We’ve all heard the jokes about only working on Sundays, but in reality the Vicar works a 50-60 hour week (he knows that because he keeps a timesheet). So a good day off is essential if we want to keep going at this job in the long term. You need to clear your head and take a breath.
The Vicar takes Fridays off. This works well for us, cos it almost feels like the weekend. Saturdays are too close to sermon time and are often interrupted with church events.
It works for the kids – the big ones have a good evening with Dad after school and the Engineer, who’s still in nursery, gets to see Dad for even longer. The Vicar’s Wife likes having some child free time with her husband too.
We have developed a bit of a pattern for our days off, which worked very well in Wolverhampton, and we are now trying to replicate in our new parish. Long trips out are a bit of a no-no for us as we only have 2 1/2 hours in the morning until we have to fetch the Engineer from nursery.
So what we like to do is to go into the town. This may not seem very exciting to you, but let me explain how we manage to enjoy a morning out in a deprived and delapidated town centre.
First stop is usually the library to change books and pooch about in the quiet and elegant Carnegie library we have. Then we gae the messages in our local shopping centre (built in 1971 and partly funded by the National Mineworkers Pension Fund, with shopping opportunities that are cheap and cheerful rather than expensive and elegant – just what you need for vicars and their cash-strapped families).
The best bit of our day off, though, is the next bit: sitting down in a local caff for strong tea and a bacon sandwich. Sometimes we’ll chat and sometimes read our new library books or the paper. The key is not to talk about church. Last Friday we did this bit at lunch time. There were three of us (since we’d already picked the Engineer up) and we all ate at the Cosy Corner in the indoor market for less than £10.
What do you do on your days off?