I’ve been reading things on Twitter about on-line authenticity this week – and talking to people about body image too. I can’t imaging being anything other than myself on-line. My friends there may avoid the worst of my ups and downs, but on the whole, I think I tend to be me, where ever I am. Being someone else takes effort.
Part of being me is wearing a clerical collar when I’m working. It serves as a reminder to me as much as anything, but also means I can claim a ministry of “presence” too. But it’s been so hot, that when my Training Incumbent suggested no collars at Village Day yesterday, I was rather pleased. Village Day is held on the sports field, and local organisations are all represented. There are commercial stalls too, and everybody who’s anybody shows up. Churches Together provide free tea, coffee, and squash for anyone brave enough to come up and ask us, but in the heat, TI and I went round the stall holders taking orders from those who couldn’t leave their posts.
It was very interesting to see the reactions to the lack of collars. I was recognised at all the local stalls (our church folk get everywhere!) but it took a while for some to spot who I was. Even the churchwardens. Some folk were quite disconcerted – “are you allowed to go out like that?” was my second favourite comment of the day. For the record, I was fairly decently covered. My favourite suggestion came from a member of the congregation who was looking after one of the local stalls. Her take went “oh, Claire, you could have worn it as a garter instead! Oooh, don’t tell the vicar I said that…”
I don’t think I’ll start a new trend somehow – although we did wonder about getting t-shirts printed for next year. Now to start working on the slogan for them – suggestions?