As Formfiller-In-Chief in the Vicarage, the lovely census form falls to me. Actually, we have two of them, as the database people think that The Vicarage at House Number, Street Name is a different dwelling to House Number, Street Name. Anyway, I will be communing with the forms over the weekend and battling with the usual question:
What exactly does your husband DO?
Before I get to the that, there’s the question of the Vicarage itself. I’m not sure whether our landlord is the Vicar’s employer or not, as he’s not officially ‘employed’ – he’s an ‘office holder’ and the house is part of his ‘freehold’.
And then, of course, there is the employment question. The Vicar is not really an employee (although the diocese handle his stipend and he answers to the bishop), nor self-employed (though many of the ways that HMRC look at him are similar). I think he may be ‘doing any other kind of paid work’. The folk over at Thinking Anglicans are also wrestling with this and are suggesting ticking all the boxes in the first employment question (26) – although I think that option is really for people who have more than one job.
Alas, you do not have that choice for Question 33 and you must choose between being an employee and being self-employed. What will you all be choosing? And there is also the challenge of describing what you do in your main job. Pastor-teacher? Cure of souls? Ministry? Preaching the word and administering the sacraments?
I’m also looking forward to answering Q37: At your workplace, what is the main activity of your employer? If we go with the thought that the Vicar is employed by the Lord, I could have some fun with this: Running the universe. Upholding all things by His powerful word. For example.
Looking forward to hearing your suggestions. And it’s meant to be completed by Sunday…