Today is the day when the eminent and testamental Church Times is published and the six-dozen or so employed clerics in Britain will all career (get it?) to p33 to see what is on offer in the Godly Jobly market.
Because I am the kind of man that I am and it has been a heavy week when all six-dozen clergy have been chatting about Covenants, I thought I would draft a Glossary of Terms for the Situations Vacant - to save us all the time of trying to decipher the adverts!
Vicar for Uppington, Downington, Rightingham, Leftingham, Middleton, Toppington, Bottomton, Innington, Outington, Roundaboutington, Tomingley, Dickingly and Harringley: You, my friend, will have (in all but name) a baby Diocese to run alone - without a staff. You will have 13 roofs, 13 defunct organs, 26 church wardens, 13 PCCs, 13 village eccentrics (don't like the word 'idiot' - seems harsh), 1950 copies of The English Hymnal-with-mildew-without-back-covers and a Vicarage 76 miles from the furthest parish of 6 faithful and stoat (which likes its BCP 8am Communion, every week) - combined Share of £1.76million per year, combined ER 120.
Modern Catholic - like 'catholic' only less fixated on lace and Basilica (in other words - less 'odd'). A modern catholic is someone who won't spontaneously combust when music newer that Palestrina pipes up.
A prayerful pastor, teacher and communicator with a deep knowledge and love of the scriptures: in other words 'we seek Jesus of Nazareth; carpentry optional'
A training Incumbent: baby-sitter for curates
A priest of energy and vision: in other words 'it's all yours mate; sleep is optional as you need to work 23 hours a day; juggling an advantage'
A colleague who is keen to work alongside diocesan, deanery and ecumenical partners: they all seek a whipping-boy; someone to take minutes at every meeting that is ever convened, ever - a job for a just-ended-curacy priest.
...Will give priority to mission & outreach recognising within this the value of the occasional offices: you will be doing a lot of funerals - make it work for you
(anything) Designate: but not in your lifetime
Pioneer (anything): there is your empty shop unit, now get on with it. You have three years, yell if you need anything - we'll all be up at the super-church p(r)aying for you.
Minister-in-Charge: we prefer not to use loaded terms like 'priest' but the job is just the same, honest!
...will guide us through the challenges ahead: The last PCC have all left en bloc, the roof leaks, we haven'nt paid Share for a decade and 'ahead' will start when you do.
vibrant - (1) Evangelical, or
vibrant - (2) we have more than 20 people on a Sunday, or
vibrant - (3) we have had our vacancy advert drafted by someone else and it seemed like a nice word to have to describe a parish with three pensioners, a dry-rot problem and day-light around the glass in the windows.
Senior (anything) - 'only'
Has a deep and living spiritual life: covered in dust
There, a little helping hand for the job-seekers. If this doesn't cause offense, I will repeat this excercise with the most noble of documents: the Parish Profile!