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Alphabet BlocksYesterday the Vicar asked me to proofread a document for him. The usual lot of the wife of a dyslexic vicar. So I read through his Ministry Development Review (MDR) form. He has an MDR every two years –  talking through where he’s at with another member of clergy from the diocese and drawing up some goals for the next few years. It’s a useful process for reflection and planning. The form was mostly fine, but right at the beginning of the form it asked him to give:

Date of last ABC

To this question my husband had responded:

Don’t know what this is

Since I didn’t either and my google fu let me down, I shared the problem with Twitter. The Church of England is like any other large organisation – it loves its acronyms. And likes to change them on a regular basis to keep you on your toes. Suggestions from far and wide included the following:

  • Approved By Committee (if this was a long time ago it may indicate ructions in the PCC)
  • Attack By Churchwarden (recent date indicative of alarming breakdown in parish relationships)
  • Another Blooming Chore
  • Absolute Belief Crisis
  • ArchBishop’s Council
  • ArchBishop of Canterbury (and one clever clogs said that the answer to that was Lady Williams of Oystermouth)
  • Appalled By Congregation
  • Attended Baptist Church
  • Apple Boring Contest
  • Appeared Boyishly Charming (alas, this would be quite some time ago for the Vicar, unless you can be boyishly charming without hair)
  • Annual Bishop’s Consultation

Eventually a very helpful person linked me to a diocesan document that explained that ABC stands for The Archdeacons and Bishops Pastoral Conversations. Of course. Obvious. And these ABCs happen after 5 years in post. Which is why the Vicar didn’t have a scooby, as we’ve only been here for 4 years. We’ll know for next time. But I thought that some of the other suggestions were much more fun.

Are there any other options, I wonder?

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