Support the Café

Search our Site

How to change your vicar: part two

How to change your vicar: part two

Bishop Alan Wilson has done it again. Late last month he checked in with a piece called “How to Change Your Vicar”, an insightful meditation on priest-parish conflict. “How To Change Your Vicar: Part Two” makes the seemingly simple point that one can’t remove a priest from a parish because the priest isn’t doing things that priests can’t be expected to do. Wilson writes:

Clergy have all kinds of unusual talents. Vicars have managed to combine ministry with keeping bees, woodcarving, climbing the Himalayas, even inventing submarine detection equipment.

Some clergy have Really Useful collateral skills — playing the guitar, journalism, fundraising, stage magic for school assemblies….

My second piece of advice is for people who believe there may be a capability issue with their vicar. For this to go anywhere formally, it should normally relate to what incumbents are actually there to do. A hymn writing, guitar playing or beekeeping fail is bad news. But it’s unlikely to support capability proceedings.

Wilson’s list of the jobs that priests are given in the canons of the Church of England is a helpful reminder that as expansive as the job can become, there are actually a finite number of tasks that clergy can be expected to perform.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café