1. Blimey! That’s not nice. The good thing (well, relatively speaking) is they say “applications”, plural. That means a few people applied and they didn’t like any of them. So either their requirements are narrowly specific, for reasons only known to them, or they are just being stupidly picky, possibly because they think they deserve some kind of superstar in the role. I’d guess the first – they’re thinking the job will take a particular sort of person, judging from their comments.

  2. Oh, Cathy. It’s so good of you to give these people the benefit of the doubt. I guess I’m more fundamentally cynical than that. I think they’re probably being stupidly picky and believing they deserve a superstar.

    What they don’t realize is that our MadPriest IS a superstar.


  3. It is strange but true that many employers (not only parishes) do not quite know what they want when they advertise a position. It can take them awhile to figure it out, while they interview people and waste their time.


    Keep on keeping on, MP. Love you.

  4. “Barton under Needwood with Dunstall and Taterhill” — where is this parish, the Shire?

    But then, I’m only an American. What do I know? On the other hand, in American schools we learned how to write formal English. What’s +Geoff’s excuse? (“The Reps”? “Shortlist”?)

    You continue daily in my prayers, MP.

    (WV: “rosis” — perhaps that’s a good sign.)

  5. Well, as we say in the South, “Bless your heart, Plus Geoff.” (Not to mention the hearts of the “Parish Reps.”) Do you think that will go right past them?

    You and Mrs. MP are forever in my prayers.

  6. Ellie, I wasn’t meaning to imply either way that they were being reasonable, actually – it’s possible that they do need a specific sort of person, but it’s also possible that their idea of what they’re looking for (who knows, someone who has held a job in a similar parish, or who emphasises a particular kind of ministry or belief, or who seems a similar personality to the previous incumbent, or something) is just asking too much, and they’ll go through a couple of rounds of advertising before they realise they can’t find a match.

  7. Years and years ago before Windows was considered a business tool, in the old MS-DOS world there was a database system called “Clipper.” I was chosen as one of the beta testers when they put out version 5.0. The company I was working for went broke and so there I was looking at ads. I found one requiring, “5 years experience using Clipper 5.0.” I called,and if I might be a candidate. Nope, I did not have 5 years using 5.0! I gently explained to the HR rep that 5.0 was about six weeks from release and that I had more experience than anyone else in Illinois. She said they were offering relocation and cut me off.

    I saw the manager at a user group meeting where he asked if he could announce the post. I said yes but first I told him my experience. He announced the post but said no one should call before noon. Then he asked me at coffee if I was still available. I was not and he assured me he would be talking to HR.

    A short story (true I have witnesses) about why I despise HR people.


  8. Ouch, I’ve gotten this kind before, too: “We prefer precisely NO ONE to you. NO ONE will fit our needs nicely. Now, you run along…”

  9. MP,
    look at it this way, if they are going back to the beginning and re-advertising, they didn’t like any of the applicants, and they would probably reject Jesus himself because he doesn’t meet their expectations. They’re probably a contentious, stuck-up, disfunctional lot, and you deserve better.

  10. Having had more than a few letters like that I’ve come to believe congregations are just too damned picky. All you need is someone to preach the Gospel. They want a priest/pastor to love them no matter what? Then they need to love their priest/pastor no matter what. Just pick someone and get on with it.

  11. ‘They want a priest/pastor to love them no matter what? Then they need to love their priest/pastor no matter what.”

    Now that is truly excellent, Pastor Joelle.

    Indeed it is.

  12. “Now that is truly excellent, Pastor Joelle.” Yes, indeed, it truly is.

    Back in the Olden Days (at least on This Side Pond), when a parish needed a new priest the bishop sent a priest he needed to place to interview with the vestry, and if the priest didn’t pick his nose or pee on the rug, it was pretty much a done deal. (Not big Cardinal Parishes, of course, but the bog-standard village churches.) Not the interminable crap that goes on now.

    Part of the problem is that after being vacant for eighteen months (with or without an interim priest) and all the hoops the vestry has had to jump through with the diocese, when they finally call a priest they figure they own him (or her). Not healthy. (Well, sometimes not healthy. Sometimes it works out well.)

    Does the system now work better than the old system? Not so you’d notice.

    Have you read “I Heard the Owl Call My Name”? There was a bishop who knew what he was doing, and for Whom he was doing it.

  13. Ugh. Another bummer. So sorry!

    “Barton under Needwood with Dunstall and Taterhill” sounds like a place out of a fairy tale. But according to its hilarious Wikipedia page, the town’s favorite sport is tug-of-war (!), and there are only five “overpriced” pubs all run by the same chain.

    I trust your call will be to a place of greater diversity, at least as far as beers 😉

  14. Thank you for your research, flaminga. I hadn’t checked the beer situation out beforehand. I could have made a terrible mistake there.