Forty years ago there were a few farms … and since then Ingleby Barwick has been built up into a huge area of private housing with 25,000 residents. It’s a young community, still forming its identity. Key to this is the work of our parish of St Francis, and our primary and secondary church schools.
St Francis’ congregation has grown from small beginnings and is now strong. Worship is at the heart of our shared life of prayer and witness, with sacraments as a core element. St Francis’ is a really important hub for all kinds of activities that draw the community together and help people make the connections between faith and daily life.
But as one church for a big community, we want to increase the scope and style of what we offer. There is potential for developing greater intentional evangelism, with different ways of worship, and we are looking at the possibility of gathering in places across the parish other than the church building itself. Ingleby Barwick has a younger than average demographic, and so most of all, we yearn to see the good news of Christ become a living reality for people of every age group. And as part of the strategy we share across the Diocese of York, this post focuses on those in the 20s-40s age range, where we can see statistically we have an under-representation.
The Bishop of Whitby wishes to inform you that The Reverend Nik Stevenson has been appointed as minister with special responsibility for working among those in their 20s – 40s in the Benefice of Ingleby Barwick. This is one of the Diocese of York’s new strategic posts to achieve our goal of ‘reaching those we currently don’t’, alongside others already made in this archdeaconry for Thirsk, Northallerton and Coulby Newham.
The Reverend Nik Stevenson was ordained priest in the Diocese of Peterborough in 2017.
After his studies at the University of Birmingham, Nik spent time working for local authorities in Birmingham, Devon, Northamptonshire and Coventry as a Youth Worker. He left a role as Personal Adviser at Job Centre Plus in Bedworth to become a Pioneer Minister in the Diocese of Peterborough where he was responsible for growing a Fresh Expression of church on a new housing estate.
Since ordination Nik has served as Assistant Curate at St Mary’s, Northampton. In addition to this he is also chaplain to a local community radio station where he presents a weekly faith-based radio show and helps with commercial production.
Nik and his wife Shelly will be moving later this year. The licensing service to mark the beginning of his ministry in the Benefice will be announced at a later date.
A personal message from Bishop Paul: ‘Nik has a deep love of God and his people, and has a strong track record of working with younger adults. I am delighted that he is moving to the Cleveland Archdeaconry. I know that Nik will help the people of the parish to grow in faith and will be a friend to all who live, work, pray and learn in this community.’