Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Not even vicars have the patience of saints

From The Guardian-

“You only work one day a week!” Clergy hear it all the time. The people who say it think they’re being original. They’re not. Being a vicar is an enormous privilege, but it is also hard work and the clergy can pay a heavy emotional price.

So when I read that the Rev Andy Thewlis in Wiltshire had written a strongly worded letter to his congregation for what he perceived as their lack of warmth – a letter for which he has since issued an apology – I wasn’t remotely surprised. He said his enthusiasm had been sapped by “grumbling and disunity”, also complaining about “arrogant gossips” and “criticism and negativity”. It “drains energy”, he said. Every case is different. But all clergy will recognise something of this.

The demands are many. A typical day for a member of the clergy begins with morning prayer, reading from the Bible and mentioning to God the needs of the whole community. They can then find themselves going from a lively school assembly to a visit to a bereaved parishioner to plan a funeral service. They may then attend a meeting to discuss repair works to a listed building, take a communion service in an old people’s home, liaise with organists to choose next month’s liturgical music, report a potential safeguarding concern, and in the evening chair a meeting of the parochial church council. No day is quite the same, which is one of the great things about being a vicar. But a schedule requiring such mental, spiritual and emotional agility can take its toll.

More here-

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