Tuesday 8 August 2017

If Clergy Ads Told the Full Story

The "Bloodletting Benefice" seeks a House for Duty Priest.

Basically we need you to do a full time job. Patting the hands of those needing comfort. Refereeing the internecine warfare at PCCs. Running the four building projects that are going at any one time. But cheaper.

The Benefice has 7 parishes with no interest in working together. Which means you get to take seven services every week. Forget having "Everyone Together" services every month. The last incumbent tried that. Lost an eye to a well-aimed hymn book.

You may be a priest reaching the end of your career in an urban parish, dreaming of Dibley. We'll happily put you out of your misery.

And don't imagine you'll be able to cycle from appointment to appointment between parishes like you're Father Bloody Brown or something. You'll need a decent set of wheels to get round the place. Ideally a 4x4 as it can get a bit treacherous in winter. And just because even the snow plough can't get through is no excuse when Doris is expecting 8am communion.

There is a Church of England school in the benefice. Unfortunately, the head teacher is an ardent Dawkinsian with a pathological hatred of people in dog collars.

Obviously we're looking for a dedicated visionary, able to energise our mission and enable outreach to the community. We just can't afford to pay for it.

You will find this a rewarding and fulfilling end to your life. Sorry, career. Career.


  1. Sounds like a job for the Salvation Army

  2. Ha ha! Unfortunately,truer than some of the hilarious stuff in benefice profiles.

  3. Rats! They've seen through all the careful drafting that Bishops and Archdeacons do...

  4. Facing the ongoing crisis of vocations, the Catholic Church has taken to borrowing priests from the monasteries, ie, from a population which thought it had discerned a vocation to quiet enclosure and contemplation.

    The advantage is that these poor saps have promised obedience until death to the head of their congregation, which means that they go where they are sent for as long as is decided for them. No nonsense about matching aspirations. And the One True Church is just as riven by unofficial schisms as the good old Tory Party at Prayer. Imagine a rabidly Latinist traditionalist, slightly to the right of Archbp Lefebvre, being matched with a bunch of enthusiastic evangelists who think John Smyth wasn't radical enough, and you have a recipe for more than flung hymnbooks....

    Apart from that, your prospectus sounds just like the church I currently attend. Only without the modest charm.

  5. A fellow priest has just let me borrow a book entitled "FIVE YEARS' HELL IN A COUNTRY PARISH" by the Rev. Edward Fitzgerald Synnott, which reminds me very much of the above.

  6. I am pretty sure I recognize the place...

  7. Reads a bit like the sort of profile Thomas Hardy might have had for one of his characters had he written in the twenty first century! Ah, the improbability of reality! Perhaps you could start a Hardy character generator?

  8. This is why a friend of mine left her seven parishes to go and work in Scotland. Not sure it's better There, but at least she's fairly sure no one can fling a hymnbook quite thst far!

  9. The advert should also say: incumbent should be mission minded with a heart for reaching young people but should be aware that the current dwindling, elderly congregations have no interest in changing anything. Ever. Things have always been done this way.


  10. I wonder if the Church of England is actually serious about ministry, of is it trying to reverse the Wilberforce reforms?

    Because this is slavery, and while people are doing house for duty, what happens to their pension contributions?

    This is a serious blot on the CofE landscape and should be banned. Perhaps Churches should be closed if people can't afford to pay for their clergy, or alternatively, the diocesan staff should be given 7 parishes to run, alongside their lofty duties, to keep a sense of perspective and to achieve value for money.

  11. Rings very true. Liberal theology has killed the CofE and so it affects the number of parishes that now have to be pastored and the beliefs of the laity in them. I know one priest in Chichester diocese who grew a village church enormously but was hounded out by the small trad parish.


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