                          11.15 a.m.       Choral Eucharist BCP (First Sunday of month)
                           6.30 p.m.       Choral Evensong BCP

Weekdays                   Wednesday 10.30 a.m.              Holy Communion BCP
                           Daily Office     9 a.m.            Morning Prayer
                                            4 p.m.            Evening Prayer
Friday (1st in month)                     12 noon            Healing Service
Friday (3rd in month)                   10:30 a.m.           Julian Prayer Group

The prevailing ethos in this Church is a liberal catholic one. As can be seen, the Book of
Common Prayer is used extensively and services are dignified occasions, reverently and
properly undertaken. A new incumbent must enhance and maintain this ethos.

Ministers
                         Hon. Assistant Curate (NSM)
                         1 Reader
                         3 Elders
                         6 Chalice Administrators
The Tower is fortunate in the help and support it receives from retired clergy within the
congregation.
Servers
Our small group of Servers add dignity to the worship at the Parish Eucharist week by
week. They are also on duty at various special services throughout the year.
Sidesmen
There are a team of 22 sidesmen. Their duties cover all the regular services at which they
welcome the congregation and assist with the Offertory procession.




                                             2
BELLS
The Tower has a peal of 12 bells
which is one of the finest in the whole
country. There is a very strong ringing
tradition. Much care and attention is
lavished upon the bells and belfry.
Bells are rung every Sunday before
the Parish Eucharist and prior to
Evensong once a month.
Ringing practice takes place each
Monday evening. It is well supported
by Ipswich ringers, and attracts others
from further a field.
Five peals were rung successfully
during 2007.
There have been many visitors during the past year – including some from Australia.

MUSIC AT THE TOWER
Music plays a prominent part in worship at
the Tower and in wider Church life. There
are three choirs: the Men and Boys’ Choir,
Tower Singers (the Ladies Choir) and the
Tower Chamber Choir.
The Men and Boys’ Choir currently consists
of 15 choristers, 9 choral scholars and 12
gentlemen.
The Tower Singers support the male choir,
singing either on their own or with the
gentlemen, helping to maintain three choral
services each Sunday.
The Tower Chamber Choir consists of some members from both choirs and other local
singers and sings choral works for occasional concerts. The Choirs have recorded a CD
and the Church has commissioned new settings of the Morning Canticles from Robert
Walker and a communion motet from Gabriel Jackson. The vicar plays leading part in
choir tours and in the safety and welfare of choristers on tour.
                                                   The Men and Boys’ Choir has
                                                   undertaken an annual choir tour in
                                                   recent years. Visits have been made
                                                   to Germany, France, the Netherlands
                                                   and America. The Choir has sung at
                                                   St Paul’s, Lincoln, Wells and Sheffield
                                                   Cathedrals, Southwell Minster and
                                                   Tewkesbury Abbey. This year the
                                                   tour took them to Durham and Ripon
                                                   Cathedrals and York Minster.
                                                   The Choir is affiliated to the RSCM.
                                                   Individual choristers work for their
                                                   various medallions and senior boys
                                                   are entered for the Bishop’s Chorister
Award and the RSCM Gold award.
                                              3
There is a fine Father Willis organ which over the last two years has undergone a £45,000
restoration. A lunchtime recital in May 2008 will mark the completion of this restoration
programme.
The Tuesday Lunch time concerts, of which there are about 30 each year, are seen as an
important part of the Tower’s mission to the Town. The Tower is the busiest promoter of
classical music in Ipswich.
THE CIVIC ROLE OF THE TOWER CHURCH
In its Civic role the Church provides a venue for special services, including The Annual
Mayor’s Service, The Law Service, held at the beginning of each Law session (the next
one being due in October) and the Charter Day Service. The church is often a venue for
Memorial Services of which the most notable recent ones have been for the late Lord
Belstead, former Leader of the House of Lords and the former England and Ipswich
football manager Sir Alf Ramsey.
The Church is a venue for other
organisations to hold special services;
examples include the St. Elizabeth’s
Hospice “Light up a Life” Service and
County Council Carol Service. Special
services have been held to mark significant
Royal and national events to which
representatives of the Borough and County
are invited. There is close co-operation
between the Church and the Borough and
office of the Lord Lieutenant.
There is currently a strong link with Ipswich
School and the Church is a venue for
special School events, for example the
Senior School Carol Service and the annual
Founders’ Commemoration Service.
The Boundary Commission will shortly be
reporting on various changes to the structure of Local Government at both County and
Borough level. Ipswich was set to become a Unitary Authority until last minute government
changes last year. Whatever the outcome of the commission’s decision, there will be much
work for a new incumbent to do.
COMMITTEES
A number of committees and groups support the PCC:
Standing Committee – this Committee meets at least once between each of the PCC’s five
meetings in the year.
Social Group - a small band of volunteers can be called upon to arrange social events.
During 2007 a Parish Dinner was held in January and the Harvest Supper in September.
Stewardship or Resources Group – organise an Open Gardens Day in June, a
Michaelmas Market held in the Churchyard in September and monthly sales of produce
and plants, encourage members of our congregation to mix, share their talents and raise
valuable funds.
Concert Committee - a series of free Lunchtime Concerts on Tuesdays between 1.10 pm
and 2 pm are arranged during the summer months from May to October and again a
shorter series during November and December. A wide range of classical instrumental
and vocal music has been well supported and enjoyed.
                                            4
Sanctuary and Flower Guild - the Guild takes care of the altar linen, and robes. A rota of
volunteers arrange flower in the Church each week. Additional robes have been provided
for new Choral Scholars. The Autumn Lunch, a social fundraising event, meant we were
able to support Project Peru which works with street children, and we continue to support
the Nepal Fellowship.
Mission and Outreach - the Group’s role is to advise the PCC on St Mary-le-Tower’s
corporate giving to the wider church, covering both overseas and local organisations, as
well as to promote knowledge of, and support for the worldwide church and community.
FABRIC
THE CHURCH
Not much of the medieval
church remains following an
extensive rebuilding between
1850-1870, undertaken
almost wholly at the cost of
George Bacon, banker,
churchwarden and Mayor of
Ipswich at the time. He
engaged the services of the
architect Richard Phipson,
who removed the eighteenth
century galleries, extended
the north aisle, redesigned the
nave roof, heightened the
clerestory, moved the organ
to the north east end of the church, and finally, built a south west porch and tower,
surmounted by a spire.
Many of the seventeenth and eighteenth century monuments and even earlier brasses
were removed during the rebuilding and “hidden” in the outer vestry or chancel. One
important monument, which features a painting of Ipswich in the late 1500’s, is that of
William Smart, MP for Ipswich at the time of the Armada. The font is fifteenth century, as
are the carvings on the churchwardens’ pews. There is some very fine Victorian stained
glass, particularly in the north aisle, and the west end, by Lavers, Barraud, and Westlake,
and Clayton and Bell respectively.
                                          All of the church plate is in regular use, and
                                          includes a Stuart cup, a Tudor chalice and
                                          bejewelled chalice, the gift of George Bacon.
                                          The pulpit, of about 1700, is similar to the one
                                          at the Unitarian Meeting House in Ipswich,
                                          and although it is the style of Grinling
                                          Gibbons, there is no evidence to confirm it is
                                          his craftsmanship. The sanctuary has some
                                          fine Minten tiles, a lavish sedilia and painted
                                          panels illustrating the saints of East Anglia.
                                          The Parish Registers, dating back to 1538 for
                                          baptisms and 1614 for marriages and burials,
have been deposited in the Diocesan Record Office.
Although the churchyard is now closed for burials there are some impressive tombs,
particularly that of Harriet Bacon, wife of George, and a memorial to Bishop George
Coleridge Patterson who was martyred in Melanesia in 1871.
                                              5
During the past year work has been undertaken on the West end stonework, essential
electrical safety work has been completed inside the Church and further restoration work
has been undertaken on the Organ.
Most of the items mentioned in 2004 Quinquennial inspection have been completed. A
further inspection will take place in 2009. In the last six years approximately £250,000 has
been spent on the upkeep of the fabric of the Church.
CHURCH HOUSE
Church House is situated at the
East end of the Church. It is an
early Georgian building which
underwent extensive renovation in
November 2003.
The ground floor of the building
provides the congregation with a




                                     meeting room and small kitchen.
                                     The Choir Room is situated at the rear of the building,
                                     providing rehearsal facilities for our Choirs.
                                     The first floor provides living accommodation for our
                                     full-time Verger.


THE VICARAGE
A new Vicarage is in the process of being acquired by the Diocese.

PASTORAL
CARE OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
There are 49 children connected with the church. This includes 15 choristers and 9 choral
scholars.
The crèche for 0-4 year olds functions on Sunday mornings during the Parish Eucharist.
The 4-12 year olds meet each Sunday morning during the Parish Eucharist
The children participate in some services – Candlemas, Mothering Sunday, Pentecost,
Harvest and Advent.
The children sponsor an Indian child, Pandeeswari. Last year £269 was sent to the
International Children’s Trust towards her education.
There are 9 young people in the older group of 12-17 year olds, who meet on the first
Sunday in the month. A social activity is arranged once a month. Most meetings involve
some scriptural study, games, drama, and discussions, as well as food and drink.
There is a designated person who is in charge of child protection.




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PASTORAL CARE
Pastoral visiting is shared between the supporting clergy and the Elders.
The Elders take Communion (reserved sacrament) on request to those who are
housebound.
There are 220 on the current Electoral Roll and 290 on the Parish List.
DEANERY LINK
St Mary-le-Tower endeavours to play its part in the Ipswich Deanery and the development
of the Deanery Link 4.
The Link comprises: The South West Ipswich Team Ministry (St.Mary at Stoke, St.Peter’s -
Stoke Park, St. Francis – Chantry) St. Margaret’s and St Mary-le-Tower.
The Group was formed in 2006 and representatives from each church meet approximately
once a month.
Achievements
   1.A monthly Prayer Diary is produced and shared by all the Church congregations
   2.The Church Treasurers meet and share information
   3.Clergy meet regularly to pray together
   4.Combined services are held twice a year:
         A shared Choral Evensong on Trinity Sunday
         A shared Confirmation service
   5 A four week Bible Study Course was held in October 2007
It is good to think, work and pray together and to develop our links.
ECUMENICAL LINK
St Mary-le-Tower has an ecumenical link with Christ Church, United Reformed Church,
Tacket Street; “We resolve to do together whatever would not better be done separately”
We share our Palm Sunday Service alternating between the Churches each year. The
service is preceded by a Procession through the Town Centre as a form of witness.
A joint Lent Study Course was arranged during Lent this year.
A Friday Lunch Club is held at Christ Church with members of both congregations helping
to run this and some elderly members of our congregation are invited to lunch once a
month.
Links are being formed with the local Bangladeshi Moslem Community.
MISSION AND OUTREACH
The Mission and Outreach Group, chaired by the NSM Curate, recommend to the PCC
charities which St Mary-le-Tower might support, and encourages and organises
fundraising activities, including the parish’s contribution to the annual house to house
collection in Christian Aid Week. The total sum raised for charities in general, and for
Christian Aid Week in particular has increased in the last few years, £2,091.11 was raised
for Christian Aid in 2007, and the members of the Mission and Outreach Group delivered
photocopied thank you letters to all the houses on the St Mary-le-Tower patch,
acknowledging this generous support.
Advent collections of warm clothing, sleeping bags, and tins of soup, tea, coffee and sugar
have been made each year for some years to assist the work of the Ipswich Soup Kitchen,
which operates in Tower Street just outside the Church for six nights a week. The seventh

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night is covered by the Jesus Army, operating from the Civic Centre car park. Members of
the St Mary-le-Tower congregation work as volunteers with the Soup Kitchen. We have
also, in recent years, held a Lent collection of unwanted tools and other equipment for the
charity Tools with a Mission, whose headquarters is located in Ipswich.
Money is raised for important causes at special retiring collections held after major
services. In 2007 it was possible to donate £2,000 to the work of the Church in the
diocese of Kajo Keji in Southern Sudan whose Bishop, Anthony Poggo, preached at the
Tower.
Other special collections in 2007 included one on Trinity Sunday for the Diocese of Kajo
Keji. The £249.61 raised on that occasion and the proceeds from the collection at the
Christmas Eve Carol Service (£911.89) enabled Peter Townley to take with him a very
substantial cheque to support the work of the church in that impoverished region. Another
special collection raised £318.09 for the relief of those affected by the tsunami which hit
the Solomon Islands. The proceeds from the annual Lent Lunches went to USPG. A
collection of money, gift vouchers and gifts was made at the Epiphany service for the
benefit of the Ipswich Women’s Refuge. The children raised money for Send a Cow and
for the International Children’s Trust, through whom we help to support an Indian girl,
Pandeeswari.
At the Michaelmas Fair in 2007 members of the Mission and Outreach Group organised a
display in the churchyard about the parish’s Mission and Outreach work, and there was
also a display about the work of the Soup Kitchen.

This list of charities and institutions which we supported in 2007 included:
             Bible Reading Fellowship
             Christian Aid
             Christmas Shoebox Appeal
             Comic Relief
             Diocese of St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich charities
             Diocese of Kajo-Keji, Sudan
             Friends of St.Edmundsbury Cathedral
             International Children’s Trust
             Ipswich Housing Action Group
             Ipswich Soup Kitchen
             Ipswich Women’s Refuge
             Kagera Diocese




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            Mayor’s Charity Fund
            Ogogoro Primary School, Uganda
            Streets Ahead Children’s Centre, Rwanda
            Project Peru
            Royal British Legion
            Salvation Army
            Send a Cow
            Solomon Islands Tsunami Appeal
            Suffolk College charities
            Suffolk Historic Churches Trust
            USPG – {for Brother Anthony)
            VIVA – Together for Children
CARE FOR THE TOWN
OPEN CHURCH
The Church is open to visitors during most days. The Verger or his assistant is on duty
during every weekday and every Saturday morning.
VISITING PARTIES
School parties and other groups are welcome to visit the Church.
CHURCHYARD
The Churchyard is open to the public who are welcome to rest in a peaceful environment
in the centre of Ipswich. It is closed for burials and is maintained by the local authority.
SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
MODERN THEOLOGIANS
This group meets at the home of David and Susan Warnes once a month. Meetings are
open to all. Topics for discussion have included Miracles – the Theology of Pope Benedict
XVI – Medical Ethics – How different religions celebrate their festivals – Different
Translations of the Bible.
Discussions are down to earth and the discovery is made that theology is something that
all Christians can think about and enjoy.
HOUSE GROUPS
There are two active house groups which meet approximately once a month. Prayer, Bible
Study and discussion are undertaken and there are opportunities to share social activities.
The groups strengthen and unite us, providing courage, hope and understanding of one
another. Both happy and difficult times are shared.
FRIENDS OF ST. MARY-LE-TOWER
The Friends of St Mary-le-Tower was established in 1998 as a separate Trust related to
the Church. The object is to raise funds for the maintenance of the Church Fabric,
buildings, contents and surroundings and for the purchase of new music. It has given
many thousands of pounds to help with repairs to the fabric of the building and the
refurbishment of Church House. There a four active trustees who co ordinate the work and
prepare newsletters etc.




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THE VICAR OF ST MARY-LE-TOWER – What sort of person are we looking for?
        A person of faith, integrity and discernment
        Someone who will maintain and enhance the liberal catholic style of worship at
         the Tower.
        A gifted preacher who deepens the faith and Christian understanding of the
         congregation.
        A person who has a deep pastoral concern for all members of the congregation
         and the wider community.
        A person who enjoys working with children and young people.
Please refer to the separate job specification at the end of this profile which gives specific
details of this important job within Ipswich and the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and
Ipswich.
What are our strengths?
        Our Church is always open and we employ a full time verger to enable this to
         happen. It is an oasis of peace and calm in the town centre.
        We have a very strong musical tradition, not only in our worship where we are
         one of the very few Churches to offer Choral Matins, Choral Eucharist and
         Choral Evensong, but also in the wider life of the Church with concerts and
         recitals.
        We are the Civic Church of Ipswich.
        We have a fine building which is well cared for and maintained.
        We are very fortunate in having an excellent honorary curate who is also
         chaplain at Ipswich School.
        We are able to call upon the services of retired clergy who worship with us
         regularly.
        We have always paid our parish share in full.
What are our weaknesses?
        Very few people live in the parish.
        We have five different and disparate congregations for our five different services
         which rarely meet together.
        Our lay ministry and pastoral care need revitalising due to illness and infirmity.
        Apart from choir and choir families we are predominantly a middle aged and
         elderly congregation.
IPSWICH
Ipswich is an historic town and port but also a
fast growing regional centre and is both the
county town of Suffolk and the administrative
centre for the Borough of Ipswich. With a
population of more than 130,000 from many
communities, Ipswich is a multi-cultural centre
for business, culture, entertainment and sport
and home to the new University Campus Suffolk
and Suffolk New College. Team Ipswich,
promoting sport in the community ahead of the
2012 London Olympic Games, and the IP-City Network, a hi-tech business cluster for the
wider Ipswich area, are also both based here. There is a large general hospital with
accident and emergency facilities as well as the St Elizabeth Hospice and a private
                                           10
Nuffield Hospital on the outskirts of the town. Ipswich is situated on the main rail link
between London and Norwich, both of which are approximately 1 hour away. There are
several very good schools in Ipswich, particularly Church of England primary schools,
notably St Margaret’s, St John’s and St Matthew’s. In the state secondary sector
Northgate, Copleston and St Alban’s Roman Catholic High Schools are all successful and
have a variety of specialisms. Ipswich School and Ipswich High School for Girls are
Independent fee paying schools with a good reputation.

There are 12 medieval churches, a developing waterfront
with two marinas and a wealth of maritime history. There
are many historic buildings to visit including the Unitarian
Meeting House, one of Ipswich’s most important Grade
One listed buildings and one of the finest surviving
Dissenting Meeting Houses in the country and the Ancient
House, a well known local landmark is in the Town Centre
not far from the Great White Horse Hotel – the setting for
some of Charles Dickens’ Pickwick Papers. One of
Ipswich’s most famous sons is Thomas Wolsey, the
gateway to whose college still stands today. The Victorian
Corn Exchange is now an arts, entertainment and
Conference venue. There are museums and art galleries,
two theatres, a multi-screen cinema, numerous
restaurants, pubs and clubs, fitness centres and Ipswich
Town Football Club. There is a twice weekly open-air
market held on The Cornhill, in front of the Town Hall.
Away from the shops Christchurch Mansion is situated in
Christchurch Park – currently being renovated with the aid
of a Heritage Lottery grant and a haven for wildlife, peace
and tranquillity along with the many other parks and open
spaces in the town.

There is much to do and see in this part of England. Suffolk has much to offer. The Suffolk
Coast is one of the UK’s finest landscapes with 40 miles of Heritage Coast set in an Area
of Outstanding Beauty. Under our big East Anglian skies you will find tranquility and an
invigorating sense of space, even at the height of summer. Snape Maltings, a world
famous concert venue and home of the Aldeburgh Festival is a short distance away.
Coastal towns such as Southwold, Aldeburgh, Orford and Walberswick are interesting and
relaxing places to visit. National Trust properties in the area include Dunwich Heath,
Sutton Hoo, the famous Anglo-Saxon Burial Site, as well as the eccentric Ickworth House
near Bury St Edmunds.




                                             11
Views of Ipswich.




       12
                 DIOCESE OF ST EDMUNDSBURY AND IPSWICH
                          VICAR OF ST MARY LE TOWER
                                       IPSWICH
                                 JOB SPECIFICATION

   The Vicar of St Mary-le-Tower is seen as the focus of the Church of England in
    Ipswich by the Borough and other secular authorities. The Vicar needs to be
    proactive in suggesting occasions of local or national importance which ought to be
    marked by a Civic Service of some kind. This would involve not only liaison with the
    Borough, but possibly also with the County and the Office of the Lord Lieutenant.
    (Examples in the recent past include the annual Mayor’s Service, Services for
    significant Royal events, the County Council Carol Service and Memorial Services,
    examples: Lord Belstead and Sir Alf Ramsey.) The Annual Charter Day Service
    seems to have lapsed, but perhaps ought to be re-visited.
   Links with education generally could be extended. School visits take place to the
    church on a regular basis (mainly from primary schools). There is a strong link with
    the Ipswich School and the church is a venue for school performances. The School
    Chaplain is a non-stipendiary priest with a base at The Tower. The Suffolk College
    has traditionally used St Mary-le-Tower Church and links between the new
    educational area and The Tower could continue to grow with close collaboration
    between Peter Mortimer (a member of the corporation of New College Suffolk) and
    the Chaplain at the University. There are clear opportunities for mission and
    outreach in connection with the new university in collaboration with the Waterfront
    benefice.
   The legal sector (Crown Courts, Magistrates Courts etc.) presents a clear
    chaplaincy opportunity which needs to be worked out with St Mary-at-the-Elms from
    where the chaplaincy has operated in recent years. This probably came about as
    much because of personality as any structural organisation and needs careful
    attention. From time to time The Tower has been used as the venue for the Law
    Service which is held at the beginning of each Law Session, the next one being due
    in October 2008. It is vital that the church continues to offer and extend this facility.
    These institutions lie within the parish of St Mary at the Elms. It is vital that the
    Vicar at The Tower and the parish priest at The Elms work closely together on
    ministry in these areas. This underlines the need for a priest who is committed to
    collaborative ministry.
   There are great opportunities with the business community/Chamber of
    Commerce/Transport and General Workers Union, UNISON and the Market
    Traders Association etc. The Vicar could engage with all of these and others.
    There is a need for someone who works collaboratively both within the Anglican
    structures and within the ecumenical structures.
   The Vicar should take a lead in respect of inter-faith relationships in Ipswich working
    closely with ISCRE, the Ipswich Caribbean Association and SIFRE.
   There are clear opportunities at the County Council headquarters, bearing in mind
    that the Bishop meets on a regular basis with the Chief Executive. There are a
    great many others in Endeavour House with whom the Church should have regular
    contact.
   St Mary-le-Tower is a focus for the arts. Music plays a prominent part in worship at
    The Tower and in wider church life. The new Vicar must be someone who
    enhances and encourages the arts in a broad sense and music in particular. There
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    are 30 plus lunch-time Recitals each year. These are seen as an important part of
    The Tower’s mission to the town. It is crucial that a new Vicar should have an
    understanding of and a love for church music, being prepared to help with the
    recruitment of choristers, the promotion of the Tower Singers and the Tower
    Chamber Choir. The Vicar should be ready in conjunction with the Director of
    Music to commission new musical settings for Services. The Vicar must be closely
    involved in planning and organising of choir tours, especially in being responsible
    for the well-being and safety of choristers. Recent tours have taken the choir to
    Germany, France, The Netherlands and America. The choir have sung at St Paul’s,
    Lincoln, Wells and Sheffield Cathedrals, Southwell Minster and Tewkesbury Abbey.
    There was a tour to Durham and Ripon Cathedrals and York Minster in February
    2008; plans are being formulated for a tour to Italy in 2009.
   As a Trustee of the Friends of St Mary-le-Tower the Vicar needs to be an supportive
    of fund-raising , particularly in connection with the fabric of the building and musical
    provision. It would be beneficial if the Vicar were able to direct corporate and
    business membership of the Friends of St Mary-le-Tower.
   Citizens Advice Bureau, the Blind Society and Cruse all have their headquarters
    within the parish of St Mary-le-Tower.
   St Mary-le-Tower has links with the medical profession and with the St Elizabeth
    Hospice. The Annual Light Up a Life Service is held at The Tower. There should
    be opportunities for closer links between the Church and the medical profession to
    be explored.
   The Ipswich British Legion might well be enabled to find a significant relationship
    with St Mary-le-Tower. The Remembrance Day Service held in the Park is a key
    social event in which the Church ought to have a high profile. St Mary-le-Tower has
    in the past held Services to commemorate ANZAC Day, the 50th Anniversary of D
    Day and the 50th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Later this year
    there will be a special George Cross Service being attended by the High
    Commissioner for Malta. It is vital that The Tower is proactive in suggesting such
    occasions so that significant occasions in town, county and national life are
    celebrated in a dignified way and with spiritual content.
   Considerable numbers of homeless people circulate in the town centre and at the
    “Soup Kitchen” facility on Tower Street. The Vicar at The Tower could take a lead
    in care and provision for these people.
   It is clear that all these key tasks need to be undertaken in close cooperation with
    Christians of other traditions within the town and therefore the Vicar at St Mary-le-
    Tower should be a key player in the ecumenical activity within Ipswich.
    A good deal of work is being done in the Waterside parishes in respect of
    development within the new housing in that area and in addition expected ministry
    to resident students. The new Vicar needs to work in close collaboration with other
    clergy within the Deanery of Ipswich in this area.
   With a job description of this kind, the Vicar at The Tower would be seen as a focus
    of ministry by the secular structures of the Borough and as a consequence would
    be involved with all other Anglican churches in the Borough and with ecumenical
    partners. The secular institutions of the town see the Vicar of The Tower as being a
    spokesman for the Church in Ipswich and consequently the new Vicar would have
    to work very closely with the Diocesan Communications Officer.



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   A new Vicar coming to St Mary-le-Tower will need to give a good deal of attention to
    restructuring the pastoral team so that pastoral care is well organised and shared
    within the congregation at St Mary-le-Tower.
   The Archbishop’s Council has an Interfaith Adviser [Guy Wilkinson] and he
    communicates with a network of Diocesan Inter Faith Advisers (DIFA). Peter
    Mortimer has been doing this task. The work is growing and is essentially in
    Ipswich. One of the problems is that Suffolk’s racial mix is less than the national
    average whereas the Ipswich racial mix is greater than the national average.
    Funding is spread on a county basis and therefore Ipswich suffers. The Vicar at St
    Mary-le-Tower would be the obvious person to lead inter-faith activity in Ipswich.
   A great deal of the Inter-Faith work is focused in the chaplaincy at Suffolk
    College/University and the Vicar ought to have a close relationship with the
    chaplaincy there. Peter thinks that the Vicar should be a member of the Chaplaincy
    Steering Committee in succession to himself.
   As the perceived focus of Church life in Ipswich the Vicar at St Mary-le-Tower would
    be expected to work closely with the Borough Council alongside Graham Hedger on
    issues around planning, housing and personal social services.
   Presently responsibility for emergency planning lies with Peter Mortimer, Graham
    Hedger, Anne Alcock, James Halsall and Jessica Parrett. The Group needs to
    coordinate the Church’s response and Peter Mortimer presently is doing that.
    Someone needs to hold the County and the Churches Together and that would
    include the Lothingland Deanery in the diocese of Norwich. This work has national
    and regional implications and if the Vicar of St Mary-le-Tower were to take a
    significant role in this in succession to Peter Mortimer, then he or she would need to
    go on a course at Easingwold. Once again, whilst emergency planning is a county-
    wide matter the main focus of it is inevitably Ipswich.
   It is of vital importance that the new Vicar is keen to work within the liberal catholic
    ethos which has drawn worshippers to St Mary-le-Tower from a wide area for many
    years past. The new Vicar should have an appreciation and a desire to maintain
    the place which the Church of England occupies within the socio and political
    structures of the town, county and nation.
    Previous incumbents of St Mary-le-Tower have become a Bishop, a Dean, and an
    Archdeacon!




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