The Monday morning ministry feeling was well expressed by Giles Fraser in the Financial Times last Friday. He was asked to describe the working life of a clergyman. He’s is the Priest-in-charge, St Mary’s, Newington. He’s also a columnist for The Guardian.
Here’s what he wrote,
I’m extremely lucky to have one of those jobs which grows out of my convictions and my passions. The great thing is that it’s all-consuming; the terrible thing is that it’s all-consuming. One of the things about being a clergyman is there is no clear boundary between what is work and what is not work. You don’t get paid a salary; you get paid a stipend to enable you to do what it is you do as a Christian priest. The work’s not measurable. It’s very difficult to grasp the benefit. You can do that when you’re very clearly helping people in practical ways but that’s not always what you’re doing. Sometimes I’m very envious of straightforward work.
It’s not often I find myself on the same page as the Rev Fraser. But, this time, I wholeheartedly concur! There are times when the lure of an alternative career feels irresistible! It’s not always like that. But occasionally I daydream of working for UPS. I’m sure there are frustrating elements to that vocation. After all, the fall effected everything. But imagine a job where you get to be on your own listening to the radio. Imagine getting out of bed in the morning not needing to make decisions about what to wear. Imagine not having to make awkward judgment calls but just doing what and going where you’re told. Imagine a job where everyone’s pleased to see you when you arrive. Can you see the attraction?!
The link to the full article is here.
P.S. Interestingly Ken Costa, a Christian businessman who attends Holy Trinity Brompton (I think) was also interviewed. Nice comment about ‘not for profit’ and ‘not for purpose’.