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Posts Tagged ‘vicar’

It can be hard to imagine what a Vicar does all day, particularly if you watch Midsomer Murders, where the clergy mainly seem to skulk about looking sinister and then getting murdered. Or doing something nefarious.

So to give you a glimpse of what the Vicar does in our parish, here’s a set of pictures from a couple of days ago, showing you what the Vicar does on a Monday after leading a school assembly and meeting with church staff to plan the week ahead.

He’s got the pump that we’re using temporarily to drain down the basement where the boilers for the church heating are located. The old pump has been broken for a while and this is actually the one from the birthing pool we used to use for baptisms (we now have a shallower, wider heated paddling pool). The old pump worked automatically, but this one has to be switched on when the basement gets flooded. And it can get a bit clogged and mucky. So after draining the basement down following some recent heavy rain, it was brought into our back yard for cleaning, and for making an amusing fountain.

They don’t give you lectures on drain pump maintenance at theological college. Or on boilers for that matter. But they probably should.

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Today felt like the first proper day of the New Year here. All three kids are back to school now, the Vicar was writing a sermon, our ministry trainee King arrived back after his holiday and Gone called round. All back to normal.

Gone is back in the hostel up the road after a spell spent at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. Unfortunately, due to the date of his arrest and sentencing, Her Majesty was pleased to release him back into the community on Christmas Eve. The Vicar went to collect him from the prison. Due to a fine he’d landed himself with whilst inside, he was released with no money whatsoever. He was also released without a coat or jumper. If the Vicar hadn’t been there to collect him he’d have had no means of getting to his hostel. And he’d have been very cold.

Kind people from church had supplied clothes, food and a telly which were waiting for him at the hostel. Gone really needs a telly. It helps him keep calm and stops him going out drinking. But we’ve had all sorts of telly issues. The original telly didn’t work very well and then last night the Vicar went round to see if he could get it working better. And instead it exploded.

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Gone was upset, understandably, and came round today shouting that he’d got himself arrested for stealing a telly from a shop in the tow-un. He hadn’t, but we did get the message that he wanted a new television. Thankfully another kind person from church donated another tv today and it was waiting in our hallway. So the Vicar went around this evening to set it up. And it’s still not working properly. There’s a problem with the aerial. And until it is sorted, we’ll have Gone at the front door, shouting. Or asking for dvds. Or he’ll go back to prison, where he can get television without the hassle.

It’s just a small thing, but for Gone it’s big. And so we’re praying for some sort of technical miracle. In the meantime, we’ve lent Gone a box set of House. Not his first preference, but something to keep his anxiety at bay. As long as his anxiety isn’t obscure medical condition linked I guess.

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The Vicar planned to take a couple of days off this half term to hang out with the family. Today however, he has been talking to insurance people and building people about a little incident in church on Sunday. In the morning the early birds arrived to a bit of plaster dust on the floor of the chancel. We’d had a problem with ants in the roof last year, so we assumed it was the same thing, and the area where the plaster had landed was taped off. It seemed appropriate timing, since the Vicar and our PCC Health and Safety rep had only just attended a Health and Safety training event on Saturday.

Our Sunday services (10.30am & 6.30pm for us, 12.30am for the other church that shares our building, plus our 4.30pm SOUL course) all went along without a hitch. Then, as the final folk were milling around at the end of the evening service and the organist was playing a closing voluntary, there was a massive BANG. And plaster showered down over the chancel and into the nave. A huge chunk had broken off the decorative plasterwork in the ceiling and it dropped down, breaking into pieces and damaging lights and a microphone in its descent.

We are very thankful that the plaster disaster happened after everything had finished. If it had exploded when communion was happening on Sunday morning, there could easily have been injuries. As it is, the Vicar’s holiday has been a little disrupted, and there’s a bit of work ahead to sort out (and pay for) but otherwise we’re fine. Things falling off our church, inside and out, happens almost annually. We love our old building, but sometimes it gives us a bit of a fright. Who’d have thought they only made the plasterwork to last 173 years, eh?

The hazards of Victorian plasterwork

The hazards of Victorian plasterwork

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I was just noodling about to see how the local churches I mentioned a while ago had got on with finding new vicars. And the news is as follows:

  • St Matthew’s Walsall are still on the hunt – if you’re quick you could still apply to be vicar of the main Anglican church in Walsall. The deadline is 28th May so you’d better get a move on!
  • It rather looks like St Matthew’s in Tipton also failed to appoint – they are suggesting that you contact their patrons for further details.
  • And Holy Trinity Heath Town’s website doesn’t say and neither does their Facebook page, so it’s not clear whether they have a new vicar or not, but [edit to reflect comment below] they *have* appointed and the new vicar is being licensed at the end of June.

If you are looking for an incumbency, or know someone who is, do consider the Black Country. We’d love to see more good gospel work in our neighbouring tow-uns. Pray for us in this neck of the woods – that visionary ministers would make the move to come and lead our churches.

The Black Country flag – bet you didn’t know we had one, eh?

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It’s that time of year again! We’re looking for new ministry trainees – two of them in fact. Would you like to join us in the Vicarage after the summer? Our current intrepid attic dwellers are planning to move on before September (God willing) – so we will have space for gospel hearted volunteers who want to serve God’s people and reach out in our small part of the kingdom.

We can guarantee many opportunities to serve in all sorts of capacities – preaching, leading services, gardening, visiting, eating cake, tweaking the sound desk, street evangelism, geocaching with teenagers or hanging out with 80 year olds at lunch club, organising events and teaching the bible 121 for starters. You can live in a flat above our Vicarage and very likely meet Gone, our resident (when he’s not in prison) gentleman of the road. You can eat late night curry from the fabulous tandoori serving pubs up the road and play snooker with Nepali barmen and likely get to sample West African and Jamaican food with some of our church families. You will definitely get to know the Vicarage family well and discuss theology over coffee and ministry over wine and cheese. You’ll experience Vicarage life in all its ups and downs – the joys and sorrows of gospel ministry. You will get a day a week on the Midlands Ministry Training Course and regular supplies of homemade cake. We have an excellent relationship with Lichfield’s Diocesan Director of Ordinands, so if you are thinking of full time ministry in the Church of England, we can help you through that process, or you could just be wanting to do a year or two of Christian service before going on to other things.

The Vicar has posted more details on our church website. One of our current trainees was pointed in our direction by a reader of this blog. He’s off to his BAP for Church of England selection next month. Do you know someone who’d like to eat cake and serve alongside us?

The Vicarage looking pretty – come and join us!

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Oh dear. The sump pump the Vicar thought he’d got working last night didn’t do the business. When he went into the basement to check this morning he found that the water was at the same depth. As he’s off on the diocesan clergy conference for a couple of days, a church member is going to look into what needs to be done. But the Vicar wanted the water to be out so the church member could quickly get on with the work. And he was worried about the boilers that are in the basement. Thankfully, the Vicar had a brainwave and dug out the pump that we normally use to empty the portable baptistry.

A bit of Heath Robinsoning later and the Vicar and BytheSea had popped the pump in the sump and the delivery hose into the churchyard. The Vicar then left for his conference and BytheSea has been cementing his ministry training by popping out regularly to ensure that the water isn’t running back down the basement steps.

This was the sight that greeted me as I went down to the school to help with Christian Club. And BytheSea has now reported that most of the water has gone. For now.

Unexpected Churchyard Water Feature

Unexpected churchyard water feature

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Today the diocese sent some chaps round. Don’t worry, they’ve not discovered that I mistook the liturgical season for Christmas instead of Epiphany. We’re keeping that one quiet. The chaps came round after we reported the repeated leaks in our living room ceiling. They’ve known about them for ages actually. And sent chaps round before. The chaps sealed the window in the living room a few times. And then they sealed our bedroom window sill a few times too. And then we’ve had more weather (strong winds and heavy rain do it best) and the leaks have continued and the Vicar has worked out the path the water has been taking (under our bedroom window sill, down the inside of the wooden panelling above our window and then into the panel above the window in the living room).

The panelless living room ceiling

The panelless living room ceiling

The Vicar’s latest email to the diocese mentioning possible damp and rot elicited a rapid response team who arrived today. And they had to take the panelling down in the living room. It was rotten. And there are some patches of rot in the oak lintel above but they can be treated. And the window sill above is now covered in felt. They’re going to reinstate everything when the promised double glazing arrives next month and things have dried out.

And this evening the Vicar had to head to the church basement, where the boilers live. There, appropriately dressed in wellies and rubber gloves, he discovered that the sump pump intake was blocked with leaves and other debris. A trugful of slimy gunk later, he was able to start the pump again and hopefully tomorrow the basement will be free of water.

These have been minor irritations compared to what others have suffered in this recent damp spell, but I’ll be glad when the weather perks up a bit, I must say.

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