Questions, opinions and voices

Questions“A full time priest in the Church of England contemplates everyday life in a multi-parish benefice – views are all my own”

As I look back over curacy and forward towards becoming a rector, I have all sorts of concerns. One of them is this blog. I blog very approximately once a week, outside of anything daily I am doing. I try to be intentional about it, and it really is meant to be be exactly what the strap line says it is…

I think the strap line must change very soon…to something along the lines of  “A new Rector in the Church of England contemplates life on a steep learning curve in a village parish.” But that itself begs some questions. As a new incumbent (the priest where the buck stops in a parish), I do indeed have a steep learning curve, no matter how good my Training Incumbent is and has been. I have a new place to learn about, and a new role to inhabit there. But originally this blog started so that my friends could see what kind of things a parish priest does. I think it has fulfilled that brief. I’m not sure that I will have the time or focus to keep it going, and I’m also not sure how much relevance it would have to most people if I kept writing to the brief of the new strap line.

So the question – is it time for Rev’d Claire’s blog to retire? Or should it carry on to the new strap line? Or should this blog close and a new one begin?  Opinions welcome. I don’t really want to stop blogging – but equally, I’d rather be intentional than let this blog just peter out.

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8 responses to “Questions, opinions and voices

  1. A third option? change the strap-line to something less parish/priest/role- focussed and continue blogging weekly or monthly? e.g. I’m loving your Janathon blogs…

  2. Please don’t stop blogging, Claire.
    For all the reasons that you mentioned in, and were affirmed in the comments on, your recent post on “blogging rules” it is really good to hear from you 🙂
    Perhaps you *won’t* have so much time available for blogging, but you’ll certainly have plenty of things to ruminate about; and your learning process will be valuable for others – both those following a similar path, and those – like me – who want to know how to better support our hard-working rural ministers.

  3. I would encourage you not to stop unless it gets in the way of your spiritual, work or family life. If it does, then it’s definitely time to take a break. To paraphrase one well-known christian writer: whatever is helpful, whatever is insightful, whatever is thought-provoking, whatever brings joy to the lives of others, write about such things.

  4. I suspect that circumstances and the pressure on your time when you first arrive and adapt to the changed role might preclude your being able to blog regularly. It takes an enormous effort to do so, particularly as having something useful and new to say each time can be a draining experience.

    I’d love to see the blog change to one, perhaps more reflective of the experiences and encounters of a new Incumbent, in a new context and the theological and practical impacts that it might have for you, for your family and perhaps for your congregation and the community that you serve?

    Being a parish priest is such a public role, with ramifications well outside the parameters of the church and people who come to it. The wider engagement, particularly with the many micro-communities you will experience in Ludgershall particularly those military families who will be on our patch, albeit, possibly served by service chaplains. Those interactions. particularly with service parents who will be in local schools will be revealing as you come to share something of their experience of a pretty mobile life style, coupled with continuous separation.

    And the implications of interaction with civic authorities, local services etc will inevitably present different challenges, negotiating the minefields that they present, Remembrance might be just one of them.

    I’m already feeling challenged in my new parish, and I haven’t done much so far. But intercessions last Sunday has been greeted with a chorus of praise, which is embarrassing for me, as I’m not used to getting much feedback. Good, but I now have to continue to do things in other ways.

    Today I attended a Family service led by a Lay Minister, who did a brilliant job – and I was watching her, including her sermon and thinking, “I could do that”. inspiration and encouragement coming through, I haven’t thought that for a long while. it really feels that I’ve made the right decision – now just need to get Vocations day out of the way to get into the training system.

  5. I’m sure you are going to be a very busy, ‘every day’s a school day’ bee! Selfishly, perhaps, I’d love to see you keep blogging. Both rural context and new incumbency are good ideas from where I’m sitting. Most of Scotland is covered by “rural” charges. For me (and I’d guess perhaps also for others like me) it’s encouraging and reassuring to hear about how someone a couple of stages along the road is getting on.

  6. Hmmn….I guess poor old “Good in Parts” is an example of a blog that should probably have retired when I became an incumbent & may well need to change its spots again in the coming months. I think there IS still a need for a place to think aloud but I’ve become very aware that the stories of this parish are rarely mine to share…& I’ve not on the whole engaged with wider church stuff, – so the blog has become a rather dull respository for sermons, with a wee bit of personal meanderings. I guess I was mostly unprepared for how different things would feel – and how much more pressed for time I would be. You, being wise, have clocked both of those already – so I would blog on, were I you 🙂

  7. Blog on. It does give a chance to offload, reflect etc, and hopefully to get support and feedback that, frankly, is hard to get in a rural parish without making long distance phone calls. And it can be edifying for others…. As well as amusing and a way to follow your progress without intruding at busy or inconvenient times.

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