Knowing one’s worth

You would think this would do for the ABC

You would think this would do for the ABC

In today’s Church Times, The Archbishop of Canterbury seeks a Diary Manager, salary between 23K and 30K. My stipend is 23K, so when you add in the cost of housing I suppose the Diary Manager might be costing much the same as a parish priest. It’s good to know one’s worth in the eyes of the Pope of Canterbury.

The Diocese of London is thinking about having a seventh bishop. The Diocese of Leeds (formerly Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield) is appointing a sixth bishop. This diocese has four bishops. And if you’re regular C of E kind of guy or gal, you’ll know that each year the Dioceses ask for more and more of your money. You might think that there are questions to be asked about how the church spends its money. The place to ask them is … well, I can’t answer that. There isn’t one.

Deanery Synod might be the place, though a recent meeting I attended seemed concerned only about writing a mission statement. Deck chairs and titanics spring to mind. Nevertheless, Deanery Synod is the nearest to the decision makers that hoi polloi like you and me get, and it would be good to see meetings become a teeny bit relevant.

Some of my friends thought that the ad was asking for a ‘Dairy’ Manager. Quite a nice job, some said, looking after the Archbishop’s cattle, herding them, feeding and watering them, milking them. Well it might be in rolling Staffordshire perhaps, but in Lambeth I suspect it would be udderly tedious. Boom, boom.

We plod on. There were 12 people at today’s 1230 Mass. No gimmicks, just the work of the church in all its glory and tradition and continuity.

1 thought on “Knowing one’s worth

  1. It’s easy to forget, or not even be aware of, what the Church does. Regardless of one’s perspective, religion or lack of it, there are some facts. First, what it does is largely done by or through its priests and ministers on the ground, not by the hierarchy above them. In other words, it’s done by Baptist, Methodist, Anglican, URC, Roman Catholic and all the other unsung and unknown ordained worker bees of all denominations who move among the people as best they can with limited resources. Second, they do not seek much worldly reward. Thirdly, there are increasingly fewer of them than hitherto, presumably because there are fewer churchgoers who put money in the plate. But, fourthly, the need for them is growing if only because the population is growing. Fifthly, they work harder than ever because their remits have expanded to oversee several churches rather than just one, before they get demolished that is. I could go on.

    They have no job description because their work has to fill a space without boundaries. They are pretty much always available, be it in person, on the phone or in other ways. They get summoned at any hour of the day or night. Their family life is not ideal.

    Yet there is a vast swathe of the populace who have reason to be grateful for their presence among them, and most of them probably realise it. Many of them are not churchgoers or Christian, but they have benefited from having a worker bee of the church in their midst who offers a sort of spiritual A&E role to the community. If you have experienced it you will know what I mean. If not, it could only be a matter of time before you need to call on them, regardless of who you might be. When that happens, let us hope they will still be there for you.

    The priest who writes this blog is one of these worker bees. I have never met him, but would put good money on it that those who have will have benefited.

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