I’m not perfect. I often get things wrong. However, I think I have plumbed new depths of What Not To Do as a new Rector….and I offer the resulting lessons to Incumbents, Associate Clergy, Curates, Ordinands and those considering Ordination….that you may not Do As I Have Done.
Do not, on your first day, give the notices, process to the back of the church, and wonder why a choir member is whispering urgently to you. You will have forgotten the Banns. There is nothing wrong with returning to the Vestry to retrieve the Banns book. However, it isn’t ideal if the congregation can hear you doing your best to break into the remarkably solid register cupboard, to which you have a key that so very nearly works when you are calm.
A good Rector will remember to get the Banns book out
before the service and take it with them when giving the notices.
Do not take photocopying into the Church Hall with you during a Lent lunch. Or if you do, do the photocopying. Do not then leave the photocopying, with your keys, and disappear off to give a toddler a tour of the church before their baptism. Otherwise the Church Hall will be locked. And your Church Hall keys will be inside it.
A good Rector will keep administration and Lent Lunches
separate. And always put their keys in their pocket.
This last one is the most important. Please pay special attention. Do not, when reaching for the Post Communion prayer at the end of Holy Communion, knock a lighted candle off the altar. The ensuing leap by your server to rescue it, and the church, will disrupt the calmly joyful atmosphere in which the Spirit has moved so wonderfully. And no-one, I repeat No-One, will ever believe that you weren’t trying to burn the church down, three Sundays into your Incumbency,
A good Rector will have their service books and papers
ordered neatly on the altar.
So there you have it. Rev’d Claire’s top tips for how not to be a Rector. I am very very blessed to have a congregation who find my idiocy amusing and bemusing rather than downright irritating. So far.