Parish clergy are key members of any Shared Ministry Team and the departure of the Vicar or the arrival of a new Vicar will change the dynamics of any Team whilst there are also challenges and opportunities for a Team during a vacancy in a parish.
In a vacancy established Teams will, of course, continue to function and exercise ther ministry as before. Indeed there may well be additional demands on the Team or individual members of the team during a vacancy. Accordingly it is always advisable to have early conversations between the departing minister, the Team and the PCC in order to be clear about the expectations upon and responsibilities of the Team in the vacancy. Lack of clarity around expectations is a sure fire route to trouble down the line!
A Shared Ministry Team that is still in training will usually suspend their training. This is to ensure that the new priest is able to play a full part in the training journey after he or she is appointed.
It is important also that any prospective new priest is made aware of the existence of the Shared Ministry Team and of his or her responsibilities for serving as part of the Team and affirming it's ministry in the local congregation. This is a responsibility of the Team and of those charged by the PCC with overseeing the selection of a new parish priest. Additional guidance is available in Mind the Gap: shared ministry teams in a vacancy