Just because many another is doing it, - and also so that I know for myself, this is more or less the answer to "What does a curate do all day?".
Monday – is WonderfulVicar’s day off, so though I begin the day at 9.00 with Morning Prayer up in church, I’m usually on my own with this. For a while one or two others joined me most weeks, and this led to some valuable conversations and the feeling that this was almost an unofficial “surgery hour” – but that seems to have lapsed a bit recently. Sad. The rest of Monday morning is study time. This somehow never means sermon prep, despite my best intentions – but rather emails and a serious attempt to make inroads into my looming piles of unread delight. I might take the dogs out briefly at lunchtime then the afternoon is geared to visiting, though if there’s a funeral on Monday, that will always be mine. 5.30 sees me back at church for Evening Prayer, followed by a said Eucharist (usually led by a retired colleague – but I cover for her from time to time) and the evening might well involve a baptism preparation session at home, or an out-of-parish meeting
Tuesday – Morning Prayer followed by a staff meeting till around 11.30…then home often to carry through some action that the meeting has suggested.
After lunch, I have about an hour to prepare material for the JAFFA Club at the Junior School, - where I’m busy till 4.30. There’s an hour clear now till Evening Prayer –one of those bits of time I find it hardest to use well. Maybe that’s where a dog walk could fit in…
5.30 Evening Prayer
7.30 (often) a meeting – usually till around 9.30…If not, this is a mother and Dufflepud night in, when we’ll try and watch some amiable rubbish together
Wednesday – DAY OFF. Enough said!
Thursday – Morning Prayer, emails etc then Little Fishes till 11.45 – followed by networking time in the parish office (or perhaps more accurately, preventing A. the Administrator from getting on with her work too) Home 12.30 ish – lunch, dogs etc Afternoon – visiting, Home Communions etc (though most of “my” round seem to have died, - and we’ve a strong team of laity who carry out this ministry, so it’s a very small part of my current routine) Evening Prayer 5.30 7.30 Often another meeting – timing as before, if it’s a sub committee –but rather later if it’s the full PCC!
Friday (Every other week) 7.30 Eucharist followed by Morning Prayer Friday is also a school assembly day – about once a month at the Infants’ School (Junior School Assemblies are on Tuesdays, and more like twice a term generally) Back to my desk, sermon prep is becoming rather pressing…so procrastination is essential…but unless there is a particular need, I’m unlikely to go out visiting on a Friday in a sermon week, though it’s a day when I might see a directee from time to time..
Saturday – muddly day. Not really free but I won’t wear a collar for most of the day. Could involve a wedding, or CME (continuing ministerial education) or even the odd baptism. Will certainly involve panicky sermonising – with the essential help of the 11th hour Preacher Party
Sunday- (every other week) begins in time for the 8.00 Eucharist, continues through the 10.00 and coffee afterwards, so that I’m usually home around 12.30 unless there’s a baptism. The afternoon features some down time unless it’s an OpenHouse Sunday, continues with Evensong at 6.30 and the day ends with Koinonia Youth Group till 9.30.
The trouble with writing things down is that, even as I do so, I’m aware of all sorts of “regular irregulars” – visiting my spiritual director, clergy chapter and meetings of diocesan groups, time in school just being available....
None of these will happen every week, but they do come round with reasonable frequency.
And then there’s the whole “living over the shop” problem of drawing lines between work and home life.
If I’m chatting to friends on msn last thing at night? – that’s my time.
If I’m chatting to someone from church (or even beyond), who wants to talk through tricky issues? – I guess that’s work.
If I’m reading a subject that I love, that engages and excites and restores me – but it happens to be work related?…umm…
Dog walking feels like time out – but the reality is that I so often get involved in long conversations with people from outside the congregation who have huge things to talk about, so it could equally be work. I suspect that even if I tried much harder than I do, I’d find it impossible to arrange my time in tidy categories.
Reflective blogging, for instance? Where on earth do I put that????? I know that some of the writing and thinking aloud that I did before last week probably got me the job, as it enabled me to work out exactly who I am in ministry, my priorities, my weaknesses, my gifts. Right now, though, I’m very clear that if I don’t stop blogging and get on with devising a service to celebrate the Senior Citizens’ welfare group’s 60th birthday, someone somewhere is going to get Very Cross Indeed.
Ah – that’ll be me, then!