Well, we've done some research, and we can reveal the secrets of how curates are trained up into their fully-fledged status.
The process starts when an ordinand first hatches out of theology college. In those early moments after ordination, the new "deacon" will be confused, and inclined to do things that are embarrassing.
|Newly Hatched Curates|
Curates become especially able to detect new sources of cake and tea, and to communicate their location to other curates through the CME "Liturgical Dance"
|"Mrs Brown in Little Tremlett has a new-baked ginger cake"|
After about three years (part-time curates can take longer as they have fewer opportunities to obtain cake), the curate will be ready to become a new vicar. At this crucial point in their development, one of two things can happen.
If the curate believes that the vicar is weakened by age, they may attempt to take over the church where they have been growing. In this case, they will often fight the incumbent vicar in the garden of the vicarage. If the curate wins, they take over the existing church and the vicar goes into retirement.
If, on the other hand, the curate is not strong enough, they will instead strike out on their own with their own members of the congregation, to form a new church. On sunny spring afternoons, the sight of a Church Swarm will often be seen, clinging onto the outside of a church building.
|A new Vicar heads out with his Church Swarm to find a new church building|
What will happen, when the weather is warm enough, is that the curate will set off into the countryside, accompanied by the Church Swarm of those worshippers that choose to go with him or her to form a new congregation. The Swarm will wander around the neighbourhood until it finds a church with no priest, and then move into residence in the building. Normally they will merge with the existing congregation - however if the pheromones are not compatible, they will drive the old congregation out into the churchyard and take over the building completely.
|Three priests with a supplier of cake.|
The one on the left is about to eat the old one and take over.