A poem by a Kevin Lewis from Blog of Kevin of the expectations of clergy by others and of themselves:
…I am passionate about school assemblies
mums and toddlers and also
I am good at one-to-one and small groups and
I listen and empathise and at the same time
I am the one who plans and strategizes and
I am the one who understands budgets and decides if we can buy any staples
or replace the heating system.
I am the vicar, I am.
I am the one who chairs meetings
I am the one who manages group discussions
I am the manager of an organisation that employs only me
I am the volunteer co-ordinator
the opinion co-ordinator
the trespasser on the territory of people who have been around a lot longer than me
and will be there after me.
I understand the heating system
the financial system
the rota system.
I love committees.
Read it all here before responding.
Heretics Anonymous blogpost is the Rev. Lesley Crawley’s response after comments on posting the poem:
There were quite a few comments that took a swipe at me for posting it and quite a few that didn’t take the poem to be even slightly ironic – maybe it wasn’t meant to be an ironic poem, I don’t know.
But there were also many comments about boundaries, and I think that is right. It is a job that is riven with difficulties in terms of maintaining good boundaries. The video above is taken from some research from Lancaster University entitled “Sacrifices of the Anglican Priesthood“. It is a bit scary, but not surprising. When I was training one of the lecturers told us to hide our car in the garage on a day off, draw the curtains and sneak around the house. Personally, I think this is taking things a bit far, but there again I live in a Parish where people are very anxious not to disturb us on our day off.
Anyway, [she lists] here are the boundaries we keep, I would be interested in what others do.
And then here is a video “Called or Collared: Sacrifices of the Anglican priesthood” below: