This month our vacancy will be advertised amongst many others in the Church Times. As I read through the qualities some of these adverts say they are wanting in a priest I often think only angels need apply! They remind me of the following poem which a friend sent me shortly after my ordination.
THE MINISTER (read he/she for he)
If he visits his flock, he's nosey.
If he doesn't he's a snob.
If he preaches for longer than ten minutes, it's too long;
If he preaches less than ten minutes he hasn't prepared properly.
If he tells a joke, he's flippant;
If he doesn't he's far too serious.
If he starts the service on time, his watch must be fast;
If he's a minute late, he's kept the congregation waiting.
If he takes a holiday he is never in the parish,
If he doesn't he should get out more.
If he runs a gala or bazaar, he's money mad,
If he doesn't there's no social life in the parish.
If he has the church painted or redecorated, he's extravagant,
If he doesn't the church is shabby.
If he's young, he's inexperienced,
If he's getting old, he ought to retire.
When he finally leaves
Or dies of exhaustion.
There's never been anyone like him!
We pray that prospective applicants reading our advert and parish profile (carefully prepared by our church wardens) will recognise our strengths and frailties and will want to join us to lead us on our journey as we seek to discover, and to be, God's presence to each other, in our community and in our troubled world.