Will a new home attract a vicar to the Gisburn parish?

The Vicarage at Gisburn
The Vicarage at Gisburn

An application to build a new vicarage in Gisburn has been submitted to local planners.

It is hoped the new home built within the grounds of the existing vicarage will attract a vicar to St Mary’s Church which has been “between vicars” for almost a year.

A statement from Skipton-based Peter Harrison Architects to Ribble Valley Borough Council’s planning department explained that the Diocese of Bradford is no longer able to provide a salary to support a clergy position in this parish. The Diocese has found it hard to attract a new vicar and often relies on retired vicars to fill the position.

“The Diocese has found it increasingly difficult to appoint to this position as the Victorian vicarage building is very large and consequently expensive to heat and otherwise inhabit,” the statement reads.

“Following a similar pattern established in other parishes, the Diocese now wish to provide a modern replacement building which will allow an incumbent to live on the limited means available to the modern clergy.”

David Meadows, Diocese of Bradford property officer, said that the existing dioceses are being dissolved and the decision on whether to build the new vicarage will be up to Blackburn diocese. He added that even if planning permission was granted there would have to be extensive consultations. The Diocese has no plans for the existing vicarage at this stage.