Dear friends

Time certainly does fly, Christmas (as I write this is just five days away) and then New Year seem to come round quicker and quicker each year, (is that because I am getting older?) and we seem to try and cram more and more into our lives each year as time marches on unabated.

But, is that what we should really be doing?

Surely it is we ourselves who choose to be busy? and that if we chose to do less then we certainly could do less.

There is an old, but true saying, that is you want something done then give it to a busy person, and they will ensure that the task is completed on time – and often before it is required. I am never too sure why this is the case, but it is true, and I know that when I am at my busiest, I can do much more work than in the quiet times.

But what is work? and what is it that a Priest should be doing?

These are questions that the some of my clergy friends and I have been looking at over the last year, and it may, or may not surprise you that all of us had a different view on what it is that God calls us to do in our working week.
There follows just a few of the things that we came up with:

1. Sacramental, incorporating Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist – feeding, preaching, teaching, reconciliation, anointing, forgiving and healing.
2. Ordination – setting apart – but involved with the people
3. Capable and willing to respond,
4. Visible
5. A Priest of ALL believers (i.e. we are there for everybody)
6. Saving souls
7. Listener for everybody
8. Leadership – but others might do this better
9. Reflector of Christ in the world
10. Legal role – needs to be open to change – Canon Law can be changed – but takes time
11. Support of the community
12. Outward, visible sign of an inward invisible grace – a priest should reflect that
13. Person of prayer
14. A person who can reflect on the world in which we live in
15. Study the word of God

These are just a few of the ‘things’ that we came up with, but I did wonder what you thought?

What do you think that your Priest should be doing? and how do you support them in that task?

If you do have any ideas, then I would really like to hear from you.

We are, as a church, having to face a future of less and less stipendiary clergy and it is therefore becoming vital that our Priests are used properly, and that others take on the tasks that can support the ministry of Christ in our local community.

Perhaps a New Year is a really good time to be thinking of this? perhaps not? but it is an issue that will not go away and it would be really, really helpful to hear your views.

It would also be good for you to reflect on what you do to represent the church in your daily lives, and how you might be able to be more Christlike in the future.

May I take this opportunity of wishing you a very blessed and peaceful Christmas and New Year.


10.00 AM