SOMETIMES I THINK NOBODY CARES

Six days left and nobody from above has been in touch with me to talk about how I cope with all this. For a start, where does a priest, who has been made redundant without having broken the law, or done anything immoral, or made any huge mistakes, go to worship God? I don't have the strength of character to go to some church the following Sunday and watch an employed priest do all the things that I am going to miss like I'd miss my heart if someone ripped it out. So, I lose my job, my vocation, my ministry and my access to worship all in one go.

Mind you, I'm not surprised. When I was poorly for years I received no pastoral help from those in authority or from my colleagues or from so called friends in the church. The only people who kept in touch were from my dog club, most of whom probably wouldn't even recognise a church let alone be seen inside one.

Sometimes the church is so crap at what it ought to be doing according to the teachings of its Lord.

Comments

SOMETIMES I THINK NOBODY CARES — 107 Comments

  1. I think Albert Schweitzer was right. The Church has been in decline ever since Pentecost.

    If it works at all and helps anyone, then it’s the Holy Spirit and some dedicated individuals doing thankless work who make it happen. It certainly isn’t the hierarchs or the bureaucrats. They’re just the same old Sanhedrin that’s always been around, and always ready to crucify that dirty hippy Jesus all over again if He dares show his face round here again.

    I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. What Tracie said.

    Them above you are behaving just as the grand majority of crap employers do after they have screwed somebody over. There is never any attempt to make it easier. Not that that makes it more acceptable.

  3. Don’t know what to say except I know what it’s like to want to celebrate and have no church home to do it in. I’m hoping that will change with the new rector coming in August. Perhaps some small place will take you on temporarily as a non stipendiary while you continue to look. At least that way you’d be on a rota to preach and celebrate.

  4. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I hope that at least one of them will think to do the right thing. I am not holding my breath. If they have not acted right so far I do not know that they are capable of it.

  5. When I was poorly for years I received no pastoral help from those in authority or from my colleagues or from so called friends in the church.

    We’ve talked about this before, Jonathan, and it’s disgraceful that no one paid attention to you when you were ill. That no one in authority gives a shit now is shameful but not surprising.

    Sometimes the church is so crap at what it ought to be doing according to the teachings of its Lord.

    Ain’t that the truth?

  6. They also clearly remove their eyes and ears to make sure they can no longer truly see or hear.

    Sadly, there seems to be no cure.

    Big hugs.

  7. I suppose the system is different there, but is there a parish or convent or chapel or some place where you could celebrate mass on a weekday? I know some rectors here have been happy to share “their” altars with others, recognizing how lost they might feel upon retirement or unemployment, and also being happy to offer as many weekday masses as possible, even if only a couple people come, but do not want to take them all on themselves? Is there no one who might be sympathetic nearby? Can you ask someone? I know you must be very weary of being turned down, but I’m afraid that most clergy and the higherups, like a lot of us bog-standard folks muddling through life with blinders on, don’t always take the time to think how someone else may feel and think of things they could do that might actually be able to help someone, even when they cannot fix the big problem. Sometime you have to say, hey, this would really help me get through this patch, not to mention be of use to others, can you help me with this? Maybe that’s not possible, but I would hope someone could help. Unfortunately, people who lose their positions are often treated like they have contagious diseases, especially by those in the same “business” but one can always hope some are better than that. But speaking as someone who lives within a block or two of four Episcopal priests and one deacon and have not exactly been overrun with calls and visitors in the last four weeks, well… it happens. Thank God for dogs and the dog people.

  8. I am so sorry this has happened, Jonathan. That’s probably of little comfort, but it’s all I can say. I have no expertise.

  9. What Klady said makes some sense to me. Have you made yourself visible as a non-stipendiary resurface to other parishes in the area? I realize you want a gig but doing so might also help with finding one.

    More on the CW side.

    FWIW
    jimB

  10. I know, Jim. But it sort of rubs it in and I don’t think my pride will take it. Yes, I know. But I am only human.

  11. Mimi is on target. You didn’t get it from them before, it’s futile to expect it now.

    You knew what to do last time. You will know what to do this time. You went out and found what the powers above did not provide for you. And we are all around here, too. Hugs.

  12. I’ve deleted everything I’ve written a couple of times because they sound like pious banalities. When I was in “your place” or thereabouts, Sundays were the most difficult and I tried all sorts of solutions, none of which were satisfactory totally. Eventually I ended up supplying in a small parish and that opened some avenues for pastoral involvement which I needed as much as the recipients did. Remember: we were not ordained to do nothing. Being on one’s own and realising that the hierarchy won’t lift a finger is terrifying. I know that from experience. I also learned a quiet waiting and patience I’d not known before. It was kindly enough to keep my rage and emotions somewhat in check. God is bigger than this; God can do what we and all the others can’t or won’t do. We’re each different in how we cope with things–I drowned in the Daily Office and immense amounts of reading and attempted to limit the intake of food, drink, and especially anything intoxicating since it just made me angrier. I’m rattling on and wish for once that our community here was a bit more real than virtual and we weren’t all so separated by distance. Didn’t St. Paul have something to say about that? “Nothing” nothing nothing nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. My heart aches for you; my prayers continue to ascend; and you’ve got a semi-permanent votive candle lighted for us in our chapel.
    Bruce/Canon Itchy

  13. I am startled how similarly your psalm of lament describes my experience of coming out in Evangelical Land, where there was no concern of the door hitting me on the backside on the way out (In truth, I was glad for the “Get out of church free” card.). There were times when I mourned the loss of faith community, but “gifts” along the way promised hope. I remember on one Sunday morning run, leaning against the brick wall of an ELCA church, listening to the pipe organ contained therein, having a good cry, and for that moment at least, knowing a bit of peace. It was the beginning of much better things.

    Peace and joy in the journey, Jonathan.

  14. Thanks Itchy.
    I’m a cradle Anglo-Catholic and the centre of my life is the mass. I have to admit that since becoming a priest it has become the absolute centre of my prayer life to the extent that the offices have become boring for me. It’s almost like a drug. I must admit I’m toying with the idea of doing something very naughty in deed as far as the C. of E. is concerned.

  15. Bruce, what you said is terrific, especially this:

    Eventually I ended up supplying in a small parish and that opened some avenues for pastoral involvement which I needed as much as the recipients did.

    Jonathan, work. Do substitute work. You’re a priest. Do your priestly job in any way you can.

  16. I am afraid the church quite often turns its back on people when they need it most. That’s what I have noticed myself and heard from others.
    Hope you find a way through.

  17. I’d have thought you’d know Anglican acronyms! PTO = permission to officiate. It’s what retired clerics get and it allows them to celebrate anywhere in a Diocese. You don’t need it for one-offs, but it’s handy.

    By the way, if you’re ever down in the SouthEast…

  18. Prayers from this end, Jonathan. I remember when I was confirmed in TEC. Since I had been a minister in the American Baptist Churches, this was a laicization. I was an odd Baptist who believed in the Real Presence when Baptists did it with grape juice and taught that nothing happened. I knew that it was possible I would never stand at an altar and offer the Eucharistic Prayer again and it seemed huge chunk had been ripped out of my heart. I wept through Mass for many weeks.

    May you find a safe space soon.

  19. I don’t understand the English licensing and employment complexity, but it seems me if you preside at Mass and have one or more in the congregation (that goes a bit beyond the usual Anglo-Catholic preference), and the bishop says it’s okay, then that’s the church.

  20. Are you seriously saying that neither the Bishop nor Archdeacon nor Rural Dean have been in touch as the deadline gets closer? Maybe if you let us have their emails we can all write to them berating this lack of pastoral care.

  21. I cannot add anything to others except to say you are in my prayers. I also know looking back over my life that I can see how each set back and time of difficulty led to new openings and better times. However I have often said I wished God had given me the itinerary in advance.

  22. I forgot to give you a big sloppy virtual hug, and knowing you would not appreciate it anyway, I’ll just stand by, looking serious, muttering things like, “Well then…” and “Hm….”

  23. ‘fraid I can’t do better than KJ, but you’re in my prayers anyway…

    And I still believe you should consider work on this side of the pond (wishful thinking on my part, I know).

  24. You are a priest. But you are a Christian first. Your job is gone yes, your future vocation, future ministry and future worship are up to you and no-one else. Thats the problem with anglican ontology, you believe these are inseperable and no-one else has to deal with these things. Do you think I felt any less bereft of vocation and ministry when they dispensed with me, simply because I am not ordained? Some of us have had to spend our whole lives watching others do things we were not allowed to.

    There are plenty of clergy around who will let you take services. God knows most of them could do with a little help.

    Yes the ‘pastoral help’ is non-existent, largely because the hierarchy are too embarrassed to deal with it… and don’t you dare say no-one cares. I have offered on several occasions to at least be a friendly ear, shoulder to cry on, none of which you have acknowleged. I realise I am just an unordained, ex-bishops staff, ex-churchwarden pew-sitter, but I care. The offer remians, I may be no fucking use, but don’t say I don’t care.

  25. Jonathan, you must know how much we care about you and trust me, we feel helpless being so far away and all.

    Are there any hospitals nearby where you might be able to provide some pastoral care? My own church has a healing Eucharist every Wednesday presided over by a retired priest. Do you folks get involved in interim work when a rector leaves a parish? Any possibility of campus ministry? You would be a real gem for the college age crowd.

    Just a bunch of random thoughts along with love and lots of prayers.

  26. Have a holiday Mad One. And also can I suggest that you play hard to get? Bit of reverse psychology…never fails. Anyone asks in the heirachy, tell them that you have a great plan for a new venture. They’ll find a broken down church for you quick smart just to take the wind out of your sails. (Human nature). Thats the only advice I have. Do you get imported Aussie wine in your local bottle shop over there? That always helps.

  27. Despite everything I know about the institution I still find myself gasping in disbelief at what they have done to you. I want to scream from the roof tops ‘This is SO WRONG!!!’ But this community, who loves and cherishes you, and occasionally is totally infuriated with you, recognises one of our own. And if the persistent widow was heard by the unjust judge then there are more than a few people who are getting some sleepless nights with the bombardment of demands from the lunatics this side of the asylum wall. Hold your mad little head high and believe, cos there’s a heck of a lot who believe in you.
    Meanwhile I SQUAWK!!!

  28. Yes, Tmtim, I think you felt considerably different. Ontologically you are a youth worker. You would have been distraught, quite rightly, at losing your job in the church and because of the way you lost it. But you could, in theory continue your vocation elsewhere, as a youth worker. I know it took you a while to achieve this and I know you are not as happy where you are now as when you were the diocesan youth officer. But you are still a youth worker, which, for someone whose vocation is youth worker is better than being a self stacker at Sainsburys.

    My vocation is Anglican priest. I can only fulfil my vocation in the Anglican church working as a priest.

    Fro a pragmatic point of view I can’t do anything else if I wanted to (except stack shelves at Sainsburys) because being a priest is not a transferable skill in this secular age and they took my lorry license off me when I was ill ten years ago.

  29. Do you get imported Aussie wine in your local bottle shop over there? That always helps.

    I second this.

    I like Whiteycat’s suggestions, though I know they are not in tune with your own feelings on the matter, MadPriest.

  30. Jonathan, I know that you are depressed now, but you are one of the most pessimistic people I know.

    How do you know how TheMe felt? I’m sure once he thought his situation through ontologically, his spirits rose dramatically. Come on. You’ve had many good suggestions about what to do instead of cutting yourself off from everyone and moping and feeling sorry for yourself. Wallow for a few days, if you must, and then get going.

    I’ll repeat what I said at the Chin Wag:

    I know that you said that you would not do substitute work because you would not work on the cheap for the church that has treated you badly. I understand your thinking. But turn that thinking upside down, as Jesus so often did, and think of sub work as serving the people of God. You will preside over the Eucharist; you will preach; you will do a priest’s work as a servant of the people.

    As a bonus, your sub work could open doors. People will hear you preach and witness as you share your priestly gifts in the context of the liturgy, and word will spread. Don’t hide your light under a bushel basket, Jonathan.

    Whether you have a regular job or not, you are a Christian, and you are a priest.

    You’ve told me more than once that I’m a tough old bird, and now I’m telling you that you’re tougher than you imagine. What you’ve been through has left you depressed, but it has not sent you over the edge into incapacitating mental illness. That demonstrates that you’re tough.

    End of lecture.

  31. Well, Tmtim. I suppose I could murder my wife and apply to the Roman Catholics for a job. Or I could become a high church baptist.

  32. I have to eat. It would be very nice to be able to live off fresh air and serve the people in true Franciscan humility. But Mrs MadPriest won’t buy it. She is already incredibly cross with me for not playing the game (as she puts it) and thinks that I should give up the church altogether and get a secular job.

    And being a priest is a full time job. Part time priests are priests who only do part of the job.

  33. I have to eat…(she) thinks that I should give up the church altogether and get a secular job.
    These are not dichotomous statements. Sometimes needs must and it hurts, suck it up.

  34. Sometimes, only sometimes, I sort of understand why they sacked you. Was it a lack of empathy issue. When kids came to you to complain about the shit in their lives did you tell them your life was a lot worse and they should just suck it up.

  35. Jonathan, you have an objection to every suggestion. Get a secular job, then, and sub on Sundays. Yes, you’ll be a part-time priest, but that does not mean that you can’t serve God and God’s people. You’ll have your mass with you presiding, which you say means so much to you. You won’t have it all your way. You’ll have to adjust your desires to what’s possible.

    Jésus, Marie, et Joseph, aidez-moi! Aidez-lui!

  36. Then I have to accept that I was never meant to be a priest as being a priest is a manner of life. I know the laity don’t like the thought of that (for some silly reason they get jealous) but most of them wouldn’t want to do the hours I do for the wages I get paid.

  37. No, because they are kids and 9 times out of 10, I do get them out of the shit or at the very least ensure that they change their attitude towards the shit and learn to live with it. The latter is a bit Zen but sometimes all the empathy in the world cannot provide solutions.

    I do not generally indulge them with my particular miseries because;
    1. The Basil Fawlty school of ‘I’d like to meet someone worse off than me, I could do with a good laugh’ does not tend to lift people but rather confirm their negativity.
    2. It’s damned unprofessional.

    Yes. It probably was a lack of empathy issue. I couldn’t cope with how badly they felt about stiffing me.

  38. I think you’ll find that I made plenty of references about your suffering, Tmtim, even on this thread. But this is about me. We did you the other day whilst you were lazing about in hospital.

  39. Then I have to accept that I was never meant to be a priest as being a priest is a manner of life.

    Bollocks. We’re moving gradually into an age of part-time service for priests. You’re always a priest, but you may also do other types of work to earn a living. There’s nothing contradictory about that, except in your head.

  40. But, I don’t want to do another job. And bearing i mind that it would be a very low paid, repetitive, unskilled, blue collar job that is hardly surprising, is it?

  41. No, Mimi. But you are one of those people who feel that all priests should be knocked down. It’s something that priests get used to as anti-clericalism has been a fact of life for us for hundreds of years.

  42. No matter what you end up doing, Jonathan, we will all still love you dearly. We will all still think of you as our own special priest. Hopefully you’ll continue your electronic ministry, no matter what happens. We still need you.

  43. This really sucks and I am so sorry the hierarchy is behaving in such an unchristian manner. I’m not surprised that they are behaving that way because it seems the norm for church hierarchy in any tradition.

    With that being said, I will be praying. I don’t have any advice……yet…..

  44. If I want cuddles I’ll get in touch with that nice Petty Witter blogger. I believe she only lives up the road from me.

  45. Yes –there is no such thing as a part-time priest. It is impossible. And priests who work other jobs and then try to be a priest on the week end, burn candles at both ends…. just sayin’.

    The priests I know, my husband being one of them, who work “part-time” in marginal or rural parishes still work 60 hours a week non-stop for less than crap. Without benefits. Without retirement or health insurance. BUT –he did do incredible things, working to create shelters for abused women and children, food pantry, mobile health clinic, shelter for fire workers during fire season…. and, most importantly, he PISSED THE BISHOP OFF because the bishop really wanted just to close the dinky lil’ thorn in his side…. And even more importantly –he helped the 40 or so in congregation learn to navigate the ropes and work around the church pension groups, the plans, all the yada yada of all the rules…. and encourage them to live in to their shared priestly ministry of all the baptized.

    You continue in my prayers MP –and I hope and pray that you will find what the Spirit is calling you to do, and that in doing so, you will continue to be a thorn in the side or your Diocese, for the benefit of all the people of God.

  46. Priests who support themselves in our capitalist society (unless having a private income) have to devote so much time and energy just to provide for themselves and dependents that their priestly task is seriously compromised.

  47. There is no way that I can’t get into this conversation, sigh! Been there and done that! For thirteen years I ran church education programs – I ran them successfully, on time,and thriving for the most part. For thirteen years I struggled to treat people fairly and equally and for thirteen years, the Right Wing Charos and Evangelicals invited and then demanded that I join them, that I disregard the textbooks and teach literal interpretation of scripture etc. They volunteered for everything in the parish and they came to run everything and especially the Parish Councils. (this was the RC church officially, in name, at least.) I was polite and gentle, but no thanks! IT WAS MY CHOICE- to thine own self be true, etc. The last parish, the Pastor was a famous Charismatic and the pressure was so bad that when he arranged for the rest of the staff to be away, I brought in my collie and tied him to my desk and a priest no longer in the parish came in and sat with me all day, I didn’t ask him to, but I was grateful to him. By then, I was scared!
    You have made the same choice politically – you haven’t bought in to the current political stuff and you believe in a balanced Trinity, apparently. Someone, I don’t know who, said “One individual cannot stand against an institution.” Correct! For them to say that cutting you loose isn’t because of what you have said is bull pucky!This is political….

    Being an English Vicar is not the only way to be a priest….take off your parochial blinders, grieve (we’ll help with that) get some vocational testing if that helps,
    and find ways to express your priesthood- Write, teach,sub, work in social service,start a community,write for a social justice magazine, start a small faith group and say Mass for them. The little guy of blessed memory who used to work for us used to say to me “Don’t just stand there, DO SUMPIN”! Do weddings and funerals for folks who don’t have a parish
    BUT, respect yourself for not joining something you cannot respect or believe. Priesthood is a precious gift and you have it – expand and grow it!!
    Affectionately,
    Nij
    P. S. It’s a bad feeling you have now, I really do know about being a lame duck church person… don’t just stand there……..

  48. MP, I am truly sorry for your plight.

    Do UK hospitals hire their own chaplains? Or does the EC supply them? In the US, the private hospitals (not owned by the gov’t) are the employers, not the denomination. I know several clergy who have full-time jobs as chaplains, hired by secular private hospitals or by religiously affiliated hospitals who maintain a multi-denominational chaplaincy. Hospices also hire chaplains.

    For some reason, I have the notion that your experience would make you particularly effective as a psychiatric hospital chaplain. Maybe this is too close to the bone, or you prefer a “general practice” (parish), but your disability is also an ability.

  49. When I left Unitarian College after a year I cleared up some loose ends and then had nothing to do with any religion for one and a half years, when I divided my time between Western Buddhism and Anglican attendance. Only after I moved did I take up Unitarian attendance, and did not take up membership. I have not now, either, after another gap.

    I think there is something to be said for stopping and seeing, and for asking (and a few answers to) a lot of questions. It could take a long time.

    As regards your job, and what you can do, I do know of a denomination that is crying out for ministers, where often money is no object, and the only problem is a lack of candidates. But you might be attached to other ideas.

    I attend one such place, but there is some appreciation that the lack of a minister, and yet no lack of money to pay for one, is however a great spur to self-organising and doing things ourselves. It is very democratic and we are all equal, and it generates a good atmosphere when you have to make good and do it right.

    I am slowly coming to the point where I cannot find a point of Anglican attachment. I have arrived at this via absence of affirmative belief and also ethical criticism. I can still talk theology to whoever wants to discuss, and I still like the people, but I don’t uphold what it stands for. Your ethical criticism often seems to be as fierce, and should be, but you are in a different place when it comes to belief I think.

  50. Yes, you could join one of those Liberal Catholic outfits (or Old Catholic derived if you don’t want the theosophical shadow) on a self-supporting basis, but before you do have a word with a friend and me. There are better ones and ones to avoid.

    Still, you are right: getting paid means you can do what you do properly? Recently we had a sermon from the minister in Leeds who tends his congregation, but in the city centre has the ‘passing through’ congregation that he and a paid member of staff encounter, and that’s where his ministry expands. The point you make is right: taking lots of rites of passage for the marginalised and a fee each time becomes the job whereas what you need is a different, even settled or found, available, public.

  51. Okay, I’m going to stop praying for you. I’ve been doing so daily and things have gotten worse.

    I knew God hated me, but to take it out on friends! Unforgivable.

  52. Re NancyP’s suggestion: this was my own thought on the matter too and I suggested it on Chin Wag, and I think it’s a good idea, though I know that, again, it doesn’t necessarily chime in with the wishes of your heart.

  53. Jonathan,
    If you want an altar, and have a Bishop’s licence then you can come down to Yorkshire (where old A1 meets M62 by Ferrybridge services) and preside at the eucharist in one of my churches from time to time, or more regularly if we can get you PTO in this diocese.

    http://www.wentbridgechurch.co.uk

    Adrian

  54. RE: “Write, teach, sub, work in social service, start a community, write for a social justice magazine, start a small faith group and say Mass for them.”

    Wooohooo! Sounds awesome to me. I think MP would make a great professor. People would learn all kinds of things from him – esp. *how* to think!

    😀

    wv: dogsti

    No idea.

  55. again agreed with Ms TL Holladay, it is beyond me why you are talking about blue-collar jobs being your only other option when you have the writing skills you do and could quite legitimately pitch some book ideas to an agent or publisher to boot.

  56. Back in the 80s, Terry Holmes, who taught theology at Nashotah House, was put in charge of a small congregation in upstate Wisconsin, without pay. Since he could only be there on Sunday morning, he told the people they would have to do the work of a priest the rest of the week. And they did.

  57. Jonathan, there is nothing more I can truly add to all that has been said, or substract from it.

    If we who feel no hope a lot of the time, give up, we sell out our faith in God’s ability to make things right according to His will. I don’t agree with a lot of what Paul says, but I will agree that He is our peace [Ephesians], and I always go back to that when the world is dimmest and drained of hope, and it is often with me that way. Yet here I am; I marshal on and hold Christ up before me.

    I had to take a lot of sub-jobs of one sort or another during my career when all I wanted was the “main thing”, and to this day it eludes me but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a positive impact on those around me when I take my eyes off myself and my troubles and focus on them, because that is when I see Him most clearly.

    As my brother in Christ, I love you, and all I say is out of love and hope for you and that your circumstances will change for the better, but we are part of the change we want to see and be in ourselves; we must have a servants heart, even one that is willing to do things we would not normally do for gainful employment but we must also see the possibility of touching a life in that capacity that might not otherwise know Christ in us.

    A few things to think about. You might look up Chris Rowberry in Devon as he has just been put in charge of 6 parishes there and may need someone else. Or if nothing else, he could be someone to talk to, someone who may be able to minister to you as a fellow priest; he’s a good fellow, spent time here in southern Oregon at my parish and his wife Karen is quiet sharpist and finishing seminary.

    Possibilities abound, dear Jonathan. Just know….Catherine

  58. There’s always the cash-strapped, clergy-strapped diocese of Argyll and The Isles …

    Seriously, it makes me sick that you can’t get a job when we don’t have enough priests to go around. And we’re very Anglo-Catholic in this neck of the woods.

    Prayers in the meantime

  59. Chris. I reckon, if I just wait, the search committee for your bishop’s job will eventually get down the list to me – the rate they’re rejecting people it shouldn’t be that long.

  60. Thursday may bring some interesting revelations – another meeting of the Electoral Synod! Shall I suggest you?

  61. Yes, please. Tell them I went to Oban once and I know what a sheep looks like. If I need any other qualifications I’m sure I can just pick them up on the job.

  62. Oh! And here’s the clincher. My wife has all the Runrig albums, including the early Gaelic stuff and the live ones. hey, she’s even got some recordings of them in concert that she shouldn’t have – if you get my drift.

  63. Mad Priest, I can tell you this, if they ever do give you a job in Argyll and the Isles, I will need no further excuse to round up my Aussie mates and come up there to travel about and while there say hello to you and your missus (and the dogs and Henry of course). I love the Hebrides. I hired a car and drove from Stornaway all the way down through Barra a few years ago. It was fabulous and I have been itching to do the same again. I love Mull too. The Scottish islands are totally brilliant.

  64. This is not just any job in Argyll, Cathy. This is the bishop’s job.

    Actually, considering that this bishop in his whole diocese has the responsibility for the care of less than a quarter of the number of “souls” I am responsible for (until the end of this week) in my present parish, and that Oban Cathedral is smaller than my small parish church, it’s not undoable in theory.

    The fact that Blethers (Chris) is in the diocese makes it a lot more high stress than my present job, of course.

  65. I didn’t mean that specific job in fact, Mad Priest, because I had spotted that it was a bishop’s job, I was just saying in general. Having said that, they bloody well should make you a bishop.

  66. Cathy, when that happens, and as soon as I can arrange for the mysterious disappearance of the person already in the post, you will be invited to become my head of media – with a very attractive salary to boot.

  67. One thing is for certain, because mama didn’t raise no fool, is that you would be one of the first people I got on the good side of.

  68. Cathy, when that happens, and as soon as I can arrange for the mysterious disappearance of the person already in the post, you will be invited to become my head of media – with a very attractive salary to boot.

    ooooooo what fun!!! I look forward to that. Please start arranging mysterious disappearances as quickly as possible, Mad Priest.

  69. What?! Every press officer in the C of E and the S E C just in case? I think I’ll wait for the impossible to happen first.

  70. well, now you mention it, Mad Priest, it would take the C of E out of the news media if all the press officers vanished, and that would give you less to write about, so we would have less to have a laugh at, so maybe you’re right.

    Not many things are impossible.

  71. (PS by that last bit, which sounded rather vague and enigmatic, mainly because I’m incredibly tired, I meant a job in Scotland isn’t impossible. Even if it’s not the Bishop of Argyll. That’s what I was trying to say. I know you’re probably feeling differently, Mad Priest).

  72. If I were to put your name in for a U.S. position (TEC), would you hate me? Would you care/look into it, if they were interested?

    [I haven’t done so, BTW. But I could.]