In order to get permission to officiate in my new diocese I have to work, unpaid, for at least a year, attached to a parish church. Getting a place has been dragging on for a year now. Yesterday I went to meet a vicar of two relatively local churches. We spent three hours together. Everything seemed to be fine. We arranged that I would celebrate and preach at one of the churches this coming Sunday. I was really excited. This morning I received an email saying that overnight the vicar had decided he didn't want "to work with me." Evidently I came across as too "forceful." That's all he said.

It's not going to be until the second half of September before they can return to looking for a place for me. More waiting.

It's very depressing to discover that you can't even get a job working for free. Retaining any confidence in myself and calling is getting more and more difficult with each rejection.

I really am the world's worst actor. I do attempt to read the signs and pretend accordingly but the real me always comes through and I screw up the protocol. I find pretending to be unskilled, and therefore not a threat, particularly difficult. Most people do not find this social dissembling a problem, it appears to be how the world works. What is really annoying is how other people interpret the motivations of those of us who are just us and nothing else. They never think that you are just an on the surface, honest sort of person who will always give you a straight answer and be happiest if you are always straight and honest in return. They seem to only be comfortable with complicated role play. I just can't do it. I have the overwhelming desire to always seek the simplest way of doing things. This is very useful when I am writing or trying to sort out somebody else's problems. But it places me outside of the normal conventions and requirements of society, a society that is intent on always making a mountain out of a molehill and seeing problems where there aren't any.


FAILED — 5 Comments

  1. How dreadful for you. But the happiest priests/ordained people I have come across have foun dthei rplace in chaplaincies, where they can be more fully themselves. From prison chaplaincies, to schools, to hospital to industry and shopping centres. Just being there fo rthe people showing God’s love…. the church has lost its way.

  2. Thanks, anon, and you are right. However, I cannot get a chaplaincy job unless I have permission to officiate from my diocesan bishop. It’s a stitch up in reality. A monopoly.

  3. Jonathan, have you prayed about coming to the States? We’d LOVE you here! Practically guaranteed. Yes, I know we’re a bunch of cowboys, but at least we’re interesting cowboys. I personally recommend the Pacific Northwest, but that’s just because I live here. Oh, we do have weather rather similar to Britain, and we do have quite a number of (former) Brits, as well as Scandinavians. It’s cooler, and dryer out here. And California is a total hoot! A nation within itself. What, with a country as big as ours, you have your choice as to where to go. Just avoid the southern U.S. and Texas and you will be fine. Pray about it, if you haven’t already. Fondly, alice gray