We have an ordinand on placement in the parish at the moment, and I have therefore had an audience for my musings about the diversity of my job. That, coupled with someone asking me why I needed 2 years training and three years curacy to be a vicar (‘You only work Sundays anyway…’), left me reflecting on the skill set required. This month I have:
led assemblies for 400 children, with just 15 minutes to give a Christian message relevant to age, culture, religious diversity, and without any teachers present;
chaired a meeting, at no notice, for which I had no minutes;
sat at the bedside of the dying, and held the hand of a mother who had lost her baby;
led a service in a home for EMI patients, who had no concentration, but a love of singing hymns
led funeral services, Communion by Extension, home communions, and taken the diaconal role at every Eucharist;
preached on occasions when there were children, and/or families, and only adults present;
taught small groups of adults;
written a faculty application for the Diocesan Advisory Committee;
negotiated on a significant purchase, agreed a price, renegotiated, and started a fund raising campaign.
I expect there are things I have forgotten. And what is amazing is that this is no different from the work that most clergy undertake. It’s what I love about my job, and what is really tiring. No wonder we need a broad skill set! Pastoral care, administration, appropriate teaching for both children and adults (and all age), presentation and teaching skills, conflict resolution, biblical knowledge, and so much more. Not to forget time spent in prayer… I am trained for diversity!