the weeks just get busier!!
Bob’s hymn of the week just landed in my inbox and was one of those happy ‘coincidences’ because I have been singing it all week especially whilst constructing my sermon for Sunday Zoom worship this week. Definitely my favourite hymn…. especially when I am marching along in my heavy walking boots through the mine stacks which makes me think of the miners all those years ago trudging their way to work and singing communally to keep their spirits up in tough times.
If you get a chance please do listen to “The Patch” which this week featured Camborne. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000m0nt
it is a fantastic bit of radio journalism and confirmed much of what I have been saying for years! But….. what is our response?
I had widely contrasting contacts from Readers this week the first requiring help that YOU might be able to provide and while others needed a more personal response. Does anyone have any good ideas and knowledge about raising funds online? If this is an area of expertise please let me know and I will put you in touch with the enquirer!
Some readers are having a tough time getting onto to Rotas to do anything in their parishes and it is usually to do with communication. I will do another piece on this but I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
That’s enough for this week…. we have socially distanced lunch guests in the garden.
Stop Press: Some of Martin’s thoughts on The use of Readers…
Compared with many Readers in the diocese, I have had no trouble whatsoever in getting on the rota to preach and lead worship. However, my experience and thoughts about this might be relevant to your general enquiry. I have drawn distinctions between pre- and post-Covid, because this has led to some marked changes in how the parish allocates its resources.
Before the Covid-19 outbreak, the Parish of St Illogan held a meeting every six months, in which the main purpose was to discuss a draft rota for leading, preaching and other main responsibilities at the three churches in the parish……..
Almost always the meeting went without controversy; and I think this points towards several things that could well be of benefit to “some readers who need some help”; though I know that not all parishes have the characteristics that make St Illogan run reasonably smoothly. (I’ll come back to those characteristics.)
Pre-Covid I had been asked how often I wished to be employed in preaching or teaching; and the rota almost always expressed my response — once or twice a month.
Since Covid-19, things have changed. A new rota was drawn up by the administrator and Rector……
I have never been busier. Very often, my wife is involved when I am, because she is a Worship Leader. Since services resumed on 12th July, I have had something on the rota at least once a week, and sometimes twice — on one occasion (at short notice) three times. This can be in any one of the following forms:
a) Leading or preaching — or both — at one of the three live services in the parish. (Morning services are held at all three churches on Sundays.)
On one occasion this involved me, at very short notice, doing both leading and preaching at Portreath, and thereafter at Trevenson, having also led the pre-recorded service. (Some of these could be repeated; but not all.)
b) Leading or preaching for the pre-recorded Morning Prayer services that are broadcast each Sunday from 1030am. That involves me (us) recording whatever and sending the file via Google Drive to the curate, who does the editing.
What makes all this run smoothly? I raise this because it seems to me that many of the difficulties that Readers in other parishes have encountered, have arisen because of failures in one or more of these areas. I would especially highlight the importance of No. 1:
1) All the people involved in ministry — Clergy, Readers and Worship Leaders, meet at least once a month for prayer and discussion. The Rector encourages us all to be open about how things are going, be they personally or within the churches for which we are responsible. This is an essential companion to the long-term planning of events.
2) Among all the clergy and most of the Readers, perspectives on theology, authority and worship are sufficiently congruous for things to work smoothly in general.
3) There is plenty of forward planning about services, liturgies, and so forth.
When things have settled down, I shall probably write something about all this in a public forum.
Thanks Jim. That was a valuable question to ask.