A lovely parishioner visited me yesterday and brought a bunch of flowers, knowing that I’d had a pretty stressful few days. Sometimes being the Vicar’s wife can feel lonely. You’re in a weird situation that not many people understand and people keep on calling at your front door asking the Vicar to mend their bikes (amongst other things last night). So when someone from our congregation thinks of me and lets me know they’ve been thinking of me, it really warms my heart. A little encouragement goes a long way and helps me to persevere.
And then a Vicar’s wife friend on Facebook asked for some help in drafting a talk on ‘Five Ways to Encourage a Minister’s Wife’ (she’s not just speaking to Anglicans). There were lots of great ideas there – and they’ve inspired me to write my five:
- Treat the Vicar’s wife as a real person, a normal member of the church family. Don’t give her too many messages for the Vicar as she’ll feel horribly guilty when she forgets.
- Be a pew buddy – sit with her on a Sunday morning – if she has kids give her a hand with them.
- Let her know if you’ve been thinking of her or praying for her (maybe in writing).
- Make sure she regularly gets on the Minister’s Wives conference, or a retreat, or something spiritually refreshing, and try to ensure she gets enough time with her husband.
- Flowers, wine and chocolate, obviously, or even an invitation to Sunday lunch for the whole family.
Many of these things would encourage any church member, but I’ve tried to highlight some of the things I’ve found especially encouraging myself. What do you think?