To be (a vicar)… or not to be.. ( a vicar)

I’ve just been looking back over my blog. It’s funny when you look back and see some of the things you have written before. A while back ago I wrote about feeling called into ministry and to be honest really trying to avoid it at all costs. I was definitely in denial…. Now, almost 2 years later, I have been through discernment, got selected and could even be studying in a few weeks (except that I am taking a year out before I start). Wow…
So that was a lesson in:
A) God is a God of surprises and
B) God has a bloody good sense of humour…

So, 2 years ago I wrote a list of points on why I should not be a Vicar. And I thought it might be interesting to look back and see what my responses would be now, to my 2 year ago self…. (the original questions are in purple italics..)
1: I am SO not equipped. I
haven’t even read the entire bible yet and I have no idea about the books – I
mean am I the only one who thinks of Emmerdale when I see the ref: Amos? (and no
I don’t watch it and no, I’m really not that old…)

Seriously, Emmerdale…?
A well quoted line is that ‘God doesn’t call the equipped he equips the called…’ cliche maybe but then cliches do tend to have a teensy bit of truth in them…
I don’t think even the best bible scholars can recall the whole thing, it’s more important to have a love for Gods word and a desire to get into it and allow God to speak through it..

2: I am nearly 40 for goodness
sake. don’t the church need new young bright things to take it into the future?
right now I feel neither new, young or bright, distinctly dull might be nearer
the mark actually…

I must have been rather age depressed then, as I am still nearly 40 but just closer to it now! The church needs people who are passionate about God and about the church. Age is not an issue…

3: I am stepping back from
work because I can’t have my cake and eat it (but oh boy do I love cake. no, I
mean real cake, that wasn’t a metaphor). SO, why would I want to throw myself
into something as huge as this when really I want to be a stay at home mum and
bake all day…

Seriously, do I really want to be a stay at home, bake all day mum..? Either way there are options regarding time worked and it’s up to you to make the ground rules and draw the lines. Anyway, this is the Church of England, at this rate the kids will be at uni by the time I get ordained…

4. Seriously, a dog collar? In
my youth I was a bit of ‘crusty’, and whilst my clothing has improved
dramatically over the years, let’s just say that old habits die hard. Boots and
leggings are my preferred dress. I don’t really do smart and the thought of
robes and collars makes me want to run (as do a lot of things about this). and
anyway what is the dog collar about? where did that come from in the first
place? as they say – must have been designed by a man…

Yes well, not much to add to this one….;)

5. I live in a rural idyll.
It’s like something out of ‘Country Living’. It’s like going back 50 years. I
regularly go out leaving my door unlocked (probably shouldn’t advertise that too
far…), everyone knows each other, and looks out for each other. we walk across
the fields to get to school, a school which has only 100 pupils in the whole
school. The kids all play out in the road in the evenings. It is lovely. we
always say moving here was the best thing we ever did. SO WHY? would I want to
uproot everyone and move to some far flung corner of the country where I am
pretty sure we won’t be able to recreate what we have here… (and I will
have to wear a
dog collar…)

Rural idyll? perfect for parish ministry… arghhhhhh!!! bring on the city life!!

6. My 14 year old will hate
me. Actually she regularly tells me she does anyway so maybe that should negate
but if
I, a) become a vicar b)make her move c) both of the above, let’s face it, I will
be toast…

Well she’s 16 now and by the time we move (if we have to) she will have left home (here’s hoping…!)

7. I love my church. Matt
Redman comes to my church sometimes. It is C-O-O-L. I don’t want to have to find
a new church, we just found this one. It’s the first church I have really felt
comfortable in, that I feel I belong in. And what’s more, after training I will
have even less choice as it will be my job (eek) so then I can’t just check out
all the churches in the area, I will have to go to mine. Unless of course I get
a job here, now that would be ok I guess.

Yes my church is cool but already I have ideas on how to run church. When the time comes I will be busting to get into my own! and bizarrely I have just been offered a job at my church – answer to prayer anyone…?

8. Will making church my job
take away the enjoyment? I don’t want to be in a position where I have
to go to church because even though I love my church now, let’s face it
sometimes Sunday mornings lend themselves rather well to lie-ins, right? And,
well, being a Vicar would kind of take that away. Unless I’m in a very sleepy
parish and then they probably wouldn’t notice 😉

Hmm. well sometimes yes, sometimes I would like to go to church and just worship, to just come and put myself at Jesus’ feet rather than being called upon to help/speak/ show someone new where the lavs are… But then I can go to other churches occasionally to get that and indeed already am.

9. I do not like liturgy, and
I don’t have to be a prophet to know that could be a problem with the

Yes, well now I know that this is a problem with the Bishop. But that’s chichester for you… Still I got selected so can’t be too bad…

10. The PCC. need I say

Indeed. best avoided at all costs…

11. I just put my husband
through rather a lot by starting my own business and then less than 3 years
later deciding I want out. I think he would rather like me to get a ‘proper

I now have a salary! hurrah!! who says money doesn’t make the wordl go round…. ahem.,I mean, my husband has completley come round to the world of ministry and is now fully supportive… actually in all seriousness he’s just been made worship pastor. hahahahaha!!! love the way God works, what was that I said about sense of humour… 😉

12. If I’m honest I don’t want
my friends at church to know about this, because even though they are all Christians and in
theory won’t judge me, I am sure they will all have an opinion on what kind
of Vicar I would make, and you know what, frankly I don’t want to hear

too late…
actually everyone has been very supportive and confirmed a lot of what I have felt in myself. You cannot go throuhg this process alone..

13. ditto the above for my
non-Christian friends just minus the line about not judging – they will. and I
still don’t want to hear that.

ditto above again. Amazing how my calling has promoted sooo many conversations with non church-goers about church/faith/God etc – great tool for evangelism!!

So… if any of you reading this are in the purple italics category, just hang on in there…!

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  • Reply
    August 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Interesting perspective on how change happens, and in unexpected ways.

    But, it seems to me you've got things sorted (after a fashion) and will continue to move forward, because back isn't really an option, once committed.

  • Reply
    Nearly Martha
    August 24, 2012 at 9:48 am

    From the outside looking in, it certainly looks like things are rolling along exactly as they were meant to

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